Geographical Introduction of the Yellow River
The Yellow River is the second longest in China only inferior to Yangtze River . It originates from the northern slope of the majestic Bayankera Mountains in Qinghai Province, traversing through nine provinces of Qinghai Province, Sichuan Province, Gansu Province, Ningxia Hui Nationality Autonomous Region, Inner Mongolia, Shaanxi Province, Shanxi Province, Henan Province and Shandong Province before flowing into the Bohai Sea. More than 30 branches and countless streams join the Yellow River on the way to the sea. Being the river with the most excessive silt in the world, the Yellow River gets its name from the muddiness of its water, which bears a perennial ochre-yellow color.
Generally speaking, the Yellow River is divided into three stages.
In the upper reaches, it starts from its original passes in Qinghai Province, running 3,472 kilometers (about 2,157 miles) through mountains and arid regions, swamps and grasslands just before it makes a sharp turn to the south at Hekouzhen of Inner Mongolia.
In the middle reaches, it flows 1,206 kilometers (about 749 miles) to Taohuayu in Zhengzhou, Henan Province. At this stage, this part of the mighty Yellow River runs through the vast region of the Loess Plateau, cutting the plateau into two parts like a sharp sword: the east (right) side of the river is Shanxi Province and the west (left) side is Shaanxi Province. The Yellow River has become the natural geographical demarcation of the two provinces. And at the same time, many of branches take a great amount of mud and sand into it, so this area is the main silt source of Yellow River. A famous engineering project is located in this section: the Xiaolangdi Multipurpose Dam, which is used for flood control, ice jam control, siltation control, irrigation, and water supply, as well as generating hydroelectric power.
In the lower reaches, it flows 786 kilometers (about 488 miles) through the North China Plain, ending at the delta of Bohai Sea. In this section, excessive sediment deposits have raised the riverbed several meters over the surrounding grounds. Thus, the world famous 'River above Ground' emerges.