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《Acta Geographica Sinica》 1956-04
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GEOMORPHOLOG OF THE HANSHUI VALLEY

Y. C. Shen(Institute of Geography, Academia Sinica)  
Hanshui is the largest tributary of the Yangtze. Its whole length is 1,500 km, and its drainage area about 174,000 km2. The total fall of Hanshui is 564 m. From Yu-tei Ho to Tan-kiang Kou, the fall is 470 m, which is 83% of the fall of the whole river, and here large part of the tributaries are concentrated. The Hanshui valley may be divided at Tan-kiang Kou into two parts: the valley above Tan-kiang Kou which is parallel to the E-W folds of Chingling; and the valley below Tan-kiang Kou is in NW-SE direction which is corresponded to the direction of King Shan and Ta-hung Shan. The river trough and bed of Hanshui are very much curved. The coefficient of curvature of the river valley is 1.64 for the upper course (above Tan-kiang Kou), 1.42 for the middle course (from Tan-kiang Kou to Chung-siang) and 2.09 for the lower course (below Chung-siang). The value 2.09 does not tell the truth, because the river bed of lower Hanshui is confined between dykes. The gorges above Tan-kiang Kou occupy 80% of the whole valley and from Tau-kiang Kou down to Chung-siang the valley is wider and hilly. Below Chung-chiang is the delta plain of the lower Hanshui (with an area of 31,000 km2). Tributaries and lakes scatter here and there on the delta plain. The number of larger lakes is about 200 and the area of the lakes occupies 6% of the whole plain. Prom Tan-kiang Kuo down to Hankow, the river trough is shaped like a funnel with the upper part large and the lower part small. The width of the trough during maximum flow is 7-8 km, while on the lower course from Shing-kui to Hankow, the narrowest place (Chiechia Tsu) is only 180 m. The funnel shape of the river makes the floodall the more dangerous. Along the river valley especially above Tan-kiang Kou, basins and gorges alternate with each other. Below Huang-king Surge all the basins are covered with the tertiary red beds and the area of the basins is larger. The geomorphic trait of that part makes it suitable for the building of reservoir. The present, river valley is chiefly formed at the end of the tertiary period after the deposits of the red beds. The river valley below Chung-siang is formed later. After that formation, intermittent uplift has occurred and four clearly shown and wide spread terraces are formed: the flood plain less than 10m above the river bed; the alluvial terrace of 10-15 m; the red clay terrace of 80-40 m; and the compound terrace of 70-80 m. Bui below Chung-siang the second terrace is absent, while in Wei-men, at the month of Huang-king Gorge and in the Hanchung basin, there appears the fifth terrace of 150-200 m which is formed due to the differentiation of the new tectonic movements of the upper and lower courses of the river. The red clay terrace of 30-40 m is formed probably due to the change of climate. As to the development of the river valley, proper use should be considered for different places: (1) Below Chung-siang the chief problem is the draining of water, although problems concerning irrigation should also be considered. (2) From Chung-siang to Tan-kiang Kou, irrigation is urgent. Power generation may be developed to satisfy the needs of great industrial buses: as Wu-han and Huang-shih. (3) From Tan-kiang Kou to Yun-hsieji it is mainly composed of alternated gorges with small basins. This situation makes a possible for building reservoir and irrigating the plain of Tan-bei Ho. (4)There are many gorges above Yun-hsien, and the river above Shih-chuang is almost unnavigable. In these parts navigation must be the chief aim of development. (5) In Han-chung basin irrigation should be extended by building reservoirs not only on the main river but also on the tributaries such as Pan-shui and Shie-shui to enlarge the irrigated area of the terraces. (6) Above Mien-bsien there is no wide plain and navigation is not important. Power generation should be the chief aim of development.
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