China’s Yangtze and Yellow River Map

Yangtze and Yellow Rivers of China map small

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The Yangtze River is the longest river in Asia and the third longest in the world behind the Nile and the Amazon river. It is estimated to be about 6300 km or 3915 miles long. It originates from a glacier located on the eastern side of the Plateau of Tibet.

The Yangtze is heavily polluted due to untreated wastewater discharged into the river. Wildlife like the local population of dolphins has become threatened. Moreover the quality of drinking water for the population living along the river has become degraded.

The Yellow River is the second longest river in China and is approximately 5,464 kilometers or 3,398 miles in length. It has been dubbed the ‘cradle of Chinese civilization’ as it is believed that China’s civilization originated from here.

It also has been nicknamed ‘China’s pride’ as well as ‘China’s sorrow’ as the river is prone to severe floods due to its elevated river bed. The name the ‘Yellow River’ comes from the ochre-yellow color of the river in the lower course of the year. This color is caused by the amount of sediment that is suspended in the waters.

The Yellow River is very polluted mainly due to discharge from industry and household wastewater. Currently it has been estimated that one third of the river is unsuable even for industrial or agricultural use.

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China’s Gobi Desert

Map of China’s Desert
China's Gobi and Taklamakan deserts
China’s desert area is increasing at an alarming rate. The Gobi desert has increased in size by 25,000 square miles since 1994 and it’s sands have encroached as far as 100 miles from Beijing, the host city of the 2008 Olympic games.
The dust from the desert contributes to poor visibility and health problems such as respiratory and skin disorders. Moreover the desertification reduces the amount of arable land and therefore affects China’s ability to produce grains to feed its population. Official reports say that about 4000 villages across China have been swallowed up by the encroaching desert and it has affected more than 200 million people.
Not only has the sands affected Chinese people but the sands are blown to nearby countries like Korea and Japan and even as far as the West coast of North America. The main causes of the desertification are a persistent drought, overgrazing, indiscriminate use of ground water and rampant logging. The government has been trying hard to fight the desertification by planting trees around the desert’s periphery, hoping to contain its expansion.


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