Environmental Earth Sciences

, 78:660 | Cite as

Spatial and temporal variations in coastline morphology along Ganjiang-Poyang Lake: sediment supply as a cause of variability

  • Haibo Jia
  • Hancheng JiEmail author
  • Jifeng Yu
  • Xiangchao Meng
Original Article


Coastline changes over some 24 years along the Ganjiang-Poyang Lake have allowed us to monitor the coastal morphological evolution, with its attendant social consequences. This study focuses on the coastal morphology changes controlled by the north and middle branches of the Ganjiang River as the lake delta prograded into the Poyang Lake. The north branch resulted in an elongated coastal headland with one sinuous channel complex, whereas the middle branch produced a prograding shoal-water river-dominated delta system with a distributary channel network. The main units of the north branch consist of a single channel and associated point bar and levee, whereas those of the middle branch consist of distributary channels and mouth bar. The evolution of the north branch was dominated by changes of the channel, while the middle branch became dominated by distributary channel bifurcation and mouth-bar formation. Changing morphology of both the branches of Ganjiang shows a decreased progradation rate from 1992 to 2015, which can be evidenced by a decreasing prograding rate from 0.875 to 0.21 km/year of the middle branch. The lakeward outbuilding process was characterized by an initial stage of strong progradation, whereas the subsequent stage was dominantly aggradation associated with weak progradation. Human activity such as dam building and forestation generated decrease of sediment input, resulting in the decrease in the prograding rate of the Ganjiang delta. Sediment grain-size variations control the geometry of the prograding body of the two branches. The finer sediment delivery of the north branch resulted in the elongated coastal headland, whereas the relatively coarser sediment of the middle branch resulted in the development of the lobate-shaped delta lobe. This study highlights the significant role of upstream factors, which can be evidenced by that the grain size and magnitude of supply that controls the construction and shape of the coastal morphology.


Lake delta Architecture Surface morphology Controlling factor 



The authors thank the Natural Science Foundation of Shandong Province (Grant number: ZR2019BD031), the National Natural Science Foundation (Grant number: 41672100), the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (Grant number: 2018M632689) and the State Key Laboratory of Petroleum Resource and Prospecting (Grant number: PRP/open-1806).


