Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2010, Vol. 65 ›› Issue (11): 1371-1380.doi: 10.11821/xb201011007

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Hydrological Studies of the Holocene Palaeoflood in the Hukou Reach of the Yellow River

LI Xiaogang, HUANG Chunchang, PANG Jiangli, ZHA Xiaochun, HAO Gaojian, GE Benwei   

  1. College of Tourism and Environmental Sciences, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi'an 710062, China
  • Received:2010-08-03 Revised:2010-09-09 Online:2010-11-20 Published:2010-11-20
  • Supported by:

    National Natural Science Foundation of China,No.40771018; No.41030637


Palaeoflood hydrological studies were carried out in the middle reach gorges of the Yellow River. Palaeoflood slackwater deposit was found at the MFT site in the Hukou gorges of the mainstream of the river. Analysis of the grain-size distribution indicates that these SWD consist of sandy silt, sourced from the suspended sediment load of the floodwater. The low magnetic susceptibility indicates they are fresh deposit without weathering and pedogenic alteration. Stratigraphic correlation with the chronological framework established in the middle reaches of the Yellow River and OSL dating shows that these extreme floods occurred in two periods, that is, at the turn from early to middle Holocene, and at the end of the mid-Holocene Climatic Optimum. The reconstructed peak discharges of the palaeoflood range from 27,490 m3/ s to 40,920 m3/s which is much larger than those of gauged floods. These results were further tested and proved to be reliable in reconstruction of the modern floods at the same reach. This research is of great importance to hydrological engineering and flood mitigation. And it is also very important in the establishment of the relationships between extreme flood events and global climate change.

Key words: palaeoflood, Holocene, slackwater deposits, hydrology, Yellow River