Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2016, Vol. 71 ›› Issue (11): 2020-2036.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201611012

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Research progress in river geomorphology in China: In memory of 100-year anniversary of Shen Yuchang's birth

Jiongxin XU(), Qiangguo CAI, Bingyuan LI, Jishan WU, Desheng JIN, Lianyuan YOU, Changxing SHI, Qingsong ZHANG   

  1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
  • Received:2016-08-06 Revised:2016-10-16 Online:2016-11-25 Published:2016-11-29
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41371037


2016 is the 100th anniversary of Professor Shen Yuchang, the founder of river geomorphology in China. To commemorate this event, we reviewed the advances in river geomorphology in China in the past 20 years, which cover the following four topics: (1) river system development and river valley evolution, including the historical development of the Yellow and Yangtze rivers and mountain region river geomorphology; (2) erosion and sediment production processes, including the physically based erosion and sediment yield modeling, scale effect of sediment yield, influence of vegetation on erosion and thresholds, and simulation of hillslope rill development; (3) river channel processes and river patterns, including channel fill and scour behaviors, channel changes and the formative cause of river channel patterns; and (4) study of river geomorphology in the framework of fluvial system, including the couplings between sub-systems, hyperconcentated flows and multiple-agent geomorphologic processes, response of fluvial system to climate change and human activity, sediment-related disasters and the laboratory experiments on fluvial systems. Around 50 years ago, Professors Shen Yuchang and Qian Ning together put forward a strategy for Chinese river researches on the basis of combination of geomorphology with hydrodynamics. In this right direction the river geomorphology in China has achieved an initial breakthrough. In addition, some issues that need to be deepened or solved in the future are addressed.

Key words: river geomorphology, research progress, Chinese rivers