The Yellow River is China's second longest river, measuring some 5464 kilometers (3,395 miles) in length. It is the world's 6th longest river.
The Yellow River is known in Chinese as Huang He and also as Huang Ho depending on spelling.
The drainage basin of the Yellow River, known as the Yellow River basin, is the third largest of all rivers in China, encompassing a surface area of around 750,000 square kilometers (290,000 square miles)(official: 742,443 km² (290,520 mi²).
It extends 1900 kilometers (1.180 miles) from West to East and 1100 km (684 miles) from South to North.
The China Report
Introduction to the Yellow River (Huang He - 黃河) - China's 2nd largest River
Map Image of the Mouth o/t Yellow River
Satellite Image and Map of the mouth of the Yelllow River, China's 2nd largest, at Dongying on the Coast of the Yellow Sea at Dongying in Shandong Province. Map overviews the last estimated 100 Kilometers o/t Yellow River including its final section and mouth.
Schematic Map of the Flow Path of the Yellow River through China.
Click Map to go to FULL Version !
Roughly due East of Xi'An the ancient Han & Tang Dynasty Capital the Yellow River meets another province, the Province of Henan. Here, at the 'South Bend' of the Yellow River, the River Wei joins the Yellow River from the East temporarily diluting the yellow tint of its waters.
Near this points stands the White Horse Temple - Bai Ma Si, hailed as the first Buddhist Temple ever to be established in China. According to records it was founded in the year 1 AD.
Beyond the South Bend is the Sanmen Gorge (Sanmenxia), today a dammed section of the Yellow which has given rise to the large Sanmenxia Reservoir.
Nearby is the City of Luoyang which lies on the Luo River a little bit upstream from where it empties itself into the Yellow River, joining it from the South at this point.
The next large City along the river is Zhengzhou, the Capital of Henan Province. This City of 6+ Million souls is situated along the South Bank at some 25 kilometers distance from today's riverbed. It was near Zhengzhou at Huayuankou Village that General Chiang Kai-Chek ordered the levies of the Yellow River to be broken leading to the great flood of 1938 AD. Although intended to stop a further Japanese Invasion the flood did far more damage to the Chinese and their economy.
Further downstream is Kaifeng, and old Imperial Capital which was the most
After passing through Northern Henan Province, the Yellow River meets Shandong Province near the Town of Dongming where a large highway bridge spans over its waters connecting both Provinces. From Dongming onwards the Yellow River forms the border between both provinces for around a 100 kilometers until reaching Banjiudian Town and continuing into Shandong in a North-Easterly direction.
The end-point of the Yellow River outlet has changed its location many times over the last 2.500 years. Various factors are involved. Due to a natural process, the slowing of the River inside the North China Plain helps the deposition of silt in the downstream area's. As a result the level of the flow-plain is raised, leading eventually to 'clogging' and a change in the flow-path and direction of the River.
The First recorded shift of the River was around 500 BC when it changed course to take a more Southern route to the Bohai Sea.
It is said that the mouth of the river shifted some 800 kilometers (500 miles) since.
As one of the major fertile regions in the Nation, the North China Plain has always been a densely populated and as such has seen its fair share of floddings and disaster. For 1000's of years mankind has attempted to control and regulate the river, leading to an extensive system of levies and dykes along its river bed in Shandong Province.
Although useful in the short term, in the long term the dykes and levies have only served to increase problems. Not only have Silt deposits raised the river bottom over the many years past, leading to increased danger of overflowing and course change. Building of levies and dykes has also created a situation in which any excess of water in the River has no place to go. Without a 'buffer capacity' the Yellow River Delta remains volatile for the recurring floods of the River.
The last major shift of the flow-bed occurred in the year 1887 AD, when the river changed course dramatically, overflowing its levies and choosing a path more southernly than beforehand. Hundreds of
A Schematic depiction of the major and minor course changes and partial floodings of the Yellow River in the North China Plain.
thousands were drowned and many more displaced in the event.
The old riverbed(s) of the river can still be traced clearly on satellite images of the region .
At other times the river overflowed to join up with nearby rivers and continue its course to the Sea, leading to only local course changes.
Currently the mouth of the Yellow River lies near the Town of Dongying on the Shandong coastline.
You Tube Video: Luoyang in Henan - White Horse Temple (Bai Ma Si) & Huang He
important City in China during the Song Dynasty (960 AD - 1126 AD) and is especially prone to floodings of the River. The Old City was been flooded no less than 368 times during the years between 1129 AD and 1938 AD leaving the ancient monuments of the city buried underneath 8 to 20 meters of loess and mud. In 1938 however, the River once more changed its course leaving the current city center at some 10 kilometers distance from its banks.
The City of Kaifeng is often taken as the point where the Yellow River starts the last 1/3 of its journey and enters the North-Chinese plain. Inside the North-China plain the yellow river flows in a North-Eastern direction and is heavily levied, as it has been for centuries.