Chinese scientists pinpoint source of Huaihe River

Chinese scientists have pinpointed the source of the Huaihe River and remeasured the length of the river, which, along with the Qinling Mountains, is regarded as the geographical line dividing China’s north and south.

The origin of the Huaihe River is located within the territory of Checun Town in Song County in central China’s Henan Province. The river is 1,252 kilometers long and its drainage area is 274,657 square kilometers, according to the new findings of the Institute of Remote Sensing Applications under the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Liu Shaochuang, a leading scientist in the research project, said, “We found the longest headstream in the drainage basin of the river and pinpointed its source based on high-resolution remote-sensing images. Then we conducted field investigations to the source area to confirm the findings.”

Located in eastern China between the Yangtze and Yellow rivers, the Huaihe, one of the seven longest rivers in China, runs through Henan, Anhui and Jiangsu provinces and meets the Yangtze River in Yangzhou, a city in east China’s Jiangsu Province.

There are obvious differences between the northern and southern sides of the river in terms of climate, soil, vegetation, agricultural production and people’s customs.

Prior to these findings, it was widely believed that the river originated in the Tongbai Mountains at the boundary between Henan and Hubei provinces. Its length was previously estimated at 1,000 kilometers, but the source and length of the river had long been in question by those in geography circles.

“The data about the sources and lengths of major world rivers recorded in various documents were the results of previous geographers and explorers’ efforts. But with the improvement of technologies, important geographical data should be updated,” Liu said.

Liu has worked to locate the sources of the world’s largest rivers since the 1990s. He has pinpointed the sources of 17 principal rivers and measured their lengths by using satellite remote-sensing technology and conducting field investigations.

Some of Liu’s previous findings have been cited by the U.S. National Geographic Society and the Mekong River Commission.


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