Evolution of the Yellow River in the Houtao Plain of Inner Mongolia in the Past 2000 Years

  • Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China

Received date: 2002-05-12

  Revised date: 2002-10-11

  Online published: 2003-03-25

Supported by

National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.49831080; Knowledge Innovation Project of CAS, No.KZCX2-314


Using the interpretation of remote sensing images and synthesis of the historical literature and maps, this paper deals with the river evolution of the Yellow River in the Houtao Plain, Inner Mongolia. The following results are obtained: It is deducted that the south alluvial fan whose acme is located near Ershiliuzi, south to Dengkou formed before the 2nd century BC. The Yellow River wandered with a converged pattern on the alluvial fan and then flowed northward until the southern foot of the Yinshan Mountains and then turned eastward. In the 2nd century BC, the development of the south alluvial fan was stopped at that time and the acme of the alluvial fan moved northward to nearby 8 km north to Bulongnao. The Yellow River wandered with a converged pattern on the new alluvial fan (the north alluvial fan), then northward till the southern foot of the Yinshan Mountains and along it eastward many courses converged. The Taiyangmiao depression between the south and the north alluvial fans became Tushenze Lake due to water collection. There are many paleochannels of the Yellow River in the eastern part of the Houtao Plain, most of which flowed from west to east. From the 6th century to the mid-17th century, the Yellow River in the Houtao Plain was divided into two branches, the South River and the North one.

Cite this article

LI Bingyuan, GE Quansheng, ZHENG Jingyun . Evolution of the Yellow River in the Houtao Plain of Inner Mongolia in the Past 2000 Years[J]. Acta Geographica Sinica, 2003 , 58(2) : 239 -246 . DOI: 10.11821/xb200302011


[1] Tan Qixiang. Changshuiji (Collection of the Studies on Historical Geography), 2. Beijing: People's Press, 1987. 331-333.
[谭其骧. 长水集(下). 北京: 人民出版社, 1987. 331-333.]

[2] Guan Yuzhang. Formation of Ulansuhai Lake and evolution. Yellow River, (6): 61-63.
[关玉璋. 乌梁素海的形成与演变. 人民黄河, 1989, (6): 61-63.]

[3] Hou Renzhi, Yu Weichao, Li Baotian. Han Dynasty Reclamation Area in the North Ulan Buh Desert, Sand Control Group, CAS: Sand Control Research, (7). Beijing: Science Press, 1965. 15-34.
[侯仁之, 俞伟超, 李宝田. 乌兰布和沙漠北部的汉代垦区. 见: 中国科学院治沙队, 治沙研究第7号. 北京: 科学出版社, 1965. 15-34.]

[4] Inner Mongolia and Ningxia Integrated Investigation Team of CAS, Geomorphology of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and the Western Northeast China. Beijing: Science Press, 1980. 69-77, 108-121, 197.
[中国科学院内蒙宁夏综合考察队. 内蒙古自治区及东北西部地区地貌. 北京: 科学出版社, 1980. 69-77, 108-121, 197.]

[5] Yang Fa. Characteristics of tectonic movement in the Hetao subsidence belt during the Quaternary. In: Active Fault System around Ordos Plateau. Beijing: Seismological Press, 1988. 39-71.
[杨发. 河套断陷带第四纪活动特征. 见: 国家地震局, 鄂尔多斯周缘活动断裂系. 北京: 地震出版社, 1988. 39-71.]

[6] Editorial Group of Chinese Historical Map. The Atlas of Chinese Historical Map, 1974. Beijing: Chinese Cartography Press, 1974.
[中国历史地图编辑组 编. 中国历史地图集. 北京: 中华地图学社出版, 1974. ]

[7] Editorial Committee of Bayanhanaoermeng Local Gazette. Bayehaoermenzhi. Local Gazette of Bayanhanaoermeng. Hohhot: Inner Mongolia People's Press, 1997. 167-170, 438-440.
[巴彦淖尔盟志编簒委员会 编. 巴彦淖尔盟志. 呼和浩特: 内蒙古人民出版社, 1997. 167-170, 438-440.]

[8] Jia Tiefei. Sediment and its environmental significance in the north Ulan Buh Desert. Arid Land Geography, 1998, 21(2): 36-41.
[贾铁飞. 乌兰布和沙漠北部沉积物特征及环境意义. 干旱区地理, 1998, 21(2): 36-41.]

[9] Shi Peijun. Precipitation changes in different time scales at Houtao and its adjacent area since 10000 years. In: Wu Xiangding, Collection of Studies on Environmental Changes in the Yellow River and Laws of Water and Sediment Movement, 2. Beijing: Geological Press, 1991. 57-63.
[史培军. 10000年来河套及邻近地区在几种时间尺度上的降水变化. 见: 吴祥定, 黄河流域环境演变与水沙运行规律研究文集(第二集). 北京: 地质出版社, 1991. 57-63.]

[10] Hou Renzhi. Changes of Mu Us Desert in view of the ruin of an old city by Hongliuhe River. Cultural Relic, 1973,(1): 35-42.
[侯仁之. 从红柳河上的古城废墟看毛乌素沙漠的变迁. 文物, 1973, (1): 35-42.]

[11] Wang Shouchun. Changes of vegetation, human activities in the history in the Loess Plateau. In: Wu Xiangding, Environmental Evolution and Changes of Water and Sediments in the Yellow River in the History. Beijing: Meteorological Press, 1994. 74-78.
[王守春. 历史时期黄土高原植被变迁、人类活动及其对环境的影响. 见: 吴祥定, 历史时期黄河流域环境变迁与水沙变化. 北京: 气象出版社, 1994. 74-78.]

[12] Shi Nianhai. Distribution and changes of the farming, forestry and animal husbandry area in Ordos Plateau and Hetao Plain since 2300 years. Journal of Beijing Normal University, 1980, (6): 1-4.
[史念海. 两千三百年来鄂尔多斯高原和河套平原农林牧地区的分布及其变迁. 北京师范大学学报(社会科学版), 1980, (6): 1-14.]

[13] Hou Renzhi. Archaeological discovery and changes of geographical environment in Ulan Buh Desert. Archaeology, 1973, (2): 92-107.
[侯仁之. 乌兰布和沙漠的考古发现和地理环境的变迁. 考古, 1973, (2): 92-107.]

[14] Ge Quansheng, Zheng Jingyun, Fang Xiuqi et al. Temperature changes of the east part of China in winter semi-year at the 2000 years past. Quaternary Research, 2002, 22(2): 166-173.
[葛全胜, 郑景云, 方修琦 等. 过去2000年中国东部冬半年温度变化. 第四纪研究, 2002, 22(2): 166-173.]

[15] Wang Shaowu. Environmental characteristics of the west part of China and their changes. In: Qin Dahe, Environmental Change Evaluation for Western China. Beijing: Science Press, 2002. 46-50.
[王绍武. 中国西部环境特征及其演变. 见: 秦大河, 中国西部环境演变评估第一卷. 北京: 科学出版社, 2002. 46-50.]

[16] Chen Jiaqi. Change of flood and drought and its tendency in the middle reach of Yellow River. Yellow River, 1990, (4): 30-55.
[陈家其. 黄河中游地区近1500年水旱变化规律及其趋势分析. 人民黄河, 1990, (4): 30-35.]