The Adjacent Satellite Image depicts a large Part of Western-Central China. Main Features recognizable are the Gobi Desert of Inner Mongolia AR in the North, The Fertile Yellow Valley of Ningxia Autonomous Region in the North-East, the Green valleys of western Shaanxi Province in the South-East, the green lands and mountains of Sichuan Province in the South and South-West, and extending from the East the distinct features of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateaux.
Follow the Gansu Provincial border outline as roughly marked on the Map Image to gain better understanding of the odd shape of Gansu Province.
For better understanding and navigation, locations of main rivers and reservoirs, cities, mountains and main
Gansu Province - Maps - Gansu Province Satellite Image Map 1A Overview
historic Monuments have been marked on the Map, thus further outlining the Province.
As can be understood from the Map Image, Gansu Province lies at the intersection of a great number of impressive natural terrain features and is shaped by these. In the North lie the Sands of the Gobi Desert and its extension the TengGer Desert, creating a Natural delineation of borders in the North with very large Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. Nearby, in the North-East Ningxia Autonomous Region of the Hui Ethnic Minority is formed by the natural Gorge of the Yellow River cutting through rocks and Sands just West of the Helan High Plateaux, a region accessible by following the path of the Yellow River and by population and landscape clearly distinct from Gansu Province.
The West of Gansu Province has a story all by itself. Here as well, the Borders are delineated by Natural Features of the Landscape. In this case however, the Western Arm of Gansu Province also known as "The Neck (Throat) of China" represents a historical pathway, namely that of the Silk Road Path first explored starting in 138 BC by Court Emmisary Zhang Qian during the Han Dynasty (206 BC - 220 AD). This pathway between two ranges of High Mountains, the Horses Manes Mountains (Mazong Shan) in the North and the Qilian Mountains only some 100 Kilometers to the South has since been named the Hexi Corridor. Lined by Oasis Lakes in an otherwise inhospitable sand and gravel wasteland between impassable mountains, this mountain highway of passes became part of the Chinese Empire during the Han Dynasty with the Northern Borders of these far western regions protected by the Great Wall of China and two garrisons, one stationed at JiaYuGuan and one at Dunhuang. Thus, a final outline for the Province of Gansu was provided.
The landscape of Central Gansu Province around Capital City Lanzhou is dominated by the Loess Plateaux that provides the Yellow Color of its Main River, the Huang He, or Yellow River. In The South-West and South, where the Loess Plateaux ends to meet the greener valleys of Central China, lie the naturally outlined borders with Shaanxi Province and Sichuan Province. As a third, extending from far away in the West is the Tibet-Qinghai High Mountain Plateaux, which, where it meets the Loess Plateaux, shaped Mountains that provide another Border for Gansu Province in the West. Along this Mountainous Border many of the Ethnic Minorities of Gansu Province have their homelands.