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Impact of Artificial Reservoir Water Impoundment on Global Sea Level

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Science  11 Apr 2008:
Vol. 320, Issue 5873, pp. 212-214
DOI: 10.1126/science.1154580

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  1. Fig. 1.

    Cumulative water impoundment [V(t), red solid curve] as a function of calendar year, based on the nominal water impoundment (dashed blue curve) according to our compiled tally of 29,484 reservoirs' capacity (17) but also including realistic modifications to account for phenomena such as subsurface seepage. The lower thin lines are the breakdowns for individual continents, showing continental contrasts. The inset shows the number of reservoirs completed per year.

  2. Fig. 2.

    Histogram of the number of tallied reservoirs (in logarithm) versus the reservoir magnitude M =log(C), where C is the reservoir capacity in units of m3 of volume. Over the main body of the histogram for M = 6.5 to 10.5, the (log-log) relation conforms to a straight line with slope –0.52.

  3. Fig. 3.

    History of annual GSL drop due to water impoundment in artificial reservoirs.

  4. Fig. 4.

    The blue curve with error bar is the observed GSL history [(1, 25); zero level is arbitrary], with a purple segment from altimetry data (23) spliced on for the past few years after adjusting a vertical offset. The red line is the GSL corrected for the impact of artificial reservoirs, reconstructed by adding back the reservoir impoundment contribution (in Fig. 1) to the blue curve. It exhibits an essentially constant slope of +2.46 mm/year for the past 80 years.

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