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The Yellow River
River
or Huang He ( listen) is the third longest river in Asia, after the Yangtze
Yangtze
River
River
and Yenisei River, and the sixth longest river system in the world at the estimated length of 5,464 km (3,395 mi).[1] Originating in the Bayan Har Mountains in Qinghai
Qinghai
province of Western China, it flows through nine provinces, and it empties into the Bohai Sea
Bohai Sea
near the city of Dongying in Shandong
Shandong
province. The Yellow River
River
basin has an east–west extent of about 1,900 kilometers (1,180 mi) and a north–south extent of about 1,100 km (680 mi). Its total drainage area is about 752,546 square kilometers (290,560 sq mi). Its basin was the birthplace of ancient Chinese civilization, and it was the most prosperous region in early Chinese history. However, because of frequent devastating floods and course changes produced by the continual elevation of the river bed, sometimes above the level of its surrounding farm fields, it is also regarded as China's Sorrow
China's Sorrow
and Scourge of the Han People.[2]

Contents

1 Name 2 History

2.1 Dynamics 2.2 Ancient times 2.3 Medieval times 2.4 Recent times

3 Geography

3.1 Upper reaches 3.2 Middle reaches 3.3 Lower reaches 3.4 Tributaries

4 Characteristics 5 Hydroelectric
Hydroelectric
power dams 6 Crossings 7 Aquaculture 8 Pollution 9 In culture 10 See also 11 References 12 External links

Name[edit] Early Chinese literature including the Yu Gong
Yu Gong
or Tribute of Yu dating to the Warring States period
Warring States period
(475 – 221 BC) refers to the Yellow River
River
as simply 河 (Old Chinese: *C.gˤaj,[3] modern Chinese (Pinyin) Hé), a character that has come to mean "river" in modern usage. The first appearance of the name 黃河 (Old Chinese: *N-kʷˤaŋ C.gˤaj; Middle Chinese: Huang Ha[3]) is in the Book of Han written during the Eastern Han
Eastern Han
dynasty about the Western Han dynasty. The adjective "yellow" describes the perennial color of the muddy water in the lower course of the river, which arises from soil (loess) being carried downstream. One of its older Mongolian names was the "Black River",[4] because the river runs clear before it enters the Loess
Loess
Plateau, but the current name of the river among Inner Mongolians is Ȟatan Gol (Хатан гол, "Queen River").[5] In Mongolia itself, it is simply called the Šar Mörön (Шар мөрөн, "Yellow River").[6] In Qinghai, the river's Tibetan name is " River
River
of the Peacock" (Tibetan: རྨ་ཆུ།, Ma Chu; Chinese: s 玛曲, t 瑪曲, p Mǎ Qū') History[edit] Further information: List of natural disasters by death toll Dynamics[edit]

The Yellow River
River
Breaches its Course by Ma Yuan (1160–1225), Song Dynasty

The Yellow River
River
is one of several rivers that are essential for China's very existence. At the same time, however, it has been responsible for several deadly floods, including the only natural disasters in recorded history to have killed more than a million people. The deadliest was a 1332–33 flood that killed 7 million people. Close behind is the 1887 flood, which killed anywhere from 900,000 to 2 million people, and a 1931 flood (part of a massive number of floods that year) that killed 1–4 million people.[7] The cause of the floods is the large amount of fine-grained loess carried by the river from the Loess
Loess
Plateau, which is continuously deposited along the bottom of its channel. The sedimentation causes natural dams to slowly accumulate. These subaqueous dams were unpredictable and generally undetectable. Eventually, the enormous amount of water has to find a new way to the sea, forcing it to take the path of least resistance. When this happens, it bursts out across the flat North China
China
Plain, sometimes taking a new channel and inundating any farmland, cities or towns in its path. The traditional Chinese response of building higher and higher levees along the banks sometimes also contributed to the severity of the floods: When flood water did break through the levees, it could no longer drain back into the river bed as it would after a normal flood as the river bed was sometimes now higher than the surrounding countryside. These changes could cause the river's mouth to shift as much as 480 km (300 mi), sometimes reaching the ocean to the north of Shandong Peninsula and sometimes to the south.[8] Another historical source of devastating floods is the collapse of upstream ice dams in Inner Mongolia
Inner Mongolia
with an accompanying sudden release of vast quantities of impounded water. There have been 11 such major floods in the past century, each causing tremendous loss of life and property. Nowadays, explosives dropped from aircraft are used to break the ice dams before they become dangerous.[9] Before modern dams came to China, the Yellow River
River
was extremely prone to flooding. In the 2,540 years from 595 BCE to 1946 CE, the Yellow River
River
has been reckoned to have flooded 1,593 times, shifting its course 26 times noticeably and nine times severely.[10] These floods include some of the deadliest natural disasters ever recorded. Before modern disaster management, when floods occurred, some of the population might initially die from drowning but then many more would suffer from the ensuing famine and spread of diseases.[11] Ancient times[edit]

The Yellow River
River
as depicted in a Qing dynasty illustrated map (sections)

A map of China
China
depicting the Yellow River's path (shown in blue in the upper half of the map) in the early 19th century.

