黄土高原 The Loess Plateau
The Loess Plateau
With an area of about 400,000 km2 and an average altitude of between 1,000 ?2,000 m, the Loess Plateau is the third largest plateau in China and is mostly covered by a 50 ?80 m-thick layer of loess, which is incomparable in the world and a miracle of nature.
Geomorphology of Loess
The Loess Plateau has millions of gullies. The splendid loess pillars, peculiar peaks, cave dwellings and folk customs attract tourists from everywhere.
But the plateau has suffered from a serious loss of water and land erosion. Much of the loess is flushed away into the Yellow River by rain, filling it with mud and sand and carving out many gullies as it is carried away towards the sea. Research shows that exposed to thunderstorms, the porous loess can hardly avoid becoming eroded by the flowing water. This has been exacerbated by man-made devastation such as unreasonable land utilization and excessive deforestation. Now, the Chinese government is taking measures for reforesting some of the cultivated land and planting grass to control the loss of water and erosion.