Articles | Volume 19, issue 11
Research article
02 Nov 2015
Research article |  | 02 Nov 2015

Impact of the Three Gorges Dam, the South–North Water Transfer Project and water abstractions on the duration and intensity of salt intrusions in the Yangtze River estuary

M. Webber, M. T. Li, J. Chen, B. Finlayson, D. Chen, Z. Y. Chen, M. Wang, and J. Barnett

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Cited articles

An, Q., Wu, Y. Q., Taylor, S., and Zhao, B.: Influence of the Three Gorges Project on saltwater intrusion in the Yangtze River estuary, Environ. Geol., 56, 1679–1686, 2009.
Cai, F., Su, X. Z., Liu, J. H., Li, B., and Lei, G.: Coastal erosion in China under the condition of global climate change and measures for its prevention, Prog. Nat. Sci., 19, 415–426, 2009.
Chen, D., Webber, M., Finlayson, B., Barnett, J., Chen, Z. Y., and Wang, M.: Impact of water transfers from the lower Yangtze River on water security in Shanghai, Appl. Geogr., 45, 303–310, 2013.
Chen, X., Zong, Y., Zhang, E., Xu, J., and Li, S.: Human impacts on the Changjiang (Yangtze) River basin, China, with special reference to the impacts on the dry season water discharges into the sea, Geomorphology, 41, 111–123, 2001.
CNTV: Record intrusion of seawater affects 2 million residents of Shanghai, available at: (last access: 28 October 2015), 2014.
Short summary
This paper demonstrates a method for calculating the probability of long-duration salt intrusions in the Yangtze Estuary and examines the impact of the Three Gorges Dam, the South-North Water Transfer Project and local abstractions on that probability. The relationship between river discharge and the intensity and duration of saline intrusions is shown to be probabilistic and continuous. That probability has more than doubled under the normal operating rules for those projects.