In Chinese mythology, the giant Kua Fu
Kua Fu
drained the Yellow River
River
and the Wei River
Wei River
to quench his burning thirst as he pursued the Sun.[12] Historical documents from the Spring and Autumn period[13] and Qin Dynasty[14] indicate that the Yellow River
River
at that time flowed considerably north of its present course. These accounts show that after the river passed Luoyang, it flowed along the border between Shanxi
Shanxi
and Henan
Henan
Provinces, then continued along the border between Hebei
Hebei
and Shandong
Shandong
before emptying into Bohai Bay
Bohai Bay
near present-day Tianjin. Another outlet followed essentially the present course.[10] The river left these paths in 602 BC[13] and shifted completely south of the Shandong
Shandong
Peninsula.[10] Sabotage of dikes, canals, and reservoirs and deliberate flooding of rival states became a standard military tactic during the Warring States period.[15] As the Yellow River
River
valley was the major entryway to the Guanzhong
Guanzhong
area and the state of Qin from the North China
China
Plain, Qin heavily fortified the Hangu Pass; it saw numerous battles and was also an important chokepoint protecting the Han capitals of Chang'an
Chang'an
and Luoyang. Major flooding in AD 11 is credited with the downfall of the short-lived Xin dynasty, and another flood in AD 70 returned the river north of Shandong
Shandong
on essentially its present course.[10] Medieval times[edit] From around the beginning of the 3rd century, the importance of the Hangu Pass
Hangu Pass
was reduced, with the major fortifications and military bases moved upriver to Tongguan. In AD 923, the desperate Later Liang general Duan Ning again broke the dikes, flooding 1,000 square miles (2,600 km2) in a failed attempt to protect his realm's capital from the Later Tang. A similar proposal from the Song engineer Li Chun concerning flooding the lower reaches of the river to protect the central plains from the Khitai
Khitai
was overruled in 1020: the Treaty of Shanyuan between the two states had expressly forbidden the Song from establishing new moats or changing river courses.[16] Breaches occurred regardless: one at Henglong in 1034 divided the course in three and repeatedly flooded the northern regions of Dezhou and Bozhou.[16] The Song worked for five years futilely attempting to restore the previous course – using over 35,000 employees, 100,000 conscripts, and 220,000 tons of wood and bamboo in a single year[16] – before abandoning the project in 1041. The more sluggish river then occasioned a breach at Shanghu that sent the main outlet north towards Tianjin
Tianjin
in 1048[10] and by 1194 blocked the mouth of the Huai River.[17] The buildup of silt deposits was such that even after the Yellow River
River
later shifted its course, the Huai could no longer flow along its historic course, but instead, its water pools into Hongze Lake and then runs southward toward the Yangtze River.[citation needed] A flood in 1344 returned the Yellow River
River
south of Shandong. The Yuan dynasty was waning, and the emperor forced enormous teams to build new embankments for the river. The terrible conditions helped to fuel rebellions that led to the founding of the Ming dynasty.[8] The course changed again in 1391 when the river flooded from Kaifeng
Kaifeng
to Fengyang in Anhui. It was finally stabilized by the eunuch Li Xing during the public works projects following the 1494 flood.[18] The river flooded many times in the 16th century, including in 1526, 1534, 1558, and 1587. Each flood affected the river's lower course.[18] The 1642 flood was man-made, caused by the attempt of the Ming governor of Kaifeng
Kaifeng
to use the river to destroy the peasant rebels under Li Zicheng
Li Zicheng
who had been besieging the city for the past six months.[19] He directed his men to break the dikes in an attempt to flood the rebels, but destroyed his own city instead: the flood and the ensuing famine and plague are estimated to have killed 300,000 of the city's previous population of 378,000.[20] The once-prosperous city was nearly abandoned until its rebuilding under the Kangxi Emperor in the Qing Dynasty. Recent times[edit]

The Chinese Nationalist Army
Chinese Nationalist Army
soldiers during the 1938 Yellow River flood.

