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The Qiantang River or alternatively Tsientang River is a
river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases, a river flows into the ground and becomes dry at the end of its course without reaching another body of wate ...
in
East China East China () is a geographical and a loosely defined cultural region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics (physical geography), human impact characteristics (human geography), and the interacti ...

East China
. An important commercial artery, it runs for through
Zhejiang Zhejiang (, ; , Chinese postal romanization, also romanized as Chekiang) is an East China, eastern, coastal Provinces of China, province of the China, People's Republic of China. Its capital and largest city is Hangzhou. Zhejiang is bordered ...

Zhejiang
, passing through the provincial capital
Hangzhou Hangzhou (, , Standard Mandarin Standard Chinese (), in linguistics known as Standard Northern Mandarin, Standard Beijing Mandarin or simply Mandarin, is a dialect of Mandarin that emerged as the lingua franca A lingua franca (; ...

Hangzhou
before flowing into the
East China Sea The East China Sea is an arm of the Western Pacific Ocean The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% o ...

East China Sea
via
Hangzhou Bay Hangzhou Bay, or the Bay of Hangzhou (), is a funnel-shaped inlet of the East China Sea The East China Sea is an arm of the Western Pacific Ocean, located directly offshore from East China (hence the name), covering an area of roughly . ...
south of
Shanghai Shanghai (, , Standard Chinese, Standard Mandarin pronunciation: ) is one of the four Direct-administered municipalities of China, direct-administered municipalities of the China, People's Republic of China. The city is located on the sou ...

Shanghai
. Its original name, the "Zhe River" or "Zhe Jiang", is the origin of the name of Zhejiang province. The river is also known, along with Hangzhou Bay, for having the world's largest
tidal bore Tidal is the adjectival form of tide Tides are the rise and fall of sea level Mean sea level (MSL) (often shortened to sea level) is an average In colloquial, ordinary language, an average is a single number taken as representative of ...

tidal bore
, a phenomenon where leading edge of the incoming tide forms a wave (or waves) of water that travels up a river or narrow bay against the direction of the river or bay's current.


Etymology

Its upper stretch near the
Anhui Anhui (; Postal romanization, formerly romanized as Anhwei) is a landlocked Provinces of China, province of the China, People's Republic of China, part of the East China region. Its provincial capital and largest city is Hefei. The province is l ...

Anhui
Jiangxi Jiangxi (; ; alternately romanized as Kiangsi or Chianghsi, Gan Chinese Gan, Gann or Kan is a group of Sinitic languages The Sinitic languages, often synonymous with "Chinese languages", constitute the major branch of the Sino-Tibe ...

Jiangxi
border is also known as the Xin'an River (, "Newly Peaceful"); its middle stretch through the mountains of
Zhejiang Zhejiang (, ; , Chinese postal romanization, also romanized as Chekiang) is an East China, eastern, coastal Provinces of China, province of the China, People's Republic of China. Its capital and largest city is Hangzhou. Zhejiang is bordered ...

Zhejiang
is also known as the Fuchun River (, "Abundant
Spring Spring(s) may refer to: Common uses * Spring (season), a season of the year * Spring (device), a mechanical device that stores energy * Spring (hydrology), a natural source of water * Spring (mathematics), a geometric surface in the shape of a heli ...
River"); and the former name of its lower stretchthe Zhe () or Crooked Rivergave
Zhejiang Province Zhejiang (, ; , Chinese postal romanization, also romanized as Chekiang) is an East China, eastern, coastal Provinces of China, province of the China, People's Republic of China. Its capital and largest city is Hangzhou. Zhejiang is bordered ...
its name. Historically, it was first documented in the ''
Classic of Mountains and Seas The ''Classic of Mountains and Seas'' (), also known as ''Shan Hai Jing'', formerly romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of c ...
'' () as Zhejiang River (), later in ''Zhuangzi'' ()as Zhe River (), and in the ''
Water Classic The ''Commentary on the Water Classic'' (), or ''Commentaries on the Water Classic'', commonly known as ''Shui Jing Zhu'', is a work on the Chinese geography in ancient times, describing the traditional understanding of its rivers of China, waterw ...
'' () as Jianjiang River (). All those names probably originate from the
Old Yue language The Old Yue language ( zh, c=古越語, p=''Gu Yueyu'') is an unknown unclassified language (or many different languages). It can refer to Yue, which was spoken in the realm of Yue (state), Yue during the Spring and Autumn period. It can also re ...
of extinct
Baiyue The Baiyue ( zh, t=百越), Hundred Yue, or simply Yue, was a blanket term historically used by ancient China, ancient Chinese to describe various indigenous ethnic groups inhabiting sporadic regions in Southern China and Northern Vietnam during ...

