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2010 Vol. 21, No. 6

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Environmental Impacts of the Yangtze Three Gorges Project: An Overview of the Chinese-German Research Cooperation
Günter Subklew, Julia Ulrich*, Leander Fürst, Agnes Höltkemeier
2010, 21(6) doi: 10.1007/s12583-010-0133-x
The construction of the Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River in China has a great influence on the ecosystems involved. In order to investigate these environmental effects in the Yangtze catchment area as well as downstream of the dam, Forschungszentrum Jülich has organized a research network for the Chinese and German partners. In the research fields of (1) interaction water/ sediment/contaminants, (2) vegetation/biodiversity, (3) changing land use/erosion/mass movements, and (4) atmosphere, the partners have accumulated a great deal of expertise in handling major issues and also in developing models and recommendations for action...
Frequency Ratio Analysis of Mass Movements in the Xiangxi Catchment, Three Gorges Reservoir Area, China
项伟, 毕仁能
2010, 21(6) doi: 10.1007/s12583-010-0134-9
In 2003, the Three Gorges Project (TGP, China), currently the world’s largest hydro?electric power plant by total capacity, went into operation. Due to large-scale impoundment of the Yangtze River and its tributaries and also due to resettlement, extensive environmental impacts like land use change and increase of geohazards are associated with the TGP. Within the Yangtze Project, we investigate these effects for the Xiangxi (香溪) catchment which is part of the Three Gorges Reservoir...
Assessing the USLE Crop and Management Factor C for Soil Erosion Modeling in a Large Mountainous Watershed in Central China
Sarah Sch, Patrick Saumer, Thorsten Behrens, Christoph Seeber, Thomas Scholten
2010, 21(6) doi: 10.1007/s12583-010-0135-8
Due to the impoundment of the Yangtze River, the Three Gorges Dam in China fosters high land-use dynamics. Soil erosion is expected to increase dramatically. One of the key factors in soil erosion control is the vegetation cover and crop type. However, determining these factors adequately for the use in soil erosion modeling is very time-consuming especially for large mountainous areas, such as the Xiangxi (香溪) catchment in the Three Gorges area...
Land Use Change and Causes in the Xiangxi Catchment, Three Gorges Area Derived from Multispectral Data
2010, 21(6) doi: 10.1007/s12583-010-0136-7
The construction of the Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River has extensive impact on the ecosystems and the population of the Three Gorges Area (TGA). Inundation and resettlement have induced far-reaching land use and land cover change (LUCC). The areas that are affected by measures of resettlement are in a tense situation between the implementation of various governmental tasks addressing sustainable land use and water retention and the fulfilment of the population’s economic needs, which primarily depend on agricultural production. Destabilization of slopes and soil erosion are immediate hazards induced by the impoundment. Farming is a very important source of income and has to persist on the one hand to assure the income of the rural population...
Applicability of Time Domain Reflectometry for Yuhuangge Landslide Monitoring
晏鄂川, 宋琨, 李红刚
2010, 21(6) doi: 10.1007/s12583-010-0137-6
Yuhuangge (玉皇阁) landslide in Wushan (巫山), Chongqing (重庆), is one of the focal monitoring geological hazards in the Three Gorges Reservoir. Time domain reflectometry (TDR) and in-place inclinometers were arranged to monitor the deep deformation. Time domain reflectometry is based on transmitting an electromagnetic pulse into a coaxial cable grouted in rock or soil mass and watching for reflections of this transmission due to cable deformity induced by the ground deformation. Comparing the monitoring data of No. 5 Station, in the middle profile of the landslide, from June to December of 2008, the depth of slip surface determined by TDR is -33.58 m, which is consistent with the geological condition of the borehole nearby...
FerryBox: Using Automated Water Measurement Systems to Monitor Water Quality: Perspectives for the Yangtze River and Three Gorges Dam
Carsten Frank*, Friedhelm Schroeder, Wilhelm Petersen
2010, 21(6) doi: 10.1007/s12583-010-0138-5
The building of the Three Gorges Dam (Hubei (湖北) Province, China) has transformed a region with an economy based on sustainable agriculture for millennia into an entirely different environment within an exceptionally short time. This disrupts the natural biogeochemical cycles of carbon, nutrients, and metals and possibly will affect the whole catchment including downstream ecosystems, such as wetlands, estuaries, deltas, and adjacent sea areas...
