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Modelling the Impacts of Bathymetric Changes on Water Level in China’s Largest Freshwater Lake

1
School of Geography and Tourism, Anhui Normal University, Wuhu 241003, China
2
Engineering Technology Research Center of Resources Environment and GIS, Wuhu 241003, China
3
Key Laboratory of Watershed Geographic Sciences, Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing 210008, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(7), 1469; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11071469
Received: 2 June 2019 / Revised: 12 July 2019 / Accepted: 12 July 2019 / Published: 16 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wetland Ecohydrology and Water Resource Management)
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Abstract

A recent dramatic decline in water level during the dry season in China’s largest freshwater lake (Lake Poyang) significantly influenced water availability and biogeochemical processes. To learn the potential causes of water level decline, this study investigated the hydrodynamic response to bathymetric changes during three typical hydrological years by scenario simulation using Environmental Fluid Dynamics Code (EFDC). The simulation results indicated that bathymetric changes resulted in a water level decrease during a low water level period. Inter-annual variation in the decrease rate implied that water level in typical dry and wet years were influenced more significantly than that in moderate hydrological years. A spatial gradient in the distribution of water level changes was also observed, which was mainly concentrated in the main channel. Water velocities also slowed down, weakly corresponding to the decrease in water level during the low water level period. Overall, bathymetric changes caused by sand mining contributed to water level and velocity variations, influencing the stability and sustainability of the lake ecosystem. This study can potentially enhance our understanding of the hydrodynamic processes in Lake Poyang and support water resource management. View Full-Text
Keywords: water level; bathymetric changes; sand mining; EFDC; Lake Poyang water level; bathymetric changes; sand mining; EFDC; Lake Poyang
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Qi, L.; Huang, J.; Gao, J.; Cui, Z. Modelling the Impacts of Bathymetric Changes on Water Level in China’s Largest Freshwater Lake. Water 2019, 11, 1469.

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