Article

Characteristics and runoff volume of the Yangtze River paleo-valley at Nanjing reach in the Last Glacial Maximum

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Abstract

The stratigraphical cross-sections of the Yangtze River incised-valley near the No.1, No.3 and No.4 Nanjing Yangtze River bridges were established with respective bore date and documents. By 14C age analysis of the samples of four drilling cores near the No.4 Bridge (to be built), we can find that the time range of paleo-valley is dated in the LGM at a depth of −60 m to −90 m near Nanjing. It is also indicated that the deep incised-valley channel was narrow and the river flowed swiftly. The ancient Yangtze River deep channel presented partially and deeply incised features near the No.1 Bridge. According to previous publications, much research has been done on the main paleo-channel of the Yangtze River, but few results have been achieved on discharge estimation. In this paper, the incipient velocity and average velocity of the LGM was calculated with \( V_c = 4.60d^{{1 \mathord{\left/ {\vphantom {1 3}} \right. \kern-\nulldelimiterspace} 3}} h^{{1 \mathord{\left/ {\vphantom {1 6}} \right. \kern-\nulldelimiterspace} 6}} ,V_c = 1.281g\left( {13.15.\frac{h} {{d_{95} }}} \right)\sqrt {gd} ,V \approx 6.5u_* \left| {\frac{h} {{d_{90} }}} \right|^{\tfrac{1} {6}} \), etc., in terms of the river shape, sedimentary grain size and sequences near the No.3 and No.1 bridges. Moreover, the discharge in Nanjing reach of the Yangtze River during the LGM has been estimated to be around 12,000–16,000 m3/s according to the relationship of discharge, velocity of flow and cross-section.

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... Geological exploration revealed four layers of imbedded terraces near the No.1 Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge (Yang et al. 1995). The Yangtze River's incised valley in the LGM is believed to have been buried under meters of unconsolidated deposit and embedded in the bedrock at the upper reach of the Zhenjiang (Yang et al. 1995;Guangjie et al. 2010;Jin-qi 1991). At the lower reach of the Zhenjiang, the incised valley broadened with distributary channels and the width of the estuary reached 60 km (Huairen et al. 1983;Chen and Chen 1997;Li et al. 2002). ...
... The drill cores show that the depth of the bottom of the valley is about -94 m near the Nanjing No. 4 Bridge, -77 m near the Runyang Bridge, -62 m near the Yangzhong Bridge, -78 m near the Jiangyin Bridge, and -80 to -84 m near the Sutong Bridge. The research results(Guangjie et al. 2010) show that the deep incised valley at cross section A inFig. 1was cut down to bedrock at about -94 m near the Nanjing No. 1 Bridge, and the deep incised valley at cross section b inFig. ...
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The Yangtze River is the largest river in the Asian monsoon region, research on the Yangtze River’s paleochannel in the last glacial maximum (LGM) will provide an important basis for an in-depth understanding of the hydrological characteristics and processes of large rivers in the Asian monsoon area during the last glacial period. The Nanjing–Haimen reach of the Yangtze River in Jiangsu Province was selected as the research subject. Five cross sections of incised valley depositional sequences were established on a section of the Yangtze River in the Nanjing–Haimen reach, with 173 bore data and eight documents from the references. The cross sections came from the following Yangtze River Bridges: Nanjing No. 4, Runyang, Yangzhong, Jiangyin, and Sutong. In the analysis of seven drilling core samples near the Nanjing No. 4 and the Yangzhong Bridges, carbon-14(14C) dating was used for eight age results and electron spin resonance for one age result. The results indicate that in the LGM the incised valley was cut down into bedrock at the upper reach of the Zhenjiang, and the paleochannel of the Yangtze River flowed through old riverbed sedimentary facies at the lower reach of the Zhenjiang. The Nanjing reach during the LGM had a deep incised valley at a depth of −63 to −94 m. The deep incised valley was relatively narrow and steep with a smaller width–depth ratio (B 1/2/H). At the Zhenjiang reach, the ratio of width to depth increased. At the lower reach of the Yangzhong, the incised valley became wider and a bifurcated incised valley system of the Yangtze River was formed. From the Nanjing reach to Haimen near eastern China region, the sediment of the ancient riverbed of the Yangtze River is mainly coarse sand and gravel that gradually tapers from upstream to downstream. Sediment of the incised valley displays a clear pattern, from pebble gravel and coarse sand to fine sand, from bottom to top.
... Permafrost would not stretch out to the whole densely populated North China Plains, but the cold and dry climate there would nonetheless prevent rice cultivation. The discharge of the Yangtze River at Nanjing would be less than half its present-day value (Cao et al., 2010), questioning current hydroelectricity production. In short, current livelihoods in these regions would no longer be sustainable and the population would probably be much lower than today. ...
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