Mechanism of Reservoir Water in the Deformation of Hefeng Landslide
张婷婷, 晏鄂川, 程江涛, 郑勇
2010, 21(6) doi: 10.1007/s12583-010-0139-4
The trial impoundment was carried on in Three Gorges Reservoir from September 27, 2008. There were strong deformation and failure in Hefeng (鹤峰) landslide when the reservoir water level descended from the altitude of 173 m. It indicates that the deformation is closely related to reservoir water fluctuation. For this reason, the effect of reservoir water in the deformation was studied, taking Hefeng landslide as an example in this article. First, the geological characteristics and deformation situation of strong deformation region are analyzed to disclose the intrinsic factors and the pattern of the deformation under the condition of water level fluctuation. Second, the stabilities of the landslide are calculated during the rising and descending processes, and the corresponding relationship between reservoir water level fluctuation and landslide deformation is further identified...
River Water Quality Assessment in Selected Yangtze Tributaries: Background and Method Development
2010, 21(6) doi: 10.1007/s12583-010-0140-y
Water pollution is among the most severe environmental problems in China, particularly in the vicinity of residential and urban areas. In almost all Asian countries, river monitoring is predominantly based on the analysis of chemical data. However, biological data are a worthwhile addition for the determination of the long-term ecological status of rivers and are particularly well-suited in case of steep pollution and disturbance gradients. A tool for river water quality assessment using benthic in-vertebrates has been developed for selected tributaries of the middle reach of the Yangtze River...
Theory and Practice of Ionic Soil Stabilizer Reinforcing Special Clay
项伟, 崔德山, 刘清秉, 卢雪松, 曹李靖
2010, 21(6) doi: 10.1007/s12583-010-0141-x
The change in the thickness of water films of special clay particles such as sliding clay, red clay, and expansive clay is an important factor in producing geological disasters and geological environmental damage. In order to reduce the thickness of water films, ionic soil stabilizer (ISS) is used to treat sliding clay, red clay, and expansive clay. Direct shear test of sliding clay and shrinkage, free swell rate, zeta potential, and cation-exchange capacity of red clay and expansive clay are carried out. The results show that as the plastic indexes of special clay soil decrease, the shear strength of sliding clay increases, the shrinkage and free swell rate of red clay and expansive clay decrease, and the thickness of the water film thins after treatment with the ionic soil stabilizer. Therefore, the geological engineering disasters caused by changes in the thickness of water films of special clay can be effectively inhibited.
Soil Stabilizing Capability of Three Plant Species Growing on the Three Gorges Reservoir Riverside
2010, 21(6) doi: 10.1007/s12583-010-0142-9
Plant regrowth capacity and soil protection were investigated using three flooding-tolerant Yangtze River riverside species (Arundinella anomala, Hemartria compressa and Cynodon dactylon). The root and leaf surface growth, the plant regrowth capacity and the mitigation of soil runoff were analyzed using potted plants that were covered with 5, 10 and 18 cm new sediments, respectively. A. anomala reacted most slowly to the recovery from new sediments, while H. compressa had the highest recovery rates. The latter could produce 24 times the initial root length and 41 times its original leaf surface during the growth period of 12 weeks. C. dactylon showed no significant change in growth in relation to the rising sediment thickness, which means that even 18 cm of new sediments were tolerated by C. dactylon...
Estimation of Throughfall Erosivity in a Highly Diverse Forest Ecosystem Using Sand-Filled Splash Cups
2010, 21(6) doi: 10.1007/s12583-010-0132-y
Sand-filled splash cups were used to study the erosive power of rainfall and throughfall in the humid subtropics of Southeast China. The splash cup measurements yielded precise and reproducible results under both open field conditions and forest vegetation. The splash cups were exposed to specific forest stands of different ages and to selected species (Schima superba, Castanopsis eyrei, Daphniphyllum oldhamii, Lithocarpus glaber) in the Gutianshan (古田山) National Nature Reserve (GNNR). The results of the measurements under forest vegetation show that the erosive power of throughfall drops to be 2.59 times higher compared to the open field. This accentuates the importance of shrub, herb and litter layers in forest ecosystems to protect the soil against erosion. Coalescing drops from leaves and branches (drips) are responsible for this notable gain in erosive power...
