Yangtze River and Three Gorges Dam

external image Map-Yangtze%20River.gifThe Yangtze River is located in the Tanggula Mountains in Qinhai Province, China, with its source in the Plateau of Tibet to its mouth on the East Sea of China.

In the world, the Yangtze river is the third largest river, while being the very largest in china at 3915 miles.

It was named after the ancient domain of a lord named Yang. In China they call the Yangtze river “chang chiang” meaning long river.external image YangtzeRiver.77115606.jpg
Annually, this river deposits 6 billion cubic feet of silt. Why would we need to know that? Well, this silt helps make up the large plain, the Jiangsu Province which is used for rice growing. One of the most profitable places for China's agriculture is made by the fertile plains.
The river is extremely scenic. There is a saying, "If you haven't traveled up the mighty Yangtze, you haven't been anywhere." The river originates In the Tibetan plateau north of the Himalayan Mountains at the elevation of 4900 meters. There glaciers and snow melt into the river continuously. To the south it flows through the 3 Gorges. The river flows 192 kilometers through the Xiling, Wu, and Qutang gorges. The Xiling gorge is the worst. It is very perilous. While being enshrouded in mist it poses a threat to river boats with rapids , water cannons, and whirl pools. On the contrary, the Wu gorge is quiet with twelve peaks and a deep valley. And last, the Qutang gorge is quite extraordinary and is only a mere 8 kilometers long. In addition its shores contain the ancient Plank road, The Seven Gate cave, and the Meng Liang staircase.

http://www.east-buc.k12.ia.us/00_01/bw/km/km.htm is where this info can be found

Cruising the River

The mighty Yangtze, is said to be the cradle of Chinese civilization. The ‘Ten Thousand Li River’ (another name for the Yangtze) flows 6.300 external image moz-screenshot-1.pngexternal image yangtze_cruise.jpgkilometers from the snowy heights of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau to the East China Sea, just north of Shanghai.
An old saying goes “If you haven’t traveled up Chang Jiang, you haven’t been anywhere” because the river winds through some of China’s most spectacular scenery. In the western Wu Shan (Witch Mountains) it meets the world-famous Three Gorges renowned for their dramatic beauty, cultural treasures, religious and historical sites, and most recently for the building of the Three Gorges Dam.
The stunning scenery makes the Three Gorges cruise along the Yangtze a ‘must do’, either alone or as part of a longer trip.The Rising waters means that some sights have been lost but the phenomena has created newly navigable tributaries with amazing new sights and of course, the Dam itself, which is due for completion in 2009. The world’s largest hydroelectric power plant will generate the equivalent of 15 nuclear plants, control the centuries-old problem of devastating floods and allow navigation well into the interior. (25% of China’s ocean cargo enters the river between Shanghai and the sea.)

Chang Jiang has always been a major means of transport and has a colorful and exciting history. Ships were pulled by hand through some of the more dangerous reaches by 'trackers' working from narrow paths cut into the steep cliffsides.The pilots and captains that picked their way through the whirlpools, rocks and wildly fluctuating water levels have achieved legendary status.
These days, however, you can cruise the Yangtze in comfort and take in various sites and shore excursions along the way. The following are the attractions between Chonqing and Yichang listed from west to east: Chongqing , Fengdu, Zhongxian, Shibaozhai, Wanxian,Yunyang, Fengjie, Badong,Zigui,Maoping,Yichang, and also Three Gorges, Lesser Three Gorges, Shennong Stream, And Three Gorges Dam. If you choose to continue to Wuhan, there are will be more attractions to visit includingYueyang and Yellow Crane Tower . By cruising all the way to Shanghai , you will be able to do shore excursion to Nanjing and Yellow Mountain.

Apart from the beautiful Scenery, you will enjoy a lot from the particular local culture like: Burial customs, Festivals, Ghost city, Peddlers, Relics, Remains, and the Trackers.
You can read more on each subject mentioned in the Cruising the River section at Cruising the Yangtze River

The small Baiji is one of five species of freshwater river dolphin. In 2006, the Baiji Yangtze River dolphin became functionally extinct. It was the first human-caused extinction of a dolphin species.twelve percent of the world’s population lives along the Yangtze, and the river churns with diesel-engine boats of all sizes. The noise of motors and machinery thrums and roars beneath the surface. Along the shores and on the river, fishermen drop nets which have aweful hooks, competing to catch more of the lingering supply of fish. Factories and industries dump waste and toxins into the water. Amid this murky cacophony lives the Yangtze River dolphin.
The people along the Yangtze have always known of the dolphin’s existence, but it was only in the twentieth century that the baiji came to the attention of the Western world. An American killed a baiji in Dong Ting Lake in 1914, and shipped it to the Smithsonian Institute. It generated interest, but not much. You can find out more at Yangtze Dolphin
The Baiji is just one of the animals effected by the river. The river also is host for two other endangered species.


Flooding along the river has been a major problem. The rainy season in China is May and June in areas south of Yangtze River, and July and August in areas north of it. The huge river system receives water from both southern and northern flanks, which causes its flood season to extend from May to August. Meanwhile, the relatively dense population and rich cities along the river make the floods more deadly and costly. The most recent major floods were the 1998 Yangtze River floods, but more disastrous were the 1954 Yangtze River floods, killing around 30,000 people. Other severe floods included those of 1911, which killed around 100,000, 1931 (145,000 dead), and 1935 (142,000 dead). Now the river will be flooded permanently with the new installation of the Three Gorges Dam. You can find this information at- WikiPageYangtzeRiver

A significant part of the population is located in the Yangtze basin. The highland region of the river is sparsely populated, but the Yangtze delta posts China's largest population density. The map at the top of this page shows many of the cities along the river. The basin has been inhabited for a long time. One of the longest in China. The river was very important for the economies of successive dynasties because of its potential in agriculture. To transport grain from the basin to the north, a canal was built ( The Grand Canal). It is possible that a part of the canal was being used in 4th century B.C.

The largest concentrations of china's population reside in the plains next to the river's banks as well as its tributaries in the lower and middle basins especially near the cities of Chonqing, Nanjing, Wuhan, and Chengdu. More information can be found at- http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/solareclipse2009/2009-07/21/content_8453530.htm

The three gorgeexternal image yangtze.map.reference.jpgs project (TGP) is one of the world's largest hydropower-complex projects. The project does have it's advantages and disadvantages. One advantage is that the TGP reservoir's flood capacity could help cut the peak of floods by 27,000 to 33,000 m3/s. Another advantage is that the Three Gorges Hydropower plant will produce hydropower. The Three Gorges Hydropower plant holds twenty six turbine generators (that is not including the other six under construction) that can hold 700MW each.
However, the dam does cause some problems to the area. Because of the rising water caused by the building of the reservoir, some of the landscapes will end up under water. To add on, forty four relics are influenced. The Baiheliang sculpture and epigraphs in Fuling is one of them. It is ranked around the first class in the national protection list for relics. Five others are in the "provincial protection list. However, some, like the Baidi city in Fengjie, are unaffected. For more information on this topic please visit:
The dam
The dam
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