Changes in stage–flow relation of the East River, the Pearl River basin: causes and implications

Qiang Zhang*, Kun Li, Vijay P. Singh, Xiaohong Chen, Jianfeng Li

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Water level and streamflow extracted from 891 hydrological episodes from both dry and flood seasons covering a period of 1954–2009 were analyzed to investigate stage–flow relations. Results indicate the following. (1) Since the early 1990s the low/high flow is increasing/decreasing. The water level, particularly the high level, is consistently decreasing. An abrupt decrease of water level is observed since the early 1990s at the lower East River. (2) Stage–streamflow relation is usually stable in the river reach with no significant bedform morphological changes. Changes in the geometric shape of the river channel are the major cause of the change in the stage–streamflow relation. (3) An abrupt decrease of water level at the Boluo station is mainly the result of abnormally rapid downcutting of the riverbed due to extensive sand dredging within the channel which caused serious headwater erosion. This human-induced modification by downcutting of the river channel may lead to significant hydrological alterations and may have critical implications for flood control, conservation of eco-environment, and also for basin-wide water resources management in the lower East River basin.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)737-746
Number of pages10
JournalHydrology Research
Issue number4
Early online date22 Nov 2012
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013

User-Defined Keywords

  • bedform morphology
  • fluvial processes
  • hydrological alteration
  • stage–streamflow relation
  • East River


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