PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2009, Vol. 28 ›› Issue (4): 558-566.doi: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2009.04.011

• Original Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Research Progress in River Transport of Sediments and Associated Particulate Nutrients

LI Xinyan1,2, WANG Fang1,YANG Libiao1,YAN Weijin1   

  1. 1.Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China;
    2. Graduate School of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Online:2009-07-25 Published:2009-07-25


Sediment (also called total suspended solid) river loads and associated particulate nutrients (POC, PN and PP, etc.) greatly influence the ecology and biogeochemistry of estuary and coastal marine environment, leading to water eutrophication. River transport of particulate nutrients is important from regional and global biogeochemical perspective, as POC, PN and PP constitute major portions of C, N and P transported from land to sea. In this paper, the authors summarize progress in river transport of sediments and particulate nutrients in both global and regional scales. In methodology, the study on estimates of particulate nutrients is based on the river sediment load. During the 1950s-1990s, most researches were focused on the impacts of natural processes on the transport of sediments in rivers, and the global river sediment load to the sea was estimated to vary between 8.8 and 64 Pg yr-1. But at present, more attention is paid to the impacts of human activities, and the estimates of global river sediment load to the sea ranged from 11 to 27 Pg yr-1. For the models of river sediment and particulate nutrients reported, most of them were built on global scale. The global river export of POC, PN and PP varied between 170-210 Tg yr-1, 21-30 Tg yr-1 and 9-20 Tg yr-1, respectively. Further calibration and test would be required for these global models to be applied in a specific basin.

Key words: export, human activity, particulate nutrients, river, sediments