Influence of Three Gorges Dam on streamflow and sediment load of the middle Yangtze River, China Academic Article uri icon


  • Using updated hydrological datasets from three stations, including Cuntan, Yichang and Hankou, covering the period of January 1992-December 2008, the influence of Three Gorges Dam (TGD) on streamflow and sediment load of the Yangtze River was investigated. Results indicated that TGD did not seem to exert a significant influence on streamflow occurring at three stations and changes in streamflow can be mainly attributed to streamflows of tributaries. However, a sharp decrease in the sediment load after the impoundment of TGD was observed. Clear water after the impoundment caused erosion of riverbed and resulted in more sediment at the Hankou station than at the Yichang station. No distinct changes in the annual and monthly maximum sediment loads were observed before and after the impoundment. Therefore, annual and monthly maximum sediment load changes should be subjected mainly to river hydraulics. This study has practical relevance for understanding the influence of large hydraulic structures on the hydrological processes of large rivers. 2011 Springer-Verlag.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Zhang, Q., Singh, V. P., & Chen, X.

citation count

  • 29

complete list of authors

  • Zhang, Qiang||Singh, Vijay P||Chen, Xiaohong

publication date

  • April 2012