Between 1851 and 1855,[10][17][18] it returned to the north amid the floods that provoked the Nien and Taiping Rebellions. The 1887 flood has been estimated to have killed between 900,000 and 2 million people,[21] and is the second-worst natural disaster in history (excluding famines and epidemics). The Yellow River
River
more or less adopted its present course during the 1897 flood.[17][22] The 1931 flood killed an estimated 1,000,000 to 4,000,000,[21] and is the worst natural disaster recorded (excluding famines and epidemics). On 9 June 1938, during the Second Sino-Japanese War, Nationalist troops under Chiang Kai-shek
Chiang Kai-shek
broke the levees holding back the river near the village of Huayuankou in Henan, causing what has been called by Canadian historian, Diana Lary, a "war-induced natural disaster". The goal of the operation was to stop the advancing Japanese troops by following a strategy of "using water as a substitute for soldiers" (yishui daibing). The 1938 flood of an area covering 54,000 km2 (20,800 sq mi) took some 500,000 to 900,000 Chinese lives, along with an unknown number of Japanese soldiers. The flood prevented the Japanese Army from taking Zhengzhou, on the southern bank of the Yellow River, but did not stop them from reaching their goal of capturing Wuhan, which was the temporary seat of the Chinese government and straddles the Yangtze
Yangtze
River.[23] Geography[edit]

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Zoigê County, Sichuan.

Guide County, Qinghai
Qinghai
in the Tibetan Plateau, upstream from the Loess Plateau.

According to the China
China
Exploration and Research Society, the source of the Yellow River
River
is at 34° 29' 31.1" N, 96° 20' 24.6" E in the Bayan Har Mountains near the eastern edge of the Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. The source tributuaries drain into Gyaring Lake and Ngoring Lake on the western edge of Golog Prefecture high in the Bayan Har Mountains of Qinghai. In the Zoige Basin along the boundary with Gansu, the Yellow River
River
loops northwest and then northeast before turning south, creating the "Ordos Loop", and then flows generally eastward across the North China
China
Plain to the Gulf of Bohai, draining a basin of 752,443 square kilometers (290,520 sq mi) which nourishes 140 million people with drinking water and irrigation.[24] The Yellow River
River
passes through seven present-day provinces and two autonomous regions, namely (from west to east) Qinghai, Gansu, Ningxia, Inner Mongolia, Shaanxi, Shanxi, Henan, and Shandong. Major cities along the present course of the Yellow River
River
include (from west to east) Lanzhou, Yinchuan, Wuhai, Baotou, Luoyang, Zhengzhou, Kaifeng, and Jinan. The current mouth of the Yellow River
River
is located at Kenli County, Shandong. The river is commonly divided into three stages. These are roughly the northeast of the Tibetan Plateau, the Ordos Loop, and the North China Plain. However, different scholars have different opinions on how the three stages are divided.[citation needed] This article adopts the division used by the Yellow River
River
Conservancy Commission.[25] Upper reaches[edit]

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Near Xunhua, Qinghai.

Liujiaxia, Gansu.

The upper reaches of the Yellow River
River
constitute a segment starting from its source in the Bayan Har Mountains and ending at Hekou Town (Togtoh County), Inner Mongolia
Inner Mongolia
just before it turns sharply to the south. This segment has a total length of 3,472 kilometers (2,157 mi) and total basin area of 386,000 square kilometers (149,000 sq mi), 51.4% of the total basin area. Along this length, the elevation of the Yellow River
River
drops 3,496 meters (11,470 ft), with an average grade of 0.10%. The source section flows mainly through pastures, swamps, and knolls between the Bayan Har Mountains, and the Anemaqen (Amne Machin) Mountains in Qinghai. The river water is clear and flows steadily. Crystal clear lakes are characteristic of this section. The two main lakes along this section are Lake Zhaling (扎陵湖) and Lake Eling (鄂陵湖), with capacities of 4.7 billion and 10.8 billion m³ (166 and 381 billion ft3), respectively. At elevations over 4,290 m (14,070 ft)) above sea level they are the two largest plateau freshwater lakes nationwide. A significant amount of land in the Yellow River's source area has been designated as the Sanjiangyuan ("'Three Rivers' Sources") National Nature Reserve, to protect the source region of the Yellow River, the Yangtze, and the Mekong. Flowing east at the eastern edge of the Amne Machin
Amne Machin
Mountains, the Yellow River
River
enters Maqu County
Maqu County
in Gansu. Here, the river skirts through the high-altitude peat bog known as the Zoigê Wetlands and makes a sharp turn towards the northwest forming the border between Maqu and Zoigê County
Zoigê County
in Sichuan. Flowing now along the northern edge of Amne Machin, the river reenters Qinghai
Qinghai
and gradually curves north towards the Longyang
Longyang
Gorge at Xinghai. The valley section stretches from Longyang
Longyang
Gorge in Qinghai
Qinghai
to Qingtong Gorge in Gansu. Steep cliffs line both sides of the river. The water bed is narrow and the average drop is large, so the flow in this section is extremely turbulent and fast. There are 20 gorges in this section, the most famous of these being the Longyang, Jishi, Liujia, Bapan, and Qingtong gorges. The flow conditions in this section makes it the best location for hydroelectric plants. The Yellow River
River
exits Qinghai
Qinghai
for the second and final time in these gorges and enters Gansu
Gansu
for the second time just before Liujia Gorge. Downstream from the Yanguo Gorge, the provincial capital of Lanzhou
Lanzhou
is built upon the Yellow River's banks. The Yellow River
River
flows northeasterly out of Gansu
Gansu
and into Ningxia
Ningxia
before the Qingtong Gorge. After emerging from the Qingtong Gorge, the river comes into a section of vast alluvial plains, the Yinchuan
Yinchuan
Plain and Hetao Plain. In this section, the regions along the river are mostly deserts and grasslands, with very few tributaries. The flow is slow. The Hetao Plain has a length of 900 km (560 mi) and width of 30 to 50 km (19 to 31 mi). It is historically the most important irrigation plain along the Yellow River. Middle reaches[edit] Main article: Ordos Loop