Baiyue
peoples. In the early 18th century, the ''
Kangxi Dictionary #REDIRECT Kangxi Dictionary#REDIRECT Kangxi Dictionary The ''Kangxi Dictionary'' () is the standard Chinese dictionary during the 18th and 19th centuries. The Kangxi Emperor of Qing Dynasty The Qing dynasty, officially the Great Qing (), ...
'' () regarded Zhejiang River () as Crooked River for its crooked lower stretch and countercurrent tidal bore. The origin of its current name, the Qiantang River (), literally the River of King Qian's Dyke, however, has nothing to do with the King Qian of
Wuyue Wuyue (; Shanghainese: ), 907–978, was an independent coastal kingdom founded during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period (907–960) of Chinese history. It was ruled by the Haiyan County, Zhejiang, Haiyan Qian (surname), Qian clan (海 ...
. It previously referred to the lower stretch within the
Qiantang County The Qiantang River or alternatively Tsientang River is a river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases a river flows into the ground and becomes dr ...
(, former name of
Hangzhou City Hangzhou (, , Standard Chinese, Standard Mandarin pronunciation: ), also Chinese postal romanization, romanized as Hangchow, is the capital and most populous city of Zhejiang, China, People's Republic of China. It sits at the head of Hangzhou ...
) and later in the 20th century began referring to all stretches of the river.


History

It was linked by the
Eastern Zhejiang Canal The Eastern Zhejiang Canal (; a.k.a. 杭甬運河 (Hangyong Canal)) is located in Zhejiang province, China. Its west end is in Xixing Street, Binjiang District, Hangzhou City, crossing Cao'e River and Shaoxing City to its east end, the Yong River e ...

Eastern Zhejiang Canal
to
Shaoxing Shaoxing (; ) is a prefecture-level city A prefectural-level municipality (), prefectural-level city or prefectural city is an administrative division of the People's Republic of China China (), officially the People's Republic ...

Shaoxing
during the
Spring and Autumn Period #REDIRECT Spring and Autumn period#REDIRECT Spring and Autumn period The Spring and Autumn period was a period in Chinese history The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC, from the Shang dyna ...
and to
Ningbo Ningbo (; , Standard Mandarin Standard Chinese (), in linguistics known as Standard Northern Mandarin, Standard Beijing Mandarin or simply Mandarin, is a dialect of Mandarin that emerged as the lingua franca A lingua franca (; ; f ...
's
Yong River The Yong River ( Chinese: , p ', Wu ') is one of the main rivers in China, located in Ningbo Ningbo (; , Putonghua, Standard Mandarin pronunciation: ), Chinese postal romanization, formerly romanized as Ningpo, is a sub-provin ...
during the
Three Kingdoms Period The Three Kingdoms () from 220 to 280 AD was the tripartite division of China among the states of Wei, Shu Shu may refer to: China * Sichuan, China, officially abbreviated as Shu (蜀) * Shu (state) (conquered by Qin in 316 BC), an ancie ...
. It was linked by the
Grand CanalGrand Canal can refer to multiple waterways: * Grand Canal (China) in eastern China * Grand Canal (Ireland), between the River Shannon and Dublin in Ireland * Grand Canal (Venice) in Venice, Italy * Grand Canal d'Alsace in eastern France *Grand Cana ...
to
Beijing Beijing ( ), as Peking ( ), is the of the . It is the world's , with over 21 million residents within an of 16,410.5 km2 (6336 sq. mi.). It is located in , and is governed as a under the direct administration of the with .Figures ...

Beijing
during the
Sui Dynasty The Sui dynasty (, ) was a short-lived Dynasties in Chinese history, imperial dynasty of China of pivotal significance. The Sui unified the Northern and Southern dynasties and reinstalled the rule of ethnic Han Chinese, Han in the entirety of ...

Sui Dynasty
. Its present name derives from a major dyke constructed near Hangzhou by the Tang warlord
Qian Liu Qian Liu (10 March 852Academia Sinica Chinese-Western Calendar Converter

Qian Liu
, who established the Wuyue Kingdom in the early 10th century.


