Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2015, Vol. 70 ›› Issue (5): 837-845.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201505014

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Hydrological and sediment effects from sand mining in Poyang Lake during 2001-2010

Feng JIANG1,2(), Shuhua QI1,2(), Fuqiang LIAO1,2, Xiuxiu ZHANG2, Dian WANG2, Jingxuan ZHU2, Mengya XIONG2   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Poyang Lake Wetland and Watershed Research, Ministry of Education, Jiangxi Normal University, Nanchang 330022, China
    2. School of Geography and Environment, Jiangxi Normal University, Nanchang 330022, China
  • Received:2015-03-11 Revised:2015-04-03 Online:2015-05-20 Published:2015-05-20
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41261069;Collaborative Innovation Center for Major Ecological Security Issues of Jiangxi Province and Monitoring Implementation, No.JXS-EW-00;Opening Fund from Key Laboratory of Poyang Lake Wetland and Watershed Research [Jiangxi Normal University], Ministry of Education, No.TK2013001;Key project from Educational Department of Jiangxi Province, No.14241


Sand mining has been practiced in rivers, lakes, harbors and coastal areas in recent years in China mostly because of the increasing demand for building materials in construction industry. Sand mining in Poyang Lake has been intensified since 2001 because such practice was banned in the Yangtze River and profitable. Meanwhile, the decline of water level of the Poyang Lake has aroused much more attention from researchers. The decline has been ascribed to a decrease in precipitation in Poyang Lake watershed, attenuation of congestion effect because of the Three Gorges Project and sand mining in the Poyang Lake.

In this study, we analyzed the magnitude of sand mining in Poyang Lake using Digital Elevation Model (DEM) data from two periods and sand vessels distribution detected by remote sensing images. Another two Landsat images were used to evaluate the morphologic change compared with natural sedimentation, inundation extent and shoreline shape. And a hydrological dataset including water level, water discharge rate and sediment content for a long time series were used to analyze the hydrological effect and sediment effect from sand mining. Results showed that: (1) sand mining region was mainly distributed in northern Poyang Lake before 2007, but was extended into the central region and even to the channels of major tributary rivers into the Poyang Lake; (2) the area of sand mining was about 260.4 km2. The magnitude of sand mining in Poyang Lake was about 2,154.3 Mt or 1.29×109 m3 during 2000-2010 with the assumption of sand bulk density of 1.67 t m-3. It is almost 6.5 times of the natural sedimentation in volume during 1955-2010; (3) sand mining affected the hydrologic regimes including increased areas of water discharge sections and water turbidity. Sand mining could be one of the most important factors that caused the decline of water level of Poyang Lake in drought season. It also affected the sediment pattern of the lower reaches of the Yangtze River.

Key words: sand mining, hydrology effect, sediment effect, Poyang Lake