At Lanzhou, Gansu

At Shapotou, Ningxia

At Luoyang, Henan

The Ordos Loop
Ordos Loop
formed by an enormous twist of the Yellow River, beginning at Zhongning County
Zhongning County
in Ningxia
Ningxia
and ending with a drastic eastward turn at its confluence with the Wei at Tongguan in Shaanxi. However, the official division for the middle reaches of the river run from Hekou in Togtoh County, Inner Mongolia, to Zhengzhou, Henan. The middle reaches are 1,206 km (749 mi) long, with a basin area of 344,000 square kilometers (133,000 sq mi), 45.7% of the total, with a total elevation drop of 890 m (2,920 ft), an average drop of 0.074%. There are 30 large tributaries along the middle reaches, and the water flow is increased by 43.5% on this stage. The middle reaches contribute 92% of the river's silts. The middle stream of the Yellow River
River
passes through the Loess Plateau, where substantial erosion takes place. The large amount of mud and sand discharged into the river makes the Yellow River
River
the most sediment-laden river in the world. The highest recorded annual level of silts discharged into the Yellow River
River
is 3.91 billion tons in 1933. The highest silt concentration level was recorded in 1977 at 920 kg/m³ (57.4 lb/ft3). These sediments later deposit in the slower lower reaches of the river, elevating the river bed and creating the famous "river above ground". From Hekou to Yumenkou, the river passes through the longest series of continuous valleys on its main course, collectively called the Jinshan Valley. The abundant hydrodynamic resources stored in this section make it the second most suitable area to build hydroelectric power plants. The famous Hukou Waterfall is in the lower part of this valley on the border of Shanxi and Shaanxi. Lower reaches[edit] In the lower reaches, from Zhengzhou, Henan
Henan
to its mouth, a distance of 786 km (488 mi), the river is confined to a levee-lined course as it flows to the northeast across the North China
China
Plain before emptying into the Bohai Sea. The basin area in this stage is only 23,000 square kilometers (8,900 sq mi), a mere 3% of the total, because few tributaries add to the flow in this stage; nearly all rivers to the south drain into the Huai River, whereas those to the north drain into the Hai River. The total drop in elevation of the lower reaches is 93.6 m (307 ft), with an average grade of 0.012%. The silts received from the middle reaches form sediments here, elevating the river bed. During 2,000 years of levee construction, excessive sediment deposits have raised the riverbed several meters above the surrounding ground.[dubious – discuss] At Kaifeng, Henan, the Yellow River
River
is 10 meters (33 ft) above the ground level.[26] Tributaries[edit]

The mouth of the Daxia River
River
(coming from bottom right), flowing into the Yellow River's Liujiaxia
Liujiaxia
Reservoir in Linxia Prefecture, Gansu

Tributaries of the Yellow River
River
listed from its source to its mouth include:

White River Black River Huang Shui

Datong River

Daxia River Tao River Zuli River Qingshui River Dahei River Kuye River Wuding River Fen River Wei River
Wei River
(the Wei River
Wei River
is the largest of these tributaries) Luo River Qin River Dawen River Kuo River

Characteristics[edit]

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Expansion of the Yellow River
River
Delta from 1989 to 2009 in five year intervals.

The Yellow River
River
is notable for the large amount of silt it carries—1.6 billion tons annually at the point where it descends from the Loess
Loess
Plateau. If it is running to the sea with sufficient volume, 1.4 billion tons are carried to the sea annually.[citation needed] One estimate gives 34 kilograms of silt per cubic meter as opposed to 10 for the Colorado and 1 for the Nile.[10] Its average discharge is said to be 2,110 cubic meters per second (32,000 for the Yangtze), with a maximum of 25,000 and minimum of 245. However, since 1972, it often runs dry before it reaches the sea. The low volume is due to increased agricultural irrigation, increased by a factor of five since 1950. Water diverted from the river as of 1999 served 140 million people and irrigated 74,000 km² (48,572 mi²) of land.[24] The Yellow River
River
delta totals 8,000 square kilometers (3,090 mi²). However, with the decrease in silt reaching the sea, it has been reported to be shrinking slightly each year since 1996 through erosion.[27] The highest volume occurs during the rainy season from July to October, when 60% of the annual volume of the river flows. Maximum demand for irrigation is needed between March and June. In order to capture excess water for use when needed and for flood control and electricity generation, several dams have been built, but their expected life is limited due to the high silt load. A proposed South–North Water Transfer Project
South–North Water Transfer Project
involves several schemes to divert water from the Yangtze
Yangtze
River: one in the western headwaters of the rivers where they are closest to one another, another from the upper reaches of the Han River, and a third using the route of the old Grand Canal.[citation needed] Due to its heavy load of silt the Yellow River
River
is a depositing stream – that is, it deposits part of its carried burden of soil in its bed in stretches where it is flowing slowly. These deposits elevate the riverbed which flows between natural levees in its lower reaches. Should a flood occur, the river may break out of the levees into the surrounding lower flood plain and take a new channel. Historically this has occurred about once every hundred years. In modern times, considerable effort has been made to strengthen levees and control floods.[citation needed] Hydroelectric
Hydroelectric
power dams[edit]

