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Gensheng Zhao, Jinyou Lu and Paul J Visser
The fluvial river is a kind of open system that can interact with its outside environments and give response to disturbance from outside on the earth. It can adjust itself to the disturbances outside the system and reflects new characteristics in the process of reaching a new equilibrium. The TGD (Three Gorges Dam) constructed at the Yangtze River Upstream was set up to operate in 2003. And it has changed the boundary conditions of the downstream reaches and has broken the long term equilibrium of the Yangtze River system. The reaches alter the river regime to response the disturbance from the TGD. In this paper, the case study Shashi Reach is selected to analyze the variations of the river regime in a river system. The discharge is becoming smoother without large peak or lower discharge for the regulation of the reservoir. The sediment diameter becomes coarser downstream of the TGD and the sediment transport rate decreases as the sediment concentration becomes lower, in spite of the sediment erosion along the reach downstream. The thalweg moves in plane dramatically to adjust itself to reach a new equilibrium. And the topography changes a lot since there are different sediment and flow conditions. The disturbed river system is in the process of reaching a new equilibrium.