  1. Adams RM, Rosenzweig C, Peart RM, Ritchie JT, McCarl BA, Glyer JD, Curry RB, Jones JW, Boote KJ, Allen LH Jr (1990) Global climate change and US agriculture. Nature 345:219–224CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Caldwell RL, Edmonds DA (2014) The effects of sediment properties on deltaic processes and morphologies: a numerical modeling study. J Geophys Res Earth Surf 119:961–982CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Carvajal C, Steel R, Petter A (2009) Sediment supply: the main driver of shelf-margin growth. Earth Sci Rev 96:221–248CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. De Vriend HJ, Wang ZB, Ysebaert T, Herman PMJ, Ding PX (2011) Eco-morphological problems in the Yangtze Estuary and the western Scheldt. Wetlands 31:1033–1042CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Duan DP, Hou JG, Liu YM, Wang CG, Gao J (2014) Quantitative research of fluvial-dominated delta front sedimentary system: a case study of Poyang Lake delta. Acta Sedimentol Sin 32:270–277 (Chinese edition with English abstract) Google Scholar
  6. Edmonds DA, Slingerland RL (2007) Mechanics of river mouth bar formation: implications for the morphodynamics of delta distributary networks. J Geophys Res 112:1–14Google Scholar
  7. Galloway WE (1975) Process framework for describing the morphologic and stratigraphic evolution of deltaic depositional systems. Houston Geological Society, HoustonGoogle Scholar
  8. Gao ZY, Zhou CM, Dong WT, Bai B, Li W (2016) Sedimentary processes, depositional model and sandbody prediction of lacustrine shallow water delta: a case study of Ganjiang river Delta in Poyang Lake. Geoscience 30:341–352 (Chinese edition with English abstract) Google Scholar
  9. Goodbred SL Jr, Kuehl SA, Steckler MS, Sarker MH (2003) Controls on facies distribution and stratigraphic preservation in the Ganger-Brahmaputra delta sequence. Sediment Geol 155:301–316CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Guo P, Chen XL, Liu Y (2006) Analysis on the runoff and sediment transportation in the Houkou, Waizhou and Meigang Stations of Lake Poyang during 1955–2001. J Lake Sci 18:458–463CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Guo JL, Guo SL, Xu GH, Li ZP (2011) Preliminary study on flood combination rules and hazards in the Poyang Lake Basin. J China Hydrol 31:1–5 (Chinese edition with English abstract) Google Scholar
  12. Huang YP, Luo W (2012) Analysis of characteristics and variation tendency of runoff in Ganjiang River. Yangtze River 43:27–31Google Scholar
  13. Huang X, Liu KY, Zou CN, Gui LL, Yuan XJ, Qin YQ (2013) Forward stratigraphic modeling of the depositional process and evolution of shallow water deltas in the Poyang Lake, Southern China. Earth Sci J China Univ Geosci 38:1005–1013 (Chinese edition with English abstract) Google Scholar
  14. Jin ZK, Li Y, Gao BS, Song BQ, He YH, Shi L, Li GZ (2014) Depositional model of modern gentle-slope delta: a case study from Ganjiang Delta in Poyang Lake. Acta Sedimentol Sin 32:710–723 (Chinese edition with English abstract) Google Scholar
  15. Kong DX, Miao CY, Borthwick AGL, Duan QY, Liu H, Sun QH, Ye AZ, Di ZH, Gong W (2015) Evolution of the Yellow River Delta and its relationship with runoff and sediment load from 1983 to 2011. J Hydrol 520:157–167CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Li X, Yao J, Li Y, Zhang Q, Xu CY (2016) A modeling study of the influences of Yangtze River and local catchment on the development of floods in Poyang Lake, China. Hydrol Res 47:102–119CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Li X, Liu JP, Saito Y, Nguyen VL (2017) Recent evolution of the Mekong Delta and the impacts of dams. Earth Sci Rev 175:1–17CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Ling CH (2016) Research of flood and climate change of the Xiuhe River for the last 230 years. Thesis of Jiangxi Normal UniversityGoogle Scholar
  19. Ma YL, Wei QX (2002) The sedimentation mechanism and development model of the Ganjiang delta. Chin J Geol Hazard Control 13:33–38 (Chinese edition with English abstract) Google Scholar
  20. Olariu C, Bhattacharya JP (2006) Terminal distributary channels and delta front architecture of river-dominated delta systems. J Sediment Res 76(2):212–233CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Parry ML, Carter TR (1985) The effect of climatic variations on agricultural risk. Clim Change 7:95–110CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Roberts HH, Walker N, Cunningham R, Kemp GP, Majersky S (1997) Evolution of sedimentary architecture and surface morphology: Atchafalaya and Wax Lake Deltas, Louisiana (1973–1994). Gulf Coast Assoc Geol Soc Trans 47:477–484Google Scholar
  23. Rsch M (1993) Prehistoric land use as recorded in a lake-shore core at Lake Constance. Veg Hist Archaeobot 2(4):213–232Google Scholar
  24. Scholz CA, Rosendahl BR (1990) Coarse-clastic facies and stratigraphic sequence models from Lakes Malawi and Tanganyika. East Africa 50:209–224Google Scholar
  25. Shi Z, Zhang T, Gao H (2008) Water and soil loss characteristics in Poyanghu Lake Basin. J Yangtze River Sci Res Inst 25:38–41Google Scholar
  26. Sun P, Zhang Q, Chen XH, Chen YQ (2010) Spatio-temporal patterns of sediment and runoff changes in the Poyang Lake Basin and underlying causes. Acta Geogr Sin 65:828–840 (Chinese edition with English abstract) Google Scholar
  27. Tendaupenyu P, Magadza CHD, Murwira A (2016) Climate and human land-use as a driver of Lake Narlay (Eastern France, Jura Mountains) evolution over the last 1200 years: implication for methane cycle. J Paleolimnol 55(1):83–96CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Walling DE (2006) Human impact on land-ocean sediment transfer by the world’s rivers. Geomorphology 79:192–216CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Wan ZY, Zhong MS, Wang MW, Ding SL, Huang SE (2003) Dynamic prediction model of Poyang Lake's water level. J Jiangxi Norm Univ 27(3):232–236Google Scholar
  30. Wang ZB, Van Maren DS, Ding PX, Yang SL, Van Prooijen BC, De Vet PLM, Winterwerp JC, De Vriend HJ, Stive MJF, He Q (2015) Human impacts on morphodynamic thresholds in estuarine systems. Cont Shelf Res 111:174–183CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Xiao DT, Wu J, Luo XP (2008) Analysis of changes of water-sand in the Ganjiang in different hydrology years. Sci Tech Econ Mark 3:95–96 (Chinese edition with English abstract) Google Scholar
  32. Xiao Y, Zhang WH, Zhang Y (2014) Spatial and temporal distribution characteristics of runoff and sediment discharge in middle and lower reaches of Ganjiang River in recent 60 years. J China Hydrol 34:86–92Google Scholar
  33. Ye XC, Zhang Q, Liu J, Li XH, Xu CY (2013) Distinguishing the relative impacts of climate change and human activities on variation of streamflow in the Poyang Lake catchment, China. J Hydrol 494:83–95CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Zhang Q, Ye X, Werner AD (2014) An investigation of enhanced recessions in Poyang Lake: comparison of Yangtze River and local catchment impacts. J Hydrol 517:425–434 (Chinese edition with English abstract) CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Zhou YL, Tang HW (2005) Synthetic index of river-bed stability for alluvial rivers. J Yangtze River Sci Res Inst 22:16–20 (Chinese edition with English abstract) Google Scholar
  36. Zou CN, Zhao WZ, Zhang XY (2008) Formation and distribution of shallow-water deltas and central basin sandbodies in large open depression lake basins. Acta Geol Sin 82(6):813–825 (Chinese edition with English abstract) Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Haibo Jia
    • 1
    • 2
  • Hancheng Ji
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Jifeng Yu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xiangchao Meng
    • 4
  1. 1.College of Earth Science and EngineeringShandong University of Science and TechnologyQingdaoChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Petroleum Resources and ProspectiveChina University of Petroleum-BeijingBeijingChina
  3. 3.College of GeosciencesChina University of Petroleum-BeijingBeijingChina
  4. 4.Hangzhou Institute of Petroleum Geology, PetroChinaHangzhouChina

Personalised recommendations