Liujiaxia
Liujiaxia
Dam, Gansu

Sanmenxia
Sanmenxia
Dam, Henan

Below is the list of hydroelectric power stations built on the Yellow River, arranged according to the first year of operation (in brackets):

Sanmenxia
Sanmenxia
Dam
Dam
(1960; Sanmenxia, Henan) Sanshenggong Dam
Dam
(1966) Qingtong Gorge hydroelectric power station (1968; Qingtongxia, Ningxia) Liujiaxia
Liujiaxia
Dam
Dam
(Liujia Gorge) (1974; Yongjing County, Gansu) Lijiaxia Dam
Dam
(1997) (Jainca County, Qinghai) Yanguoxia Dam
Dam
(Yanguo Gorge) hydroelectric power station (1975; Yongjing County, Gansu) Tianqiao Dam
Dam
(1977) Bapanxia Dam
Dam
(Bapan Gorge) (1980; Xigu District, Lanzhou, Gansu) Longyangxia Dam
Dam
(1992; Gonghe County, Qinghai) Da Gorge hydroelectric power station (1998) Li Gorge hydroelectric power station (1999) Wanjiazhai Dam
Dam
(1999; Pianguan County, Shaanxi
Shaanxi
and Inner Mongolia) Xiaolangdi Dam
Dam
(2001) (Jiyuan, Henan) Laxiwa Dam
Dam
(2010) (Guide County, Qinghai) Yangqu Dam
Dam
(2015) (Xinghai County, Qinghai) Maerdang Dam
Dam
(2016) (Maqên County, Qinghai)

As reported in 2000, the 7 largest hydro power plants (Longyangxia, Lijiaxia, Liujiaxia, Yanguoxia, Bapanxia, Daxia and Qinglongxia) had the total installed capacity of 5,618 MW.[28] Crossings[edit]

Major cities along the Yellow River

Pontoon bridge
Pontoon bridge
(Luokou Pontoon Bridge simplified Chinese: 洛口浮桥; traditional Chinese: 洛口浮橋; pinyin: Luòkŏu Fúqiáo) over the Yellow River
River
in Jinan, Shandong

The main bridges and ferries by the province names in the order of downstream to upstream are:[29][30][31] Shandong

Dongying
Dongying
Yellow River
River
Bridge Shengli Yellow River
River
Bridge (Dongying) Lijin Yellow River
River
Bridge (Dongying) Binzhou
Binzhou
Yellow River
River
Road-Railway Bridge Binzhou
Binzhou
Yellow River
River
Highway Bridge Binzhou–Laiwu Expressway Binzhou
Binzhou
Yellow River
River
Bridge (Binzhou–Zibo) Huiqing Yellow River
River
Bridge (Binzhou–Zibo) Jiyang Yellow River
River
Bridge (Jinan) G20 Qingdao– Yinchuan
Yinchuan
Expressway Jinan
Jinan
Yellow River
River
Bridge (Jinan) Jinan
Jinan
Yellow River
River
Bridge Luokou Yellow River
River
Railway Bridge (Jinan) Jinan
Jinan
Jianbang Yellow River
River
Bridge Beijing–Shanghai High-speed Railway Jinan
Jinan
Yellow River
River
Bridge (Jinan–Dezhou) Beijing–Taipei Expressway Jinan
Jinan
Yellow River
River
Bridge (Jinan–Dezhou) Beijing–Shanghai Railway Jinan
Jinan
Yellow River
River
New Bridge (Jinan–Dezhou) Pingyin Yellow River
River
Bridge (Jinan-Liaocheng)

Shandong–Henan

Beijing–Kowloon Railway Sunkou Yellow River
River
Bridge (Jining–Puyang) Juancheng Yellow River
River
Highway Bridge (Heze–Puyang) Dongming Yellow River
River
Highway Bridge (Heze–Puyang)

Henan

Kaifeng
Kaifeng
Yellow River
River
Bridge (Kaifeng) Zhengzhou
Zhengzhou
Yellow River
River
Bridge (Zhengzhou)