Basin

Qiantang River is one of the largest rivers on the southeast coast of China. It runs through Zhejiang, Anhui, Fujian, Jiangxi, provinces, which is the largest river in Zhejiang. "Qiantang" originally refers to the name of the river below the gate of Hangzhou, but now refers to the whole river basin. Qiantang River basin generally is abundant rainfall with developed water system (total of 60 tributaries), which is feather distribution. If count from the north source (Xinan river), the length of Qiantang river is 588.73 km. While if count from the south source (Qu river), the length of Qiantang river is 522.22 km. The main rivers of Qiantang river basin are Majin river, Changshan river, Qu river, Lan river, Xinan river, Fuchun river and Qiantang river.


Hydrological characteristics

Overall, the runoff of the Qiantang River is abundant. However, the incoming water of Qiantang River is strongly impacted by seasonal variation. In general, the runoff from April to June can occupy about 50% of the total annual flow. Because the Qiantang River valley is located in the southeast coastal monsoon climate zone, the main source of runoff is atmospheric precipitation. The runoff and precipitation in the river valley show obvious consistency in both regional distribution and annual variation. The average annual discharge is 2.905×1010 cubic meters, and the average annual sediment discharge is 6.68×10^6 tons. In addition, the annual runoff of the Qiantang River and its tributaries showed significant changes in abundance and drought. Tidal bore is one of the significant features of the Qiantang River. Due to the riverbed of the estuary (Hangzhou bay) sharply shrank and lifted, the tidal range increases along the way, resulting in the sharp deformation of tide waves. The average tidal range of Zhenhai on the south bank of Wankou was 1.69 meters, the average tidal range of Ganpu was 5.45 meters. The tidal current of Hangzhou Bay is a clockwise rotating tidal current and the speed is generally 15~20 m/s, The north shore can be up to 3~4 m/s. The average incoming tidal current of Ganpu station was 18,850,000 cubic meters per second. On the other hand, the river bed at the estuary of the Qiantang River is wide and shallow, forming a broad intertidal zone. Under the influence of seasonal runoff and tidal fluctuation, the riverbed can easily be violently deformed. In autumn, due to the strong tide, the main trough oscillates along the direction of the rising tide crest. In the season of abundant runoff, the main trough swings along the direction of ebb tide. Because of the process of main trough oscillation, the beach ground is easy to collapse and retreat quickly.


Tidal bore

The river and
Hangzhou Bay Hangzhou Bay, or the Bay of Hangzhou (), is a funnel-shaped inlet of the East China Sea The East China Sea is an arm of the Western Pacific Ocean, located directly offshore from East China (hence the name), covering an area of roughly . ...
are known for the world's largest
tidal bore Tidal is the adjectival form of tide Tides are the rise and fall of sea level Mean sea level (MSL) (often shortened to sea level) is an average In colloquial, ordinary language, an average is a single number taken as representative of ...

tidal bore
. The oldest known
tide table Tide tables, sometimes called tide charts, are used for tidal prediction The theory of tides is the application of continuum mechanics Continuum mechanics is a branch of mechanics Mechanics (Ancient Greek, Greek: ) is the area of physi ...
is for the Qiantang River and may have aided ancient travelers wishing to see the famous tidal bore. The tide rushing into the river mouth from the bay causes a bore which can reach up to 9 meters (30 ft) in height, and travel at up to 40 km per hour (25 miles an hour). Known locally as the Silver (or Black) Dragon, the wave sweeps past
Hangzhou Hangzhou (, , Standard Mandarin Standard Chinese (), in linguistics known as Standard Northern Mandarin, Standard Beijing Mandarin or simply Mandarin, is a dialect of Mandarin that emerged as the lingua franca A lingua franca (; ...

Hangzhou
, menacing shipping in the harbor. In August 2013, the tidal bore turned out stronger than expected due to Typhoon Trami, reaching more than twice its usual height as it broke on the flood barrier, sweeping it and injuring numerous spectators. There have been attempts to surf the tidal bore. The first person to ride the bore was Stuart Matthews from England. The 1988 record was 1.9 km by Stuart Matthews. Then, in October 2007, a group of international surfers brought by Antony Colas, did several attempts, one wave being ridden continuously by French Patrick Audoy and Brazilian Eduardo Bagé for 1h10min, for 17 km. In September 2008 a group of American surfers convinced the Chinese government to allow them to surf a section of the river. In November 2013, Red Bull held the first surf competition on the river, called the Qiantang Shoot Out. The bore was considered the most unusual wave in the world for a surfing contest.


