The Huanghe (Yellow River) is well known for its high sediment concentration and low water discharge. The deposition of a large amount of fluvial sediment in the nearshore shallow water zone has resulted in the rapid advance of the Huanghe (Yellow River) delta. Due to reduction of river fluxes resulted from human activities in its upper and middle drainage areas, the evolution of the delta has showed particular characteristics since the artificial migration of the Huanghe (Yellow River) course in 1976. Remote sensing is an effective method to obtain data on changes in subaerial delta. Multi-temporal satellite images can be deployed to study coastline change in the Huanghe (Yellow River) delta. In order to determine changes since the last river course shift in 1976, 23 cloud-free Landsat Multispectral Scanner (MSS) and Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) images, including 1976-1996, 1998 and 2001 were used in this study. All images were registered to a 1∶50000 topographical map with 30 Ground Control Points (GCPs) per image and transformed to Gaussian orthogonal coordinates. During the geometric correction, MSS images were resampled to 60m×60m while TM images were resampled to 30m×30m, using the nearest neighbor method with a root mean square (rms) error less than 0.9 pixel for MSS or 0.5 pixels for TM. Based on coastline interpretation maps of the 10 estuaries and inlets around the Huanghe (Yellow River) delta, coastline changes in the delta during the period 1976-1998 were analyzed according to different coastline types. Results show that accretion only appeared in the Qingshuigou Estuary with a mean annual change rate of 0.98km/a. Coastline erosion was taking place in the Guoquzibei, Chaohe, Diaokou and Zimaigou estuaries at a rate of -0.51km/a, -0.29km/a, -0.26km/a and -0.24km/a respectively, while coastlines in the remaining estuaries and inlets were relatively stable. The progradation rate of coastline near the active river course depended on the amount of incoming sediment from the Huanghe (Yellow River).
Oceanologia Et Limnologia Sinica
Huanghe (Yellow River) delta, Remote sensing, Coastline change, Sedimentation