The Yangtze River


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Yangtze river
Yangtze river
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Facts_

  • Length

6303km

  • Sources

Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, China

  • Begins

East China Sea

  • Countries it flows through

China

  • Major cities it flows through

Shanghai, Congqing, Wuhan, Nanjing

  • Where the name comes from

Chinese Chang-jiang, meaning "Long River"


View The Yangtze River in a larger map

About the Yangtze

The Yangtze river is the third longest river in the world. The river is 6303km long which is about the same distance as Sydney to Perth and half way back again! The beginning of the yangtze river is near Shanghai and finishes in the Kunlun Mountains.
The Yangtze river flows through nine provinces of China.
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The river was used for transportation in 2000 years. Settlements started on the banks and near the Yangtze River very early in the history of human civilisation. Large ships can still sail 1000 kilometers inland steamers can go even farther, as far as 1600 kilometers from the sea. The river is also used for sight seeing tours and for private travel.

The Yangtze river makes huge amounts of silt on shore in Jiangsu province, where rice growns. This large river is home to a large part of the world's rice production.

The Yangtze river also goes through three gorges, the qutang, xiling and wu. The river is also known because of a dam which cuts off a part of it for fresh water and probably alot more.


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The Yangtze River Dolphin
The Yangtze River Dolphin

This is the Yangtze River dolphin. The dolphin is now extinct because of the humans that have been destroying its lives and future. Humans are doing this also by fishing in the river. The dolphins only live by eatng the fish, and since more fish are getting caught they don't have enough food. Press play on the Youtube clip to learn more about this amazing creature that is now, since 2006, functionally extinct.

Waters of the Yangtze


Waters of the Yangtze are often used for rice and wheat irrigation. It also has enormous and inexhaustible hydroelectric resources. In 1995 construction began on the Three Gorges Dam near Yichang and is scheduled for completion in 2009. The dam will measure about 183m and about 2.4km wide which is Bondi Beach plus Bondi Beach and half of the beach again in width! Huge! The dam is expected to help control the flooding of the Yangtze River Valley. The Three Gorges (the Qutang Gorge, the Wuxia Gorge, and Xiling Gorge) will also be the largest electricity generating facility in the world. The hydroelectric generators will provide 1/9th of China's total power.
The Yangtse River flowing out into the ocean in Shanghi
The Yangtse River flowing out into the ocean in Shanghi


There is a lot of controversy surrounding the construction of the dams. There are 140 villages, 1,600 factories and over 80,000 acres of growable land that will be destroyed which is not a good thing at all. It may also cause animals to become extinct which again is devestating. The area is very prone to earthquakes because it lies directly on a fault line. Actually, the plateau and gorges were created by collision of the Indian-Australian plate, drifting northward, with the Eurasian plate that began over 40 million years ago and continues today.

Issues

In 2000 there was a report that the Yangtze river had 23.4 billion tons of sewage and industrial waste dumped into the Yangtze.Currently, certain stretches of the river are unfit for human use, and many fear that the reservoir created by the Three Gorges Dam will become a massive cesspool. The Yangtze River is becoming increasingly polluted, according to an official Chinese government report. The findings raise fresh concerns about the potential health risks of the controversial Three Gorges Dam, which is set to start holding back water in 2003.The Chinese government announced in December 2001 that it would spend $5 billion by 2010 on projects to clean up the Three Gorges. The State EPA said the money would be spent on building 260 sewage treatment plants and 230 waste treatment facilities.
The Three Gorges are huge dams completely blocking the yangtze river, turning part of the river into a lake.

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