Yangtze and the Navigable Lines 长江和通航线路

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The Water Line 
The waterline is usually measured according to the horizon of Huangpu River, Shanghai. For instance, the present 138-meter water line of the dam of the Three Gorges is not the depth of river, but the height above sea level. At the dam it has risen 66 meters, approximately 60 at the second half of the Xiling Gorge, 40 at the Wu Gorge and 20 at the Wu Gorge. The water line during the dry season is quite different from rainy season because of the influence of climate and rainfall. The water line of the Three Gorges may rise or fall by a few meters, and this will not affect the view of the Eastern Xiling, Wu and Qutang Gorges, in the next couple of years. In the western gorge area the height of the river is about that of the 1998 flood season before the dam. You can see deeper into the ravines, mountain ranges and valleys. The speed of navigating may be slightly affected sometimes, though. Summer time is the slowest going up stream and fastest down stream.

In winter and early spring, the colors of the waters of the “Long River-Great” have the greatest variety. Downriver from the Gezhouba Dam it is emerald. From the Three Gorges Dam, downriver, it is ocean green and upriver from it the Yangtze turns from a murky green to swirls of green and mud to its soil rich color.

The Navigable Lines 

The Yangtze main stream, known as a gold line of navigation, large and deep, is a great potential in transportation. It’s the main artery of China, which has dozens railway lines serving it. The length of Yangtze is 6,300 kilometer, and the whole navigation of the river covers 3,638 kilometers, second place in the world. The most part of Yangtze River belongs to the warm and wet climate of subtropics, which is suitable for navigation all the year around. The height of water during the dry season is over 2.9 meters from Chongqing to Yangtze area of Shanghai, while 1,143 kilometers down Wuhan; the height of water is more than 4 meters. The navigation time will be different in rainy seasons and dry seasons. On the Yangtze River system 70% of China’s river traffic moves. And it is responsible for 40% of its total inland transportation.

On the Middle Reaches, be it upriver or downriver between Wuhan to Yichang, barges overloaded with reeds will float past you like haystacks on a river, these reeds hold the soil of the banks together and are used in paper making. Poplars line the parallel country roads where bicycles and carts pass. You will sail a stone throw away from farmers on the shore carrying water buckets on yokes across their backs, peasants in conical hats working their fields, water buffalo plowing fields or cooling off in the Yangtze and country maidens in red or pink. What an idyllic life, right out of picture book stories. You can hear cows mooing, birds chirping, buffalo grunting and cuing doves. You will breath the country air. Near Wuhan and downstream on the way to Shanghai, you will see a vast array of boats plying the waters, carrying passengers from town to town and commuters across the “Long River-Great”, In one stretch you may see a conveyor belt loading a barge, trucks dumping coal onto a barge, three wheeler carrying cargo down to the shore and coolies hand carrying sacks onto a boat. This is a dichotomy of Chinese industrialization a in a micro view.


Last Updated ( Monday, 22 June 2009 10:12 )  

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