Sedimentary chronology reinterpreted from Changshou Lake of the Three Gorges Reservoir Area reveals natural and anthropogenic control on sediment production

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Anjum, R., Tang, Q., Collins, A. L., Gao, J., Long, Y., Zhang, X., He, X., Zhonglin, S., Wen, A. and Wei, J. 2018. Sedimentary chronology reinterpreted from Changshou Lake of the Three Gorges Reservoir Area reveals natural and anthropogenic control on sediment production. Environmental Science and Pollution Research. 24, pp. 17620-17633.

AuthorsAnjum, R., Tang, Q., Collins, A. L., Gao, J., Long, Y., Zhang, X., He, X., Zhonglin, S., Wen, A. and Wei, J.
Abstract

Sedimentary archives preserved in geomorphic sinks provide records of historical sediment dynamics and its related natural and anthropogenic controls. This study reinterpreted sedimentary processes in Changshou Lake of the Three Gorges Reservoir Area in China by combining a rainfall erosivity index with multiple tracing proxies, and the impacts of natural and anthropogenic drivers on sediment production were also explored. Erosive rainfalls with low frequency and large magnitude in the rainy season contribute to a substantial proportion of annual total rainfall, which thus can be used to infer erosion and sediment yield events. The sedimentary chronology was determined by comparing rainfall erosivity index with depth distribution of 137Cs and absolute particle size, which revealed annual sedimentation rates ranging from 1.1 to 2.3 cm a−1. The multi-proxy dating index and variation of sedimentation rate divided the sediment profile into three major periods. The reference period (1956–1982) displays low variability of TOC, TN, trace metal concentrations, and mean sedimentation rate. In the stressed period (1982–1998), industrial and sewerage discharge led to input and deposition of TOC, TN, and trace metals (e.g., Cd, Co, Cu, Cr, and Ni). The highest annual sediment accumulation rate of 2.3 cm a−1 may be ascribed to the 1982 big flood event. In the present period (1998–2013), increased TOC, TN and decreased trace metals in the top layers of the sediment core indicated changes in lake ecology. Fish farming promoted algal growth and primary productivity which caused eutrophication until 2004–2005. The reduced mean sedimentation rate of 1.7 cm a−1 between 1998 and 2004, and thereafter, may be attributed to soil and water conservation and reforestation policies implemented in the Longxi catchment. Human activities such as deforestation, cultural and industrial revolution, and lake eutrophication associated with fish farming since 1989, therefore led to appreciable limnological variations. Overall, the dated sedimentary profile from Changshou Lake displays high consistency with archived historical events and reflects the impact of both natural and anthropogenic controls on sediment production.

KeywordsHuman activities; Sedimentary records; Geochemical profile; 137Cs; Dating; Three Gorges Reservoir Area
Year of Publication2018
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Journal citation24, pp. 17620-17633
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1007/s11356-018-1916-3
Open accessPublished as non-open access
Funder project or codeS2N - Soil to Nutrition - Work package 3 (WP3) - Sustainable intensification - optimisation at multiple scales
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online17 Apr 2018
Publication process dates
Accepted02 Apr 2018
PublisherSpringer Heidelberg
Copyright licenseCC BY
ISSN0944-1344

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