A Seismically Triggered Landslide in the Niujuan Valley near the Epicenter of the 2008 Wenchuan Earthquake
韦方强, 苏鹏程, 江玉红, 徐爱淞
2010, 21(6) doi: 10.1007/s12583-010-0143-8
The Wenchuan (汶川) earthquake on 12 May 2008 induced a large number of landslides, collapses, and rockfalls along the Longmenshan (龙门山) fault. The landslide in Niujuan (牛圈) Valley (named Niujuan landslide), close to the epicenter, is one that travelled a long distance with damaging consequences. Using QuickBird satellite images and GIS tools, the seismogenic mass movements are analyzed, and the movement phases, travel path, and post-catastrophic processes of Niujuan landslide are described and discussed. Image interpretation and a GPS survey showed that the mass movements denuded 37% of the research area. The Niujuan landslide moved 1 950 m along the Lianhuaxingou (莲花心沟) stream, transformed to a debris avalanche, and accumulated in the downstream bed of Niu-juan Valley, where they formed a dam 30 m in height, blocking the Niujuan stream and creating a bar-rier lake basin with 0.11 million m3 storage capacity...
Focusing Seismic Energy along Faults through Time-Variable Rupture Modes: Wenchuan Earthquake, China
王璐, 刘建国, 李中全, 陈骁
2010, 21(6) doi: 10.1007/s12583-010-0144-7
Field analysis and differential interferometry derived from Synthetic Aperture Radar (PALSAR) of the epicentral area of the May 12 2008 Mw 8.0 Wenchuan (汶川) earthquake zone reveal details about fault ruptures and ground displacements, with field-documented vertical offsets reaching 12 m along the trace of the main fault rupture, and PALSAR-measured horizontal displacements reaching 12.3 m. We document slip indicators on the fault scarp that show initially sub-horizontal then progressively steeper slip increments with time along the same fault during the 2 min earthquake, suggesting that the rupture propagated as a mixed Mode II–III fracture, with strike-slip movement at the tip directing energy from the initial rupture to points north of the epicenter, followed by vertical displacement in the interior of the slipped region...
Saturated Hydraulic Conductivity from Field Measurements Compared to Pedotransfer Functions in a Heterogeneous Arable Landscape
Florian Winter*, Markus Disse
2010, 21(6) doi: 10.1007/s12583-010-0145-6
A high degree of uncertainty with regard to soil parameterisation limits the significance of physically-based simulation of distributed flood control measures, which affect the runoff generation process, such as land-use changes or differing soil tillage practices. In this study, the soil measurement data from the hillslope scale at the Scheyern research farm were compared to demonstrate this uncer-tainty. To account for the spatial variability of soils in the investigation area of Scheyern, different ap-proaches were applied to estimate soil hydraulic properties and saturated hydraulic conductivity, and were compared to field measurements.
Numerical Modelling of Seismic Site Effects Incorporating Non-linearity and Groundwater Level Changes
Dominik Ehret, Joachim Rohn, Dieter Hannich, Carlos Grandas, Gerhard Huber
2010, 21(6) doi: 10.1007/s12583-010-0146-5
In the past decades, the necessity for detailed earthquake microzonation studies was recognized worldwide. Therefore, different approaches were established and applied. Unfortunately, the majority of these approaches are not based on pre-existing field data but require extensive seismic measurements and investigations. Furthermore, these approaches incorporate non-linearity inade-quately and cannot take groundwater level changes into account. For this purpose, notably numerical models are most suitable. These models require a good knowledge of the local geological conditions (especially of the uppermost unconsolidated units), information about the geotechnical parameters of these units, and a hydrogeological model of the investigated area. Most of this information can be ob-tained from geotechnical investigations and surveys that have already been carried out in most densely populated areas...
