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Quantitative Ascription of Sediment Discharge Changes of Two Highly Sediment-Loaded Tributaries of the Yellow River in China: The Importance of Selecting Rainfall Index and Timescale

by 1,2, 1,*, 1,2 and 1,2
1
Key Laboratory of Water Cycle and Related Land Surface Processes, Institute of Geographic Sciences & Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
2
College of Resources and Environment, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2021, 13(6), 845; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13060845
Received: 25 February 2021 / Revised: 15 March 2021 / Accepted: 17 March 2021 / Published: 19 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Water Erosion and Sediment Transport)
River sediment load has been changing conspicuously worldwide. The famous sediment-laden Yellow River in China has also had a declining sediment load in the past decades. This study made a quantitative ascription of the sediment discharge changes by non-parametric Pettitt test, rainfall and sediment discharge characteristic index calculation, correlation test, double cumulative curve regression and solving differential equation in the Huangfu and the Kuye basins in the main sediment sources of the Yellow River. The results indicated that: (1) The sediment discharge decreased significantly from 1956 to 2016, while the rainfall and rainfall erosivity only had a visible but insignificant decreasing trend. (2) Rainfall erosivity is better than other rainfall characteristic indexes in relation with sediment discharge. (3) The anthropogenic factor was the main driver for the reduction of sediment discharge with a percentage of 70.2–90.5% in different periods. The contribution of rainfall changes in flood season to sediment discharge reduction surpassed that in the whole year. (4) A percentage of 88% and 93% of suspended sediment yield reduction was attributed to streamflow reduction, and 12% and 7% to changes in C-Q relationship in the Huangfu and the Kuye basins, respectively. View Full-Text
Keywords: soft sandstone; rainfall erosivity; sediment discharge change; human activity; climate change soft sandstone; rainfall erosivity; sediment discharge change; human activity; climate change
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ma, X.; Shi, C.; Peng, J.; Liu, W. Quantitative Ascription of Sediment Discharge Changes of Two Highly Sediment-Loaded Tributaries of the Yellow River in China: The Importance of Selecting Rainfall Index and Timescale. Water 2021, 13, 845. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13060845

AMA Style

Ma X, Shi C, Peng J, Liu W. Quantitative Ascription of Sediment Discharge Changes of Two Highly Sediment-Loaded Tributaries of the Yellow River in China: The Importance of Selecting Rainfall Index and Timescale. Water. 2021; 13(6):845. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13060845

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ma, Xiaoqing; Shi, Changxing; Peng, Jia; Liu, Wei. 2021. "Quantitative Ascription of Sediment Discharge Changes of Two Highly Sediment-Loaded Tributaries of the Yellow River in China: The Importance of Selecting Rainfall Index and Timescale" Water 13, no. 6: 845. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13060845

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