Yangtze River Facts

Yangtze River Facts
The Yangtze River is the longest river in Asia, flowing 3,915 miles from the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in China to the East China Sea. The Yangtze River is the third longest river in the world after the Nile River in Africa and the Amazon River in South America. The Yangtze River watershed is over 695,000 square miles in size. The Yangtze River has been an important transportation route in China for over 2000 years with settlements along its banks dating back to the earliest human civilizations. Although some sections of the Yangtze are protected nature reserves, pollution from agriculture and industry continues to be a problem affecting the water and its ecosystem.
Interesting Yangtze River Facts:
The Yangtze River is called 'Chang Jiang' in Chinese, which means 'long river'. The lower part of the river had once only been referred to as Chang Jiang but eventually it becam the name for the entire river.
Local names for the Yangtze River vary among different regions. It is called 'Sichuan River', 'Jing Jiang', 'Wan Jiang', 'Yangzi Jiang', 'Jinsha River', 'Tongtian River', 'and 'Dangqu River'. It has also been called Blue River.
The earliest evidence of human activity on the banks of the Yangtze River dates 27,000 years ago.
When the Yangtze River first appeared on maps made by the English it was named Quian, and Quiansui - names given by Marco Polo.
The Yangtze River's source is Geladaindong Peak in the Tanggula Mountains in the Quinhai province in the People's Republic of China. This area is part of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.
The Yangtze River's watershed (area of land drained by the river) is more than 695,000 square miles.
The Yangtze River tributaries include the Yalong, Min, Tuo, Jialing, Han, Wu, Yuan, Zi, Xiang, Gan, and Huangpu.
The Yangtze River passes through many cities including Yibin, Luzhou, Chongqing, Wanzhou, Yichang, Jingzhou, Yueyang, Wuhan, Jiujiang, Anging, Tongling, Wuhu, Nanjing, Zhenjiang, Nantong, and Shanghai.
The Yangtze River basin is a major grain producing region. Rice accounts for 70% of the grain grown in the region, followed by wheat and barley. Other crops grown in the region include cotton, beans, and maize.
The Yangtze River is home to the world's oldest existing dam-free irrigation system. It is called the Dujiangyan Irrigation Project and is located west of Chengdu City on Minjiang.
The first big dam constructed on the Yangtze River was the Gezhouba Dam, in 1988. Three Gorges Dam was finished in 2009. It is a very large hydropower project and is also responsible for flood control.
The first major bridge across the Yangtze River was the Wuhan Yangtze River Bridge built in 1957. The number of bridges crossing the Yangtze River is now in the hundreds.
Ocean-vessels are able to travel 1000 miles up the Yangtze River and smaller boats can travel much further.
The Yangtze River valley floods each summer but because of river dykes people are able to live there. Major floods have overflowed the dykes in some years. Major floods that caused much devastation along the Yangtze River occurred in 1931, 1935, 1954, and 1998.

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