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Research article2018Peer reviewed

Influences of the alternation of wet-dry periods on the variability of chromophoric dissolved organic matter in the water level fluctuation zone of the Three Gorges Reservoir area, China

Jiang, Tao; Wang, Dingyong; Wei, Shiqiang; Yan, Jinlong; Liang, Jian; Chen, Xueshuang; Liu, Jiang; Wang, Qilei; Lu, Song; Gao, Jie; Li, Lulu; Guo, Nian; Zhao, Zheng


Dissolved organic matter (DOM) is a crucial driver of various biogeochemical processes in aquatic systems. Thus, many lakes and streams have been investigated in the past several decades. However, fewer studies have sought to understand the changes in DOM characteristics in the waters of the Three Gorges Reservoir (TGR) areas, which arc the largest artificial reservoir areas in the world. Thus, a field investigation of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations and of chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM) properties was conducted from 2013 to 2015 to track the spatial-temporal variability of DOM properties in the TGR areas. The results showed that the alternations of wet and dry periods due to hydrological management have a substantial effect on the quantity and quality of aquatic DOM in TGR areas. Increases in DOC concentrations in the wet period show an apparent "dilution effect" that decreases CDOM compounds with relatively lower aromaticity (i.e., SIJVA(254)) and molecular weight (i.e., S-R). In contrast to the obvious temporal variations of DOM, significant spatial variability was not observed in this study. Additionally, DOM showed more terrigenous characteristics in the dry period but weak terrigenous characteristics in the wet period. Furthermore, the positive correlation between SUVA(254) and CDOM suggests that the aromatic component controls the CDOM dynamics in TGR areas. The first attempt to investigate the DOM dynamics in TGR areas since the Three Gorges Dam was conducted in 2012, and the unique patterns of spatial-temporal variations in DOM that are highlighted in this study might provide a new insight for understanding the role of DOM in the fates of contaminants and may help in the further management of flow loads and water quality in the TGR area. (C) 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Dissolved organic matter; Three Gorges reservoir; Water level fluctuation zone; Chromophoric dissolved organic matter; Welt-dry alternation; UV-VIS absorption

Published in

Science of the Total Environment
2018, Volume: 636, pages: 249-259

    Sustainable Development Goals

    Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources

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