Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2020, Vol. 75 ›› Issue (7): 1512-1522.doi: 10.11821/dlxb202007013

• Climate Change and Surface Process • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Evolution processes of the sandbanks in the Zhenjiang-Yangzhou reach of the Yangtze River and their driving forces (from 1570 to 1971)

YANG Xiao1,2()   

  1. 1. School of Humanities, Shanghai Normal University, Shanghai 200234, China
    2. Center for Historical Geographical Studies, Shanghai Normal University, Shanghai 200234, China
  • Received:2019-06-05 Revised:2020-04-14 Online:2020-07-25 Published:2020-09-25
  • Supported by:
    Major Project of National Social Science Foundation of China(19ZDA192);China Postdoctoral Science Foundation(2019M661577)


Under the influence of the changing relationship between the Yellow River and the Huaihe River, the lower reaches of the Huaihe River had gradually drained into the Yangtze River since 1570 AD, and finally became a tributary of the Yangtze River. This transformation added new variations to the evolution of the Yangtze River's fluvial processes by changing the original riverbed features and currents of the Zhenjiang-Yangzhou reach. This article analyzed three surveyed maps, discussed related historical literature and investigated some antique maps to explore the formation and the evolution of the sandbanks outside the estuary of the Huaihe River. Some sandbanks including the Yumin Sandbar and Nanxin Sandbar appeared before the 17th century due to the disintegration of original sandbars such as Tengliao Sandbar,which disappeared during the Chenghua and Hongzhi reigns in the Ming Dynasty (1465-1505 AD). Since the Huaihe River entered into the Yangtze River, the Yumin Sandbar and Nanxin Sandbar had continued to expand and banked to the north along with the newly-formed sandbanks. At last, the northern channel of the Zhenjiang-Yangzhou reach demised and the riverbed transformed from a straightforward bifurcation into a curved one. Accordingly, the formation of meandering flow began to erode Guazhou Town on the upstream concave bank and silt Zhenjiang Town on the convex bank, gradually reshaping the Zhenjiang-Yangzhou reach of the Yangtze River into its current configuration.

Key words: Huaihe River, lower Yangtze River, Zhenjiang-Yangzhou reach, fluvial processes