Shanxi–Henan

Sanmen Yellow River
River
Bridge (Sanmenxia)

Shaanxi–Henan

Hancheng Yumenkou Yellow River
River
Bridge

Ningxia

Yinchuan
Yinchuan
Yellow River
River
Bridge (Yinchuan)

Inner Mongolia

Baotou
Baotou
Yellow River
River
Bridge (Baotou)

Gansu

Lanzhou
Lanzhou
Yellow River
River
Bridge Zhongshan Bridge
Zhongshan Bridge
(Lanzhou)

Qinghai

Dari Yellow River
River
Bridge

Aquaculture[edit]

Qiankun bend in Yonghe County

The Yellow River
River
is generally less suitable for aquaculture than the rivers of central and southern China, such as the Yangtze
Yangtze
or the Pearl River, but aquaculture is also practiced in some areas along the Yellow River. An important aquaculture area is the riverside plain in Xingyang
Xingyang
City, upstream from Zhengzhou. Since the development of fish ponds started in Xingyang's riverside Wangcun Town in 1986, the pond systems in Wangcun have grown to the total size of 15,000 mu (10 km2), making the town the largest aquaculture center in North China.[32] A variety of the Chinese softshell turtle
Chinese softshell turtle
popular with China's gourmets is called the Yellow River
River
Turtle (黄河鳖). Nowadays most of the Yellow River
River
Turtles eaten in China's restaurants comes from turtle farms, which may or may not be near the Yellow River. In 2007, construction started in Wangcun on a large farm for raising this turtle variety. With the capacity for raising 5 million turtles a year, the facility was expected to become Henan's largest farm of this kind.[33] Pollution[edit] See also: Water pollution in China On 25 November 2008, Tania Branigan of The Guardian
The Guardian
filed a report "China's Mother River: the Yellow River", claiming that severe pollution has made one-third of China's Yellow River
River
unusable even for agricultural or industrial use, due to factory discharges and sewage from fast-expanding cities.[34] The Yellow River
River
Conservancy Commission had surveyed more than 8,384 mi (13,493 km) of the river in 2007 and said 33.8% of the river system registered worse than "level five" according to the criteria used by the UN Environment Program.[dubious – discuss] Level five is unfit for drinking, aquaculture, industrial use, or even agriculture. The report said waste and sewage discharged into the system last year totaled 4.29b tons. Industry and manufacturing made up 70% of the discharge into the river with households accounting for 23% and just over 6% coming from other sources.[which?] In culture[edit]

Qikou town along Yellow River
River
in Shanxi
Shanxi
Province

In ancient times, it was believed that the Yellow River
River
flowed from Heaven as a continuation of the Milky Way. In a Chinese legend, Zhang Qian is said to have been commissioned to find the source of the Yellow River. After sailing up-river for many days, he saw a girl spinning and a cow herd. Upon asking the girl where he was, she presented him with her shuttle with instructions to show it to the astrologer Yen Chün-p'ing. When he returned, the astrologer recognized it as the shuttle of the Weaving Girl (Vega), and, moreover, said that at the time Zhang received the shuttle, he had seen a wandering star interpose itself between the Weaving Girl and the cow herd (Altair).[35] The provinces of Hebei
Hebei
and Henan
Henan
derive their names from the Yellow River. Their names mean, respectively, "North of the River" and "South of the River".

Mother river, China's Sorrow, and cradle of Chinese civilization.

Traditionally, it is believed that the Chinese civilization originated in the Yellow River
River
basin. The Chinese refer to the river as "the Mother River" and "the cradle of the Chinese civilization". During the long history of China, the Yellow River
River
has been considered a blessing as well as a curse and has been nicknamed both "China's Pride" (simplified Chinese: 中国的骄傲; traditional Chinese: 中國的驕傲; pinyin: Zhōngguóde Jiāo'ào) and "China's Sorrow"[36] (simplified Chinese: 中国的痛; traditional Chinese: 中國的痛; pinyin: Zhōngguóde Tòng).

When the Yellow River
River
flows clear.

Sometimes the Yellow River
River
is poetically called the "Muddy Flow" (simplified Chinese: 浊流; traditional Chinese: 濁流; pinyin: Zhuó Liú). The Chinese idiom "when the Yellow River
River
flows clear" is used to refer to an event that will never happen and is similar to the English expression "when pigs fly". "The Yellow River
River
running clear" was reported as a good omen during the reign of the Yongle Emperor, along with the appearance of such auspicious legendary beasts as qilin (an African giraffe brought to China
China
by a Bengal
Bengal
embassy aboard Zheng He's ships in 1414) and zouyu (not positively identified) and other strange natural phenomena.[37] See also[edit]

Central Plain (China) Geography of China He Bo List of rivers in China North China
China
Plain North China
China
University of Water Conservancy and Electric Power Water resources of China Yellow River
River
Cantata Yellow River
River
Map Yellow River
River
Piano Concerto Yellow Sea Red River
River
(other)

