Loess Plateau

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Loess Plateau


a natural region in China, in the middle part of the Huangho basin. It is bounded in the south by the Ch’inling Range, in the east by the T’aihang Shan, in the north by the Ordos Desert, in the northwest by the Ala Shan Desert, and in the west by the eastern spurs of the Kunlun. Area, about 430,000 sq km; prevailing altitudes, 1,200–1,500 m. Within the Loess Plateau there are individual ranges (Luip’an Shan, Luiliang Shan, Wut’ai Shan), whose crests in places reach 2,500 m and more.

In geological terms the Loess Plateau is a basin filled with a thick layer of Mesozoic deposits overlain by loess. The thickness of the loess usually varies from 100 to 200 m, increasing in the north to 250 m. The friable series of loess are subject to intense erosion. In certain regions the network of ravines reaches 5–6 km per sq km, with a depth of 100–150 m. In the north there is a predominance of loess ridges and spurs extending in the direction of the prevailing winds and with an overall depth of up to 300–400 m. In the south, flat and rolling plateaus cut by ravines have developed.

The climate is temperate with dry cold winters and hot summers. The average January temperature is from— 8°C in the north to— 4°C in the south, and for July from 22°C in the north to 24°C in the south. Precipitation totals from 500 mm per year in the east to 250 mm in the northwest. Most of it falls during the summer monsoon (July to September), usually as downpours that further the development of erosion.

The rivers often flow in deep gorges and carry an enormous amount of detritus. The annual volume of solid drainage in the Huangho below the Loess Plateau exceeds 1.3 billion tons. The soils on the loess are characterized by high fertility, but in their majority they are eroded. Natural vegetation—forest steppe in the southeast and arid steppe in the northwest—has survived only in places unsuitable for agriculture. The entire surface has been plowed up, and loess slopes up to 1,000 m in elevation and more have been artificially terraced. Cotton, millet, kaoliang, and wheat are grown. There are deposits of hard coal, iron ore, oil, combustible shale, gypsum, and salt. The Loess Plateau (particularly the Wei River valley) is densely populated. The major cities are Hsian, T’aiyüan, and Lanchou.


References in periodicals archive ?
Other topics include seismic and electrical signatures of the lithosphere-asthenosphere system of the normal oceanic mantle, hydrogeomorphic ecosystem responses to natural and anthropogenic changes in the loess plateau of China, the photochemistry of sulfur dioxide and the origin of mass-independent isotope fractionation in Earth's atmosphere, statistics of earthquake activity: models and methods for earthquake predictability studies, and the rise of animals in a changing environment: global ecological innovation in the Late Ediacaran.
Soil organic carbon and total nitrogen as affected by vegetation types in Northern Loess Plateau of China.
Each of the river's identities -- as the fertile nurturer and the wanton killer -- derives from the same feature: the 1 billion tons of sediment that washes down each year from the Loess Plateau to the Bohai Sea.
The aim of this study was to assess the relation of intercondylar notch morphology to anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries in female nonathletes with knee OA aged 41–65 years from the Chinese Loess Plateau.
Biodegradable polymer film is useful in reducing environmental pollution caused by polyethylene film and could potentially replace polyethylene film during agricultural production in the Northwestern Loess Plateau, China.
This study showed that biochar application could be used as the soil amendment in the Loess Plateau to weaken the restriction of water shortage and promote plant growth.
Mulching effects on water storage in soil and its depletion by alfalfa in the Loess Plateau of northwestern China.
In alpine region of Loess Plateau, by using Li-6400 portable photosynthesis system, light response of gas exchange parameters in S.
Though mineral subsoils can take centuries to form, using techniques like permaculture and organic agriculture "it's possible to make new soils consciously and rapidly," says ecologist and filmmaker John D Liu, who has been documenting the incredible revitalization of the Loess Plateau region in China for 20 years.
2014, Characteristics of the fifth paleosol complex (S5) in the southernmost part of the Chinese Loess Plateau and its paleo-environmental significance.
It includes portions of the Loess Plateau straddling the middle reaches of the Yellow River in addition to the Qinling Mountains across the southern part of this province.
The province is part of the Loess Plateau, which is known for its sandy, erosion-prone soil, and susceptible to the forces of wind and water.