The riparian zone of the Three Gorges Reservoir serves as a critical transitional zone located between the aquatic and surrounding terrestrial environments. The periodic anti-seasonal alternation of wet and dry periods results in an intensive exchange of substance within the riparian zone. The discrimination of the sources of the sediments deposited within the riparian zone is of fundamental importance for the evaluation of the soil pollution and associated environmental impacts and for the protection of the water quality in the reservoir. In this study, a composite fingerprinting technique has been applied to apportion the sediment sources for the riparian zone with different elevations, ranging between 145—155, 155–165, and 165–175 m in a typical tributary channel. From a sediment perspective, the sediments suspended from the Yangtze mainstream represent the primary sources of the riparian deposits. From a contamination perspective, the sediment input from the Ruxi tributary channel represents an important source of pollution for the riparian environment. More effective sediment and sediment-associated contaminant control plans are needed to reduce the potential environmental problems of the riparian zone.
Part of the book: Sedimentary Processes