River Morphodynamics and Stream Ecology of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

River Morphodynamics and Stream Ecology of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

1st Edition

By Zhaoyin Wang, Zhiwei Li, Mengzhen Xu, Guoan Yu

CRC Press

284 pages

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This book focuses on the river morphodynamics and stream ecology of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. The objective of the book is to summarize and synthesize the recent studies based on field surveys undertaken in the period 2007-2014. This book was written to serve as a graduate-level text for a course in river dynamics and stream ecology and as a reference text for engineers and researchers engaged in hydropower engineering, fluvial geomorphology and aquatic ecology. The first two chapters serve as an introduction of geomorphological characteristics as well as uplift and its impact on river morphology of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Chapters 3-5 cover meandering rivers and cutoff, wetlands and wetland shrinkage,desertification and restoration strategies in the Sanjiangyuan region. Chapter 6 discusses the interaction between erosion and vegetation, and Chapter 7 characterizes the aquatic ecology of the Yarlung Tsangpo and the Sanjiangyuan region.

Table of Contents


1 Geomorphology of the Qinghai – Tibet Plateau

1.1 Uplift of the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau

1.1.1 Geomorphological characteristics

1.1.2 Geological background

1.1.3 Uplift process and mechanism

1.2 Impacts of the uplift of the plateau on stream networks

1.2.1 Stream ordering system and Horton’s Laws

1.2.2 River networks on the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau

1.2.3 Influence of plateau uplift on topologic structure of the river networks

1.3 Impacts of tectonic motion on river morphology

1.3.1 Development of the Yarlung Tsangpo River

1.3.2 Massive sediment storage in the Yarlung Tsangpo

1.4 Morphological characteristics of rivers in the Tongde basin

1.4.1 Development of the Baqu River elongating stream network

1.4.2 Characteristics of the Daheba River 35

2 Fluvial processes of incised rivers in Tibet

2.1 Landslides and debris flows

2.1.1 Spatial distribution of landslides and debris flows

2.1.2 Effects of the Yigong landslides on fluvial processes

2.1.3 Debris flow dams

2.2 Glacial processes

2.2.1 Glaciers in the Palong Tsangpo basin

2.2.2 Effects of glaciers on fluvial morphology

2.2.3 Impacts of glaciers on the Palong Tsangpo

2.3 Streambed structures controlling riverbed incision

2.3.1 Streambed structures

2.3.2 Equivalency principle of bed structure and bedload motion

3 Meandering rivers in Sanjiangyuan

3.1 Meandering rivers

3.1.1 Meandering tributaries of the Yellow River

3.1.2 Sinuosity of the Bai and Hei Rivers

3.1.3 Oxbow lakes

3.2 Development process of meanders

3.2.1 Meandering river in alpine meadow

3.2.2 Physical characters of slump blocks

3.2.3 Bank failure in the meandering process

3.2.4 Transverse migration rate of meanders

3.3 Cutoff of meanders

3.3.1 Types of cutoff

3.3.2 Neck cutoff

3.3.3 Mechanism of cutoff

3.4 Evolution of oxbow lakes

3.4.1 Formation of oxbow lakes

3.4.2 Long-term evolution of oxbow lakes

4 Wetlands and wetland shrinkage

4.1 Wetlands in Yellow River source

4.2 Shrinkage of the Ruoergai Swamp

4.2.1 The Ruoergai Basin

4.2.2 Shrinkage of the Ruoergai Swamp

4.2.3 Shrinkage mechanisms of the Ruoergai Swamp

4.3 Crescent lakes in the Maduo desert

4.3.1 Crescent lakes

4.3.2 Formation mechanisms of crescent lakes

4.3.3 Ecological effect of crescent lakes

4.4 Wetland protection and restoration

5 Desertification and restoration strategies

5.1 Desertification in Sanjiangyuan

5.1.1 Sanjiangyuan and desertification

5.1.2 Characteristics of aeolian sand

5.2 Vegetation development on sand dunes

5.2.1 Interaction of fixed sand dunes and vegetation

5.2.2 Vegetation succession in desertification areas

5.3 Vegetation-aeolian erosion dynamics

5.3.1 Interaction of aeolian sand dune and vegetation development

5.3.2 Vegetation-aeolian erosion model

5.3.3 Application of the model to the Mugetan desert

6 Erosion and vegetation

6.1 Erosion in the Yarlung Tsangpo basin

6.1.1 Various types of erosion

6.1.2 Glacier erosion

6.2 Vegetation in the Yarlung Tsangpo basin

6.2.1 Various types of vegetation

6.2.2 Effects of elevation and erosion on vegetation

6.3 Grain erosion and control strategies

6.3.1 Grain erosion

6.3.2 Mechanisms of grain erosion

6.3.3 Control strategies

7 Aquatic ecology

7.1 Aquatic ecology in the Yarlung Tsangpo basin

7.1.1 Investigation of benthic macroinvertebrates

7.1.2 Environmental parameters

7.1.3 Composition of macroinvertebrate assemblages

7.1.4 Effect of elevation gradients on biodiversity of macroinvertebrates

7.1.5 Effect of environmental parameters on macroinvertebrate

7.2 Aquatic ecology in Sangjiangyuan

7.2.1 Ecological conditions in Sanjiangyuan

7.2.2 Field investigations of macroinvertebrates

7.2.3 Taxa and biodiversity

7.2.4 Densities, biomass and functional structure of macroinvertebrates

7.2.5 Effect of human disturbances

7.3 Aquatic ecology of abandoned channels

7.3.1 Typical types of abandoned channels

7.3.2 Taxa composition and biodiversity

7.3.3 Management of abandoned channels

Subject index

About the Authors

Zhaoyin Wang is professor at Tsinghua University and chairman of the Advisory Council of the International Research and Training Center on Erosion and Sedimentation (UNESCO). He is vice president of the International Association of Hydraulic Engineering Research (IAHR) and chairman of the division of Hydro-environment of IAHR, chief editor of the International Journal of Sediment Research; and vice president of the World Association for Sedimentation and Erosion Research (WASER).

His research interests include sediment transportation, river ecology and integrated river management. He has published more than 300 papers in international and Chinese journals. His scientific achievements include the theory of hyperconcentrated flows, debris flows and control strategies, development of vegetation-erosion dynamics, research in eco-sedimentation, theory and methods of integrated river management. In recognition of Zhaoyin Wang’s scientific contributions, the Chinese government has awarded him several prizes. The American Society of Civil Engineers awarded him the 2011 Hans Albert Einstein Award.

Zhiwei Li is a post-doctoral research fellow of Tsinghua University.

His research interests include fluvial processes, meandering river and wetland. He has published more than 30 papers in international and Chinese journals as the first author. His current efforts focus on fluvial processes of the Yangtze River Source and Yellow River Source and wetland degradation mechanisms of the Ruoergai basin on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.

Mengzhen Xu is doctor and assistant professor of Tsinghua University.

Her research interest include eco-hydraulics and eco-sedimentation, restoration of river ecosystems, and the impact of hydraulic engineering on aquatic ecosystems. She has published and co-authored more than 40 papers in international and Chinese journals.

Doctor Guoan Yu is Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow and assistant professor of Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS.

His research interest include fluvial processes, bedload transport and geomorphology.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Earth Sciences / General
SCIENCE / Environmental Science