Jiang, Cong ORCID: 0000-0002-2405-6645 (2023). A Model for Continental-Scale Water Erosion and Sediment Transport and Its Application to the Yellow River Basin. PhD thesis, Universität zu Köln.

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Quantifying suspended sediment discharge at large catchment scales has significant implications for various research fields such as water quality, global carbon and nutrient cycle, agriculture sustainability, and landscape evolution. There is growing evidence that climate warming is accelerating the water cycle, leading to changes in precipitation and runoff and increasing the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, which could lead to intensive erosion and sediment discharge. However, suspended sediment discharge is still rarely represented in regional climate models because it depends not only on the sediment transport capacity based on streamflow characteristics but also on the sediment availability in the upstream basin. This thesis introduces a continental-scale Atmospheric and Hydrological-Sediment Modelling System (AHMS-SED), which overcomes the limitations of previous large-scale water erosion models. Specifically, AHMS-SED includes a complete representation of key hydrological, erosion and sediment transport processes such as runoff and sediment generation, flow and sediment routing, sediment deposition, gully erosion and river irrigation. In this thesis, we focus on developing and applying AHMS-SED in the Yellow River Basin of China, an arid and semi-arid region known for its wide distribution of loess and the highest soil erosion rate in the world. There are three key issues involving the model development and application: human perturbation (irrigation) of the water cycle, the uncertainty of precipitation forcing on the water discharge and the large-scale water erosion and sediment transport. This thesis addresses all these three issues in the following way. First, a new irrigation module is integrated into the Atmospheric and Hydrological Modelling System (AHMS). The model is calibrated and validated using in-situ and remote sensing observations. By incorporating the irrigation module into the simulation, a more realistic hydrological response was obtained near the outlet of the Yellow River Basin. Second, an evaluation of six precipitation-reanalysis products is performed based on observed precipitation and model-simulated river discharge by the AHMS for the Yellow River Basin. The hydrological model is driven with each of the precipitation-reanalysis products in two ways, one with the rainfall-runoff parameters recalibrated and the other without. Our analysis contributes to better quantifying the reliability of hydrological simulations and the improvement of future precipitation-reanalysis products. Third, a regional-scale water erosion and sediment transport model, referred to as AHMS-SED, is developed and applied to predicting continental-scale fluvial transport in the Yellow River Basin. This model couples the AHMS with the CASCade 2-Dimensional SEDiment (CASC2D-SED) and takes into account gully erosion, a process that strongly affects the sediment supply in the Chinese Loess Plateau. The AHMS-SED is then applied to simulate water erosion and sediment processes in the Yellow River Basin for a period of eight years, from 1979 to 1987. Overall, the results demonstrate the good performance of the AHMS-SED and the upland sediment discharge equation based on rainfall erosivity and gully area index. AHMS-SED is also used to predict the evolution of sediment transport in the Yellow River Basin under specific climate change scenarios. The model results indicate that changes in precipitation will have a significant impact on sediment discharge, while increased irrigation will reduce the sediment discharge from the Yellow River.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD thesis)
CreatorsEmailORCIDORCID Put Code
Jiang, Congcongjiang1990@gmail.comorcid.org/0000-0002-2405-6645UNSPECIFIED
URN: urn:nbn:de:hbz:38-711222
Date: 2023
Language: English
Faculty: Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences
Divisions: Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences > Department of Geosciences > Institute for Geophysics and Meteorology
Subjects: Natural sciences and mathematics
Earth sciences
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Water Erosion and Sediment Transport ModelEnglish
Atmospheric and Hydrological-Sediment Modelling SystemEnglish
Irrigation ModelEnglish
Yellow River BasinEnglish
Chinese Loess PlateauEnglish
Arid and semi-arid regionEnglish
Date of oral exam: 22 May 2023
NameAcademic Title
Shao, YapingProf. Dr.
Schneider, KarlProf. Dr.
Parteli, Eric J. R.Dr.
Refereed: Yes
URI: http://kups.ub.uni-koeln.de/id/eprint/71122


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