Assessment of Soil Erosion and Sediment Yield in Liao Watershed, Jiangxi Province, China, Using USLE, GIS, and RS
李辉, 陈晓玲, 蔡晓斌
2010, 21(6) doi: 10.1007/s12583-010-0147-4
Soil erosion by water is a serious problem all over the world. In China, about 1 790 000 km2 of land suffers from water erosion, which accounts for 18.3% of China’s total area. This study was conducted in the Liao (潦) watershed in Jiangxi (江西) Province to assess annual soil erosion and sediment yield using the Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE). A geographic information system (GIS) was used to generate maps of the USLE factors, which include rainfall erosivity (R), soil erodibility (K), slope length and steepness (LS), cover (C), and conservation practice (P) factors. By integrating these factors in a GIS, a spatial distribution of soil erosion over the Liao watershed was ob-tained. The soil erosion was found to vary from nil for flat and well-covered areas to more than 500 t/ha/a in mountainous places with sparse vegetation...
Pyrite in Sliding Mud: A Potential Indicator of Landslide Development
郑国东, 梁收运, 郎煜华, 马向贤, 梁明亮, 项伟
2010, 21(6) doi: 10.1007/s12583-010-0148-3
A new principle of geochemical conditions within a landslide slip zone is presented based on the concept of a self-sealing closed system for which newly formed pyrite should be considered as a potential indicator. Once slip zones occur, a series of water-rock interactions may take place, particularly, a change in redox conditions simultaneously with progression of the landslide. This change induces weathering of the debris and bed rocks, and leads to accumulation of newly formed sliding mud within the slip zone. Pyrite formation along with clay mineral accumulation occurs under a weak alkaline-strong reducing environment along with landslide development. Thus, formation of neogenetic pyrite, iron speciation, and clay mineralization are all important factors for a better understanding of landslide progression.
Complex Effective Relative Permittivity of Soil Samples from the Taunus Region (Germany)
Katja Lauer, Christian Albrecht, Christina Salat, Peter Felix-Henningsen
2010, 21(6) doi: 10.1007/s12583-010-0149-2
The most important parameter affecting ground-penetrating radar (GPR) measurements is the complex effective relative permittivity because it controls the propagation velocity and the reflection of GPR pulses. Knowing of soils passed through by electromagnetic waves increases accuracy in soil thickness and interface identification. Complex effective relative permittivity of 25 soil samples with textures ranging from loamy sand to silty clay was measured using the two-electrode parallel- plate method...
Situation and Prevention of Loess Water Erosion Problem along the West-to-EastGas Pipeline in China
王菁莪, 项伟, 左勖
2010, 21(6) doi: 10.1007/s12583-010-0150-9
Loess water erosion constitutes a great threat to the safety of the West-to-East Gas Pipeline in China. Through aerial-photo interpretation and investigation of the typical region (Zichang (子长)-Yongping (永坪) Section) where the loess water erosion problem is intensely developed, the influence of water erosion on the pipeline in the loess area can be manifested as the following 3 aspects: (1) surface and gully erosion causes the base overhead and pipeline exposure; (2) underground erosion forms caves, which may cause surface subsidence and foundation failure; (3) water erosion of loess may destroy the balance of slopes and cause geological hazards like landslide, collapse and debris flow. Presently, the controlling methods are mainly concrete or grouted rubble protection...
A Setup for a Scenario-Driven Water Balance at Landscape Scale—Assessment with AKWA-M®-Embedded in a Model Framework for Land-Use Planning’s Decision Support in Mountainous Southwest China
Andreas Wahren, Karin Berkhoff, Albrecht M, Sylvia Herrmann, Heinz Feger
2010, 21(6) doi: 10.1007/s12583-010-0151-8
Land-cover changes cause a loss of natural vegetation in many parts of the world. In the Xishuangbanna (西双版纳) district (Yunnan (云南) Province), rubber plantations replace tropical rainforests covering already an area of about 10% of the study area (2007). There, land-use allocation is mostly driven by economic considerations. Thus, local planning authorities need decision support for land-use planning issues, which integrate socio-economic and ecological aspects. Within the NabanFrame, an agro-economic, ecological and social model was applied, which, altogether, interacted with a land allocation model via defined interfaces. Effects on the water cycle, ecological conditions as well as socio-economic should be considered by integrating the spatially distributed rainfall-runoff and water balance model AKWA-M? in the model setup.