The Three Gorges Reservoir (TGR) is one of the largest hydropower reservoirs in the world. However, changes of the important physical characteristics of the reservoir covering pre-, during-, and post- dam have not been well studied. This study analyzed the lengths and water surface areas of the TGR using advanced support vector machine method (SVM) combined Landsat images with the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) digital elevation model (DEM), which showed an increasing trend of lengths and surface areas with variable growth rates from pre-dam period to post-dam period. The highest water level (ca. 171.5 m) was reported in 1st Jan, 2015, with the longest length of 687.8 km and largest water surface area of 1106.2 km2 during the study period. The lowest increasing magnitude of the reservoir length occurred in the first stage (2000–2005) but with the fastest magnitude of water surface area increase. The third stage (2010–2015) showed highest increase magnitude of length and lowest increase magnitude of water surface area. Meanwhile, the increased reservoir areas were mainly from cultivated land, forest land, and building land, with the biggest increase rate of cultivated land regardless of periods. Specifically, cultivated land contributed 39.1–46.0% to increased reservoir water area; the proportions were 22.6–29.6%, 22.1–24.1%, and 5.6–9.4% for forest, building land, and grassland, respectively. The study provides important data for the TGR physical evolution in the Holocene.
Environmental Science and Pollution Research – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 15, 2018
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