References[edit]

^ Yellow River
River
(Huang He) Delta, China, Asia. Geol.lsu.edu (2000-02-28). Retrieved on 2013-02-04. ^ New York Times "A Troubled River
River
Mirrors China's Path to Modernity". 19 November 2006 p. 4. ^ a b Baxter, Wm. H. & Sagart, Laurent. "Baxter–Sagart Old Chinese Reconstruction".  (1.93 MB), p. 41. 2011. Accessed 11 October 2011. ^ Parker, Edward H. China: Her History, Diplomacy, and Commerce, from the Earliest Times to the Present Day, p. 11. Dutton (New York), 1917. ^ Geonames.de. "geonames.de: Huang He". ^ Bawden, Charles (1997). Mongolian–English Dictionary. Kegan Paul, reprinted 2010 by Routledge. pp. 537 and 593. ISBN 9781136155888.  ^ White, Matthew (2012). The Great Big Book of Horrible Things. W. W. Norton. p. 47. ISBN 9780393081923.  ^ a b Gascoigne, Bamber and Gascoigne, Christina (2003) The Dynasties of China, Perseus Books Group, ISBN 0786712198 ^ The Ice Bombers Move Against Mongolia. strategypage.com (29 March 2011) ^ a b c d e f g Tregear, T. R. (1965) A Geography of China, pp. 218–219. ^ "Flooding and communicable diseases fact sheet". World Health Organization. p. 2. Retrieved 27 July 2011.  ^ Summary of the story given in the definition of 夸父追日 现代汉语词典(第七版). A Dictionary of Current Chinese (Seventh Edition). 北京. Beijing: 商务印书馆. The Commercial Press. 1 September 2016. pp. 513, 755. ISBN 978-7-100-12450-8.  ^ a b Gernet, Jacques. Le monde chinois, p. 59. Map "4. Major states of the Chunqiu period (Spring and Autumn)". (in French) English version: Gernet, Jacques (1996), A History of Chinese Civilization (Second ed.), Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-49781-7  ^ " Qin Dynasty
Qin Dynasty
Map". ^ Allaby, Michael & Garrat, Richard. Facts on File
File
Dangerous Weather Series: Floods, p. 142. Infobase Pub., 2003. ISBN 0-8160-5282-4. Accessed 15 October 2011. ^ a b c Elvin, Mark & Liu Cuirong (eds.) Studies in Environment and History: Sediments of Time: Environment and Society in Chinese History, pp. 554 ff. Cambridge Uni. Press, 1998. ISBN 0-521-56381-X. Accessed 15 Oct. 2011. ^ a b c Grousset, Rene. The Rise and Splendour of the Chinese Empire, p. 303. University of California Press, 1959. ^ a b c Tsai, Shih-Shan Henry. SUNY Series in Chinese Local Studies: The Eunuchs in the Ming Dynasty. SUNY Press, 1996. ISBN 0791426874, 9780791426876. Accessed 16 Oct 2012. ^ Lorge, Peter Allan. War, Politics and Society in Early Modern China, 900–1795, p. 147. Routledge, 2005. ISBN 978-0-415-31691-0. ^ Xu Xin. The Jews of Kaifeng, China: History, Culture, and Religion, p. 47. Ktav Publishing Inc, 2003. ISBN 978-0-88125-791-5. ^ a b International Rivers Report. "Before the Deluge". 2007. ^ Needham, Joseph. Science and Civilization in China. Vol. 1. Introductory Orientations, p. 68. Caves Books Ltd. (Taipei), 1986 ISBN 052105799X. ^ Lary, Diana. "The Waters Covered the Earth: China's War-Induced Natural Disaster". Op. cit. in Selden, Mark & So, Alvin Y., eds. War and State Terrorism: The United States, Japan, and the Asia-Pacific in the Long Twentieth Century, pp. 143–170. Rowman & Littlefield, 2004 ISBN 0742523918. ^ a b China's Yellow River, Part 1. The New York Times (2007-05-30) ^ Yellow River
River
Conservancy Commission. Yellowriver.gov.cn. Retrieved on 2013-02-04. ^ Leung, George (1996). "Reclamation and Sediment
Sediment
Control in the Middle Yellow River
River
Valley". Water International. 21 (1): 12–19. doi:10.1080/02508069608686482.  ^ Yellow River
River
Delta Shrinking 7.6 Square Kilometers Annually, China Daily 1 February 2005 ^ Yellow River
River
Upstream Important to West-East Power Transmission People's Daily, 14 December 2000 ^ Yellow River
River
Bridges (Baidu Encyclopedia) (in Chinese) ^ Yellow River
River
Bridge Photos (Baidu) (in Chinese) ^ Yellow River
River
Highway Bridge Photos (Baidu) (in Chinese) ^ 黄河畔的荥阳市万亩鱼塘 (Ten thousand of mu of fish ponds in the riverside Xingyang), 2011-09-30 ^ 荥阳开建河南省最大黄河鳖养殖基地 (Construction started in Xingyang
Xingyang
on the province's largest Yellow River
River
Turtle farm), www.zynews.com,  2007-07-24 ^ Branigan, Tania (25 November 2008). "One-third of China's Yellow River
River
'unfit for drinking or agriculture' Factory waste and sewage from growing cities has severely polluted major waterway, according to Chinese research". The Guardian. UK. Retrieved 14 March 2009.  ^ This article incorporates text from entry Chang Chên-chou in A Chinese Biographical Dictionary by Herbert A. Giles
Herbert A. Giles
(1898), a publication now in the public domain. ^ Cheng, Linsun and Brown, Kerry (2009) Berkshire encyclopedia of China, Berkshire Publishing Group, p. 1125 ISBN 978-0-9770159-4-8 ^ Duyvendak, J.J.L. (1939). "The True Dates of the Chinese Maritime Expeditions in the Early Fifteenth Century". T'oung Pao, Second Series. 34 (5): 401–403. JSTOR 4527170. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Huang He (Yellow River).

