The Jingjiang Three Outlets (JTO) are the water-sediment connecting channels between the Yangtze River and the Dongting Lake. The discharge diversion of the JTO plays a dominant role in the flood control of the middle–lower Yangtze River, Dongting Lake evolution, and ecological environment. After the operation of the Three Gorges Dam (TGD), the river channels downstream experienced dramatic channel changes. To study the influences of the channel change on the discharge diversion, the authors analyzed the channel changes by water level–discharge rating curves and cross-sectional channel profiles in 1980–2014. Hence, changes in the water level with the same discharge and the decline of discharge diversion at the JTO were noted. Channel incision caused the water level with the same discharge to greatly decrease in the upper Jingjiang River. The water level with the same discharge significantly increased at the JTO as a result of the channel deposition. The channel changes contributed approximately 37.74% and 76.36%, respectively, to the amount and ratio of discharge diversion decreases after the TGD operation. The channel changes serve as the primary factor in facilitating the decrease in the discharge diversion ratio, but not the main factor for the decreased amount of the discharge diversion.
- channel change
- discharge diversion
- Jingjiang Three Outlets
- rating curve
- Three Gorges Dam
- Yangtze River
- First received 4 January 2016.
- Accepted in revised form 9 May 2016.
- © 2016 The Authors
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