Characteristics and causal factors of hysteresis in the hydrodynamics of a large floodplain system: Poyang Lake (China)
Werner, Adrian D
Tan, Z Q
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A previous modeling study of the lake-floodplain system of Poyang Lake (China) revealed complex hysteretic relationships between stage, storage volume and surface area. However, only hypothetical causal factors were presented, and the reasons for the occurrence of both clockwise and counterclockwise hysteretic functions were unclear. The current study aims to address this by exploring further Poyang Lake’s hysteretic behavior, including consideration of stage-flow relationships. Remotely sensed imagery is used to validate the water surface areas produced by hydrodynamic modeling. Stage-area relationships obtained using the two methods are in strong agreement. The new results reveal a three-phase hydrological regime in stage-flow relationships, which assists in developing improved physical interpretation of hysteretic stage-area relationships for the lake-floodplain system. For stage-area relationships, clockwise hysteresis is the result of classic floodplain hysteretic processes (e.g., restricted drainage of the floodplain during recession), whereas counterclockwise hysteresis derives from the river hysteresis effect (i.e., caused by backwater effects). The river hysteresis effect is enhanced by the time lag between the peaks of catchment inflow and Yangtze discharge (i.e., the so-called Yangtze River blocking effect). The time lag also leads to clockwise hysteresis in the relationship between Yangtze River discharge and lake stage. Thus, factors leading to hysteresis in other rivers, lakes and floodplains act in combination within Poyang Lake to create spatial variability in hydrological hysteresis. These effects dominate at different times, in different parts of the lake, and during different phases of the lake’s water level fluctuations, creating the unique hysteretic hydrological behavior of Poyang Lake.