BEIJING -- Chinese researchers have found that the modern Yellow River began to form 1.25 million years ago, according to a paper published in the journal Science Bulletin.
The research on the formation history of Yellow River and its driving mechanism can provide vital evidence to help us understand how the interaction between structure and climate shaped China's geographical environment pattern, said Wang Xin, a professor at Lanzhou University.
He said that Sanmenxia, as the last gorge along the main stream of the Yellow River, plays a key role in the study of the formation and evolution of the Yellow River system.
A research team from the university, together with the Institute of Geology under the China Earthquake Administration (CEA), the First Monitoring and Application Center under the CEA, the Shimane University and the China University of Geosciences (Wuhan), conducted environmental drilling and collaborative research at the center of the Sanmenxia basin.
They obtained sedimentologic, geochronologic and provenance data from a drill core near Sanmenxia and concluded that typical river channel deposits, with detritus from the Ordos Block in the upstream regions, started to accumulate in Sanmenxia 1.25 million years ago.
Researchers also proposed that the accelerated lowering of the eustatic sea level during the Mid-Pleistocene transition may have played as important a role as tectonism in driving the birth and evolution of the modern Yellow River.
This research provides a new perspective for the study of the evolution history and development model of the water systems of major rivers around the world.
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