PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2020, Vol. 39 ›› Issue (10): 1708-1716.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2020.10.010

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Formation age of the modern Huaihe River

LI Zongmeng1,2(), GAO Hongshan3, LIU Fenliang4, WANG Shuai1, WU Ruli1, ZHANG Chenguang1,2   

  1. 1. School of Geographic Sciences, Xinyang Normal University, Xinyang 464000, Henan, China
    2. Henan Key Laboratory for Synergistic Prevention of Water and Soil Environmental Pollution, Xinyang 464000, Henan, China
    3. College of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China
    4. School of Municipal and Surveying Engineering, Hunan City University, Yiyang 413000, Hunan, China
  • Received:2019-10-29 Revised:2020-02-06 Online:2020-10-28 Published:2020-12-28
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(41901007);National Natural Science Foundation of China(41801032);Nanhu Scholars Program for Young Scholars of Xinyang Normal University


Development and evolution of large rivers is a classic subject of geomorphology. As one of the seven large rivers in China, the Huaihe River locates in China's north-south transitional zone. However, there is much controversy about its formation and development. In this study, we explored and discussed the formation of different sections of the Huaihe River based on the analysis of topography and sedimentary stratigraphy. The results show that there were two major adjustments of the river system in the Huaihe River Basin during the Cenozoic period, which occurred at the end of the Paleogene and the end of the Pliocene, respectively. During the Paleogene and Neogene periods, lacustrine sediments were extensively developed in the Huaihe River Basin, with the sedimentary environment dominated by rivers and lakes. However, during the Quaternary period, the sedimentary environment in the basin gradually changed to a river-dominated system. The formation of the modern river-lake system in the Huaihe River Basin occurred in the early- to mid-Pleistocene. Tectonic activities and climate change were the main drivers of the evolution of the Huaihe River system. The Qingzang Movement from the late Pliocene to the early Pleistocene led to the disintegration of the Neogene hydrological system in the Huaihe River Basin. In addition, the cooling climate in the Late Cenozoic may be the cause of decreasing lake developments and increasing river activites.

Key words: formation age, step-like geomorphic surface, sedimentary statra, Huaihe River