The DELIGHT Project, Delta Information System for Geoenvironmental and Human Habitat Transition Listen to the Yellow River
River
Ballade from the Yellow River
River
Cantata First raft descent of the Yellow River
River
from its source in Qinghai
Qinghai
to its mouth (1987) Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation Strategies in the Yellow River Basin – UNESCO report

Works from the National Central Library
National Central Library
about the Yellow River

"Illustrations of Guarding the Yellow River". wdl.org. World Digital Library.  Illustrated Work on the Storage and Drainage Activities at the Lakes and Rivers of the Yellow River
River
and the Grand Canal General Atlas Depicting the Conditions of the Yellow River
River
Dykes in Henan
Henan
Province

v t e

The Seven Great Rivers of China

Amur River Hai River Huai River Liao River Pearl River Yangtze
Yangtze
River Yellow River

v t e

Major cities along the Yellow River

Province-level subdivisions

Cities (from upper reaches to lower reaches)

Gansu

Lanzhou Baiyin

Ningxia

Zhongwei Wuzhong Yinchuan Shizuishan

Inner Mongolia

Wuhai Ordos Bayan Nur Baotou Hohhot
Hohhot
(boundaries of upper and middle reaches)

Shanxi

Xinzhou Lüliang Linfen Yuncheng

Shaanxi

Yulin Yan'an Weinan

Henan

Sanmenxia Luoyang Jiyuan Jiaozuo Zhengzhou(boundaries of middle and lower reaches) Xinxiang Kaifeng Puyang

Shandong

Liaocheng Tai'an Jinan Dezhou Binzhou Zibo Dongying

Major cities along the Pearl River
River
· Major cities along the Yangtze River

v t e

Major rivers of China

Seven Great Rivers of Eastern China Yangtze
Yangtze
· Yellow · Pearl · Heilongjiang · Huai · Hai · Liao

Yangtze
Yangtze
system

Yalong Min Dadu Qingyi (Sichuan) Tuo Jialing Bailong Fu (Sichuan) Qu Wu Hanshui Muma Chi Du Bao Qing Chishui Xiang

Xiao Lei Mi

Zi Yuan Lishui Miluo Gan Fu (Jiangxi) Xin Qingyi (Anhui) Qinhuai Xitiao Huangpu Suzhou Creek

Yellow system

Daxia Tao Qingshui Wuding Fen Wei Jing Luo (Henan) Luo (Shaanxi) Qin Xiaoqing

Pearl system

North East Han (Guangdong) Mei Ting West Yujiang Yong Xun Qian Hongshui Nanpan Beipan Rong Li (Guangxi) Gui Liu

Heilongjiang system

Songhua 2nd Songhua Nen Mudan Ussuri Argun Kherlen Woken Huifa

Huai system

Guo Ying Shiguan Quan Hui Hong

Hai system

Chaobai Yongding Hutuo Ziya Daqing Wenyu Juma Sanggan Fuyang Wei Ju Jiyunhe

Liao system

Hun Taizi Xar Moron Xinkai Western Liao Eastern Liao

Other major rivers

Tarim Black Karatash Ili Shule Tumen Yalu Luan Red Minjiang Longjiang Lancang Beilun Nujiang Lion Spring Elephant Spring Yarlung Tsangpo (Horse Spring) Nyang Subansiri Irtysh Suifen Qiantang Puyang Jiao (Shandong) Dai Si Shu Cao'e Jiao (Zhejiang) Ou Mulan Jin (Fujian) Nandu Wanquan Taping

Major canals

Grand Canal Lingqu North Jiangsu Main Irrigation
Irrigation
Canal

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 244966404 GND: 40259

.