Evolution of Sinuous River Course in Yangtze River History Ⅰ
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Evolution of Sinuous River Course in Yangtze River History Ⅰ

Yangtze River

The evolution of sinuous river course experienced a long time in Yangtze River history. From ancient times to Ming Dynasty, the sinuous river course in Jinjiang River was formed by the water function and sediment deposition.

Evolution of Sinuous River Course in Yangtze River History – Introduction of Sinuous River Course

The four hundreds meters long Jinjiang River, from Zhijiang River to Chenglingji, is the most typical riverbed evolution part in Yangtze Rive history. In the 180 kilometers long upper Jingjiang River, from Zhijiang River to Ouchikou, the construction of riverbed and the flow direction are same. It strengthened the flow rate of water, and the sediments on the both banks are tight. So this part riverbed was comparatively stable. The river part from Ouchikou to Dongting Lake in Hunan Province, extending 240 kilometers, was named down Jinjiang River. At there, the river flow direction meet at right angles, the scouring effect is obvious and the sediments on the banks are loose. So there gradually became typical "free river bend", that is sinuous river course.

Evolution of Sinuous River Course in Yangtze River History – Ancient Times

The ancient Jinjiang River Channel was submerged by the lake marsh on Jianghan Plain, so the change of the river course was not very obvious. In Qin and Han Dynasties, the Jinjiang River Delta developed towards east and south, because of the deposition of sediments. And there appeared some tributaries in the down Jinjiang River. In Southern and Northern Dynasties, the riverbed of down Jinjiang River has formed, and there were some shoals in the river. Until to Tang and Song Dynasties, the Yunmenzhe in Jianli County vanished, and the riverbed of Jinjiang River eventually formed. At that time, there were more than twenty estuaries on the both banks of the Jinjiang River, and some tributaries which adjusted the flow rate of Jinjiang River.

Evolution of Sinuous River Course in Yangtze River History – Song, Yuan, Ming Dynasties

In Southern Song Dynasty, the Jin Kingdom occupied North area, and the Han Nationality moved to South area in large scale. They built dikes and embankments to enlarge the planting area on the both banks, which resulted to the tributaries and estuaries on the both banks were blocked. The embankments stopped the floods flow to the banks, and the water was limited in the riverbed. The deposition of sediments uplifted the riverbed, and the floods effects were very obvious. In the seventh year of Dade in Yuan Dynasty (1303), four estuaries of the Jinjiang River were reopened, which released of floods. In Ming Dynasty, these estuaries were blocked again. In Longqing Period (1567 – 1572), people dredged up one estuary of the down Jinjiang River, but it was not enough to change the flow rate. When the river passed by the bend part, as the work of centrifugal force, the concave bank gradually retreated back, while the sediments deposited on the convex bank, and the bay became longer. The down Jinjiang River adapted to the increasing flow rate by increasing its length.

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