ProjectYANGTZE GEO II – WTZ China YANGTZE GEO II - Landnutzungswandel, Bodenerosion, Massenbewegungen und Stoffeinträge…

Basic data

WTZ China YANGTZE GEO II - Landnutzungswandel, Bodenerosion, Massenbewegungen und Stoffeinträge am Yangtze im Bereich der Drei Schluchten
01/06/2012 to 31/05/2015
Abstract / short description:
The Three Gorges Dam (TGD) is among the most prominent human-induced examples for large-scale environmental impacts. Due to the flooding alongside the Yangtze River and its main tributaries, the region is largely characterized by an enormous boost of typical geo-risks such as soil erosion, mass movements, and diffuse matter inputs. Within the immediate reservoir area, the uphill-movement of farmers to the steep sloping uphill sites can result in a high conflict potential between the available and suitable land. Combined with a very steep topography, subtropical monsoon climate, and fragile soils, the population pressure and rapid ecosystem changes till foster the ecological and geological consequences and environmental risks of the TGD.
The subproject ‘Soil Erosion’, situated at the University of Tübingen, aims at a deeper understanding of the mechanisms and control factors of soil erosion by water in highly dynamic mountainous ecosystems. The study site is a small catchment (4.2 km²) close to Badong at the Yangtze River in the western Hubei province. The catchment is characterized by a mountainous relief and a steep sloping complex topography. Land-use is mainly characterized by farming on typically on more or less terraced farmland with contour cultivation. A specific modeling approach by means of monitoring, field investigations, the application of sampling designs, digital soil mapping (DSM), and digital terrain analysis will be developed in order to predict soil loss on the steep sloping land and the subsequent sediment pathways under changing land use and climate. In a second step the soil erosion risk potential will be analyzed for the reservoir area of the TGD towards Chongqing (30,000 km²). Worldwide in mountainous regions, terracing serves as key technology for suitable land management. Terrace maintenance and conditions control their functioning with respect to soil loss and food production. Therefore, new methods to incorporate terracing in soil erosion modeling serve as important tool for environmental and resource planning aiming at suitable land management.
Soil erosion modeling
Erosion risk assessment
Yangtze River
soil erosion

Involved staff


Faculty of Science
University of Tübingen
Department of Geoscience
Faculty of Science
Geography Research Area
Department of Geoscience, Faculty of Science

Other staff

Schmidt, Karsten
Geography Research Area
Department of Geoscience, Faculty of Science
CRC 1070 - ResourceCultures. Socio-cultural Dynamics in the Treatment of Resources
Collaborative research centers and transregios
Digital Humanities Center
Branch offices and other central facilities

Local organizational units

Geography Research Area
Department of Geoscience
Faculty of Science


Bonn, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany

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