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The Yellow River is known as the Huang He in China. It is the mother river for all the Chinese people. Huang He River is the second longest in China after the Yangtze River. It is the cradle of Chinese civilization, which prospered in the middle and lower basin of the Yellow River.
See the fact file below for more information on the Huang He River or alternatively, you can download our 26-page Huang He River worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
Geography and its Physical Features
- The adjective “yellow” simply describes the color of the muddy water in the lower course of the river, which happens due to soil (loess) being carried downstream.
- Also called the “River of Sorrow,” the Yellow River is one of the world’s most dangerous and destructive rivers during floods.
- The Huang He River stretches across China for more than 2,900 miles.
- It carries its rich yellow silt all the way from Mongolia to the Pacific Ocean.
- Huang He is considered the sixth longest river system in the world at the estimated length of 5,464 km (3,395 mi).
- The headwaters of this mighty river are located in the Kunlun Mountains in northwestern Qinghai Province.
- The Huang He (Yellow) River runs through seven present-day provinces and two autonomous regions, namely (from west to east) Qinghai, Gansu, Ningxia, Inner Mongolia, Shaanxi, Shanxi, Henan, and Shandong.
- There are major cities along the present course of the Yellow River including (from west to east) Lanzhou, Yinchuan, Wuhai, Baotou, Luoyang, Zhengzhou, Kaifeng, and Jinan. The current mouth of the Yellow River is located at Kenli County, Shandong.
- Below are the list of tributaries of the Yellow River from its source to its mouth:
- White River – Wuding River
- Black River – Fen River
- Huang Shui – Wei River
- Daxia River – Luo River
- Tao River – Qin River
- Zuli River – Dawen River
- Qingshui River – Kuo River
- Dahei River – Kuye River
Hydroelectric Power Dams
- Here is the list of hydroelectric power stations built on the Yellow River, arranged according to the first year of operation:
- Sanmenxia Dam (1960; Sanmenxia, Henan)
- San Shenggong Dam (1966)
- Qingtong Gorge Hydroelectric Power Station (1968; Qingtongxia, Ningxia)
- Liujiaxia Dam (Liujia Gorge) (1974; Yongjing County, Gansu)
- Yanguoxia Dam (Yanguo Gorge) Hydroelectric Power Station (1975; Yongjing County, Gansu)
- Tianqiao Dam (1977)
- Bapanxia Dam (Bapan Gorge) (1980; Xigu District, Lanzhou, Gansu)
- Longyangxia Dam (1992; Gonghe County, Qinghai)
- Lijiaxia Dam (1997; Jainca County, Qinghai)
- Da Gorge Hydroelectric Power Station (1998)
- Li Gorge Hydroelectric Power Station (1999)
- Wanjiazhai Dam (1999; Pianguan County, Shaanxi, and Inner Mongolia)
- Xiaolangdi Dam (2001; Jiyuan, Henan)
- Laxiwa Dam (2010; Guide County, Qinghai)
- Yangqu Dam (2016; Xinghai County, Qinghai)
- Maerdang Dam (2018; Maqên County, Qinghai)
Plants and Animal Life
- There are many floral and faunal communities that can be found in the Huang He basin.
- Vegetation in the high upper region is sparse and tundra like, with some grassland areas at lower elevations which is suitable for livestock.
- The harsh, dry climate and shifting sands of the Ordos Plateau section of the river basin support little plant life other than drought-resistant grasses and shrubs.
- There are numerous populations of various large animals in the higher reaches of the river, including rare chiru (Tibetan antelope), wild yak, Chinese forest musk deer (Moschus berezovskii), and sikas lower in the basin.
- Aquatic species in the river include the Chinese paddlefish (Psephurus gladius) and the Yellow River scaleless carp (Gymnocypris eckloni).
- In the low-lying wetlands, especially in the delta area, are important stopover points for migrating waterfowl and other bird species, including scaly-sided (Chinese) mergansers (Mergus squamatus) and rare red-crowned cranes (Grus japonensis).
The River of Sorrows: Huang He Massive Floods
- A series of floods devastated China in 1887, 1931, and 1938. They were caused by the overflowing of the Huang He River.
- These three floods killed millions of people. They are considered to be the three deadliest floods in history and among the most destructive natural disasters ever recorded.
- The most destructive of these floods occurred in August 1931, leaving 80 million people homeless and those killed by the flood range from 850,000 to 4 million, making it the deadliest natural disaster in recorded history.
- An earlier flood in September–October 1887 is thought to have killed 900,000 to 2 million residents.
- The 1938 flood was caused by the destruction of the dikes near Kaifeng (Henan Province) by Chinese Nationalist forces under Chiang Kai-shek in an effort to halt the advance of the invading Japanese troops during the Sino-Japanese War of 1937–45. It was on June 9, 1938 that 500,000 to 900,000 people were killed by the flood.
- Continued silting in the Huang He River has remained a serious problem; however, the river has not burst its banks since 1945, in large part because of the flood-control program.
- Yellow River has been considered a blessing as well as a curse. It has become an indication of the problems affecting many of China’s rivers.
- Pollution, intensive water extraction for human consumption, hydropower, agriculture, and industrial use are all taking their toll on the river.
- According to the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs, a Beijing-based NGO, 4.3 billion tonnes of waste flowed into the Yellow River in 2005 and an estimated two-thirds of the Yellow River’s water is too polluted to drink.
- The river’s fish catch declined by 40% and around 30% of fish species in the river are believed to have become extinct.
- The river is extremely prone to flooding and accounts for some of the deadliest disasters in human history.
- In 1931, an estimated 1 million people died in a massive flood. A key reason for the severity of the floods is deforestation up river and the embankment of tributaries for irrigation. These practices date back thousands of years.
Huang He River Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Huang He River across 26 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Huang He River worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Yellow River which is known as the Huang He in China. It is the mother river for all the Chinese people. Huang He River is the second longest in China after the Yangtze River. It is the cradle of Chinese civilization, which prospered in the middle and lower basin of the Yellow River.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Huang He River Facts
- The Ancient Yellow River
- Cities along the River
- Life in Huang He
- Why Yellow River?
- The River of Sorrow
- Tributaries of the Yellow River
- Look for the Word
- Power Dams
- China Flood Analysis
- Clean Up Drives
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Link will appear as Huang He River Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, December 11, 2018
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.