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Assessing Impacts of Climate Change and Human Activities on Streamflow and Sediment Discharge in the Ganjiang River Basin (1964–2013)

State Key Laboratory of Soil Erosion and Dryland Farming on the Loess Plateau, Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Ministry of Water Resources, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, China
Jiangxi Provincial Key Laboratory of Soil Erosion and Prevention, Jiangxi Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, Nanchang 330029, China
Jiangxi Provincial Institute of Water Sciences, Nanchang 330029, China
College of Urban and Environmental Science, Northwest University, Xi’an 710127, China
Jiangxi Key Laboratory of Hydrology-Water Resources and Water Environment, Nanchang Institute of Technology, Nanchang, Jiangxi 330099, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(8), 1679;
Received: 18 July 2019 / Revised: 9 August 2019 / Accepted: 10 August 2019 / Published: 13 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Hydrology)
PDF [3503 KB, uploaded 13 August 2019]


National large-scale soil and water conservation controls on the Gangjiang River basin have been documented, but the effect of governance on regional watershed hydrology and how the main driving factors act have not been systematically studied yet. To do this, this study evaluated changing trends and detected transition years for both streamflow and sediment discharge using long-term historical records at seven hydrological stations in the Ganjiang River basin over the past 50 years. The double mass curve (DMC) method was used to quantify the effects of both climate change and human activities on hydrological regime shifts. The results showed that the distributions of precipitation, streamflow, and sediment discharge within a year are extremely uneven and mainly concentrated in the flood season of Jiangxi Province. None of the stations showed significant trends over time for either annual precipitation or streamflow, while the annual sediment discharge at most stations decreased significantly over time. The estimation of sediment discharge via DMC indicated that after the transition years, there were rapid reductions in sediment discharge at all hydrological stations, and the average decline degree of midstream and downstream were much larger than that of upstream. Human activities, especially the increase of vegetation cover and construction of large and medium-sized reservoirs, provided a significantly greater contribution to the reduction of sediment discharge than did precipitation changes. As a case study of river evolution under global change environment, this study could provide scientific basis for the control of soil erosion and the management of water resources in Ganjiang River, as well as for the related research of Poyang Lake and the Yangtze River basin of China.
Keywords: eco-hydrology; human activity; precipitation; transition year; Ganjiang River basin eco-hydrology; human activity; precipitation; transition year; Ganjiang River basin
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Guo, L.-P.; Mu, X.-M.; Hu, J.-M.; Gao, P.; Zhang, Y.-F.; Liao, K.-T.; Bai, H.; Chen, X.-L.; Song, Y.-J.; Jin, N.; Yu, Q. Assessing Impacts of Climate Change and Human Activities on Streamflow and Sediment Discharge in the Ganjiang River Basin (1964–2013). Water 2019, 11, 1679.

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