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The TGD (30°49′N, 111°00′E) in the Yangtze River is located in Sandouping Town, Yichang City, Hubei Province of China. It is about 45 km upstream of Yichang hydrological station, a boundary between the upper and middle streams of the Yangtze River (Figure 1). The dam construction lasted 17 years from the preparatory work in 1993 to its completion in 2009 (http://www.ctgpc.com.cn/en/). The water was filled to 135 m above mean sea level in June 2003. The water level of the reservoir fluctuated from 135 m to 139 m and had a relative small alteration of downstream flow regimes. In 2006, the main concrete dam of 185 m high was completed and the reservoir level was then elevated to 156 m for initial pilot operation. From 2008, the pilot impoundment of 170 m was launched. The targeted level of 175 m was reached for the first time on 26 October, 2010. This marked the start of the TGD's operation at full capacity. The impoundment milestones of the TGD are listed in Table 1.

Table 1

Start date of impoundment, duration days, and the initial and finally reached water levels of the Three Gorges Dam (TGD) reservoir

Start date of impoundmentDuration days of impoundmentInitial reservoir water level before impoundment (m)Finally reached reservoir water level (m)
25 May, 2003 15 80.3 135.0 
20 September, 2006 37 135.5 156.0 
28 September, 2008 27 145.0 172.8 
15 September, 2009 70 145.9 171.4 
10 September, 2010 46 160.2 175.0 
10 September, 2011 50 152.0 175.0 
Start date of impoundmentDuration days of impoundmentInitial reservoir water level before impoundment (m)Finally reached reservoir water level (m)
25 May, 2003 15 80.3 135.0 
20 September, 2006 37 135.5 156.0 
28 September, 2008 27 145.0 172.8 
15 September, 2009 70 145.9 171.4 
10 September, 2010 46 160.2 175.0 
10 September, 2011 50 152.0 175.0 

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