Yellow River

Authored by: Zixi Zhu , Ynuzhang Wang , Yifei Zhu

Encyclopedia of Environmental Management

Print publication date:  December  2012
Online publication date:  December  2012

Print ISBN: 9781439829271
eBook ISBN: 9781351235860
Adobe ISBN:

10.1081/E-EEM-120010134

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Abstract

The Yellow River is the second longest river in China. The terrain of the Yellow River basin is high in the west, low in the east, thus showing great disparity. The climate along the basin belongs to the arid and the semiarid and semihumid type from west to east, respectively. The Yellow River basin is an important production area in agriculture and is rich in mineral and energy resources. The main crops are wheat, cotton, oil-bearing plants, tobacco, etc. Yellow River provides the major water source for northwest and north China. Compared with other rivers in China, it is characterized by shortage of water, high sand content, and serious loss of water and soil. In the lower reaches of the Yellow River, a large amount of sediment is left behind to raise the riverbed. Thus, the riverbed is higher than the ground outside the river and is called “suspended river.” With water consumption increasing rapidly, zero flow occurred in the lower reaches in recent years. Floods and droughts are two major disasters in the Yellow River basin, which caused great losses in people’s lives and property.

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