Ecology

The Qiantang River basin is rich in ecosystem types. Forest ecosystems in the west and south which are composed of evergreen and deciduous broad-leaved forests. The forest ecosystem with the widespread wetlands creates a variety of species. However, with the development of industry, the ecological environment of Qiantang River basin has deteriorated and soil erosion is becoming a serious problem. Although the forest coverage is high, the trend of islandization and fragmentation of wildlife native habitats is obvious, and biodiversity is under threat.


Notable points


Qiantang river tidal bore

Qiantang River Tidal Bore is an important scenic spot of Qiantang River. Generally, around August 15, Lunar Calendar is the best time to observe the tides. At that time, the largest Qiantang river tidal bore can be several meters. Before the arrival of the sea tide, a tiny white dot appeared in the distance, which turned into a silver thread in a blink of an eye. Later on, accompanied by waves of dull thunder, the white line rolled to the sea. In ancient Hangzhou, Phoenix mountain, Jianggan area were the best place to watch. Due to the change of geographical location, from the Ming dynasty, Haining, Hanguan was the first resort for tide observation, so it was also called "Haining Tidal Bore".


Qiantang river bridge

Qiantang river bridge, also called the first Qiantang River Bridge designed by Chinese bridge expert Yisheng Mao, which is a double-deck truss girder bridge spanning the Qiantang river in Hangzhou city, Zhejiang province, China. It is located at the southern end of Hangzhou city and about 700 meters to the east of Liuhe pagoda, between Nanxing bridge station of Zhejiang-jiangxi railway. It is the first double-deck railway and highway bridge designed and built by China itself, which is a milestone in the history of Chinese Bridges. Qiantang river bridge is 1453 meters long, 9.1 meters wide and 71 meters high. The upper deck of the bridge is a two-way two-lane highway with a design speed of 100 km/h, and the lower deck is a single-track railway with a design speed of 120 km/h. During World War II, the Qiantang River Bridge was hit by Japanese air raids. And then, the Qiantang River Bridge was blown up to the piers only, to resist the Japanese attack. It was repaired in 1948.


Culture

Qiantang River has been regarded as the birthplace of Wuyue culture. The characteristics of Wuyue culture are pardon, inclusive, intelligent, realistic, pioneering and brave, which also have been the cultural deposits displayed by Qiantang River. In addition, Liangzhu culture, southern Song dynasty culture, West lake culture and other regional cultures are also distributed in the area of Qiantang River basin. Liangzhu culture has a long history, which adds the thick and simplicity tone to the Qiantang River. The secularization and leisure of the southern Song dynasty culture, combined with the river crossing, have the charm of Qibao teahouse and Jianqiao old street, and contributed to the economic development of the dynasty. Qiantang River has been deeply loved by ancient Chinese writers and artists, as can be seen from the example of, "Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains" by painter Gongwang Huang. It was regarded as the culmination of ancient Chinese landscape painting and the peak of art. Zhou Mi's "observation tide" was praised as a literary classic and it still listed as a point article in the textbook of ancient Chinese literature. Sun Quan, as a hero and the ruler of the kingdom of Wu in The Three Kingdoms period. In modern times writer Dafu Yu, revolutionary writer and artist Yan Xia, and scientist Wang Chong are the famous persons born in Qiantang River Basin, and these people made an important contribution to the development of Qiantang culture. Qiantang River is mentioned in
The Tale of Kieu ''The Tale of Kiều'' is an epic poem Poetry (derived from the Greek '' poiesis'', "making") is a form of literature Literature broadly is any collection of Writing, written work, but it is also used more narrowly for writings spec ...
as the place where committed suicide. Additionally, it is mentioned in some versions of The Butterfly Lovers, as the river that the protagonists must cross in order to go to school in Hangzhou.


Tributaries

* Lan River ** Jinhua River ** Qu River * Xinan River * Fengshui River * Lvzhu River * Puyang River * Cao'e River


References


Citations


Sources

; Journal articles * * {{Coord, 30.3794, N, 120.6889, E, source:wikidata, display=title Rivers of Anhui Rivers of Jiangxi Rivers of Zhejiang Tidal bores