Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2006, Vol. 61 ›› Issue (5): 451-460.doi: 10.11821/xb200605001

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Indicators of the Healthy Yellow River

LIU Xiaoyan1,2, ZHANG Jianzhong1, ZHANG Yuanfeng1   

  1. 1. Yellow River Conservancy Commission, Zhengzhou 450003, China;
    2. College of Water Sciences, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
  • Received:2006-02-09 Revised:2006-03-02 Online:2006-05-25 Published:2006-05-25
  • Supported by:

    The Technological Innovation Item for Modern Water Conservancy of the Ministry of Water Resources, No.XDS2004-03


River's life is a process of hydrologic cycle which is carried out under certain direction and path, and represented by continuous flow in the river channel. Continuous water circulation is the key to keep the life of a river. The concept of river health is the description of river life status, and the river health conditions reflect human judgments on contributions of rivers to human society, or whether the river could function well to meet the requirement of people. The standard of river health is the balance or compromise of human benefit and other biological benefit in corresponding times and river reaches. By analyzing the requirements of mankind and river ecosystem, the healthy Yellow River symbols have been developed which are continuous flow, favorable riverbed, favorable water quality, acceptable river ecosystem and certain water supply capacity. Eight parameters, such as minimum flow, maximum flood discharging capacity, bank-full discharge, floodplain transversal slop, water quality degree, wetlands area, aquatic organisms and water supply are the vivid descriptions of healthy YR situation, and their ideal standards have been proved.

Key words: healthy life, runoff, discharge, water quality, river ecosystem, Yellow River