HomeAsiaNorth China Plain – The Heartland of Modern China
North China Plain – The Heartland of Modern China
The North China Plain is also called the Middle plain, a large-scale down-faulted rift basin formed in the late Paleogene and Neogene. It was then modified by the deposits of the Yellow River and is the largest alluvial plain of China. The North China Plain is bordered to the west by the Taihang Mountains, on the north by the Yanshan Mountains, in the south by the Dabie and Tianmu Mountains, and to the east by the Yellow Sea.
The Yellow River flows through the middle of the plain into the Bohai Sea. Sanmenxia Dam is a multipurpose dam in the river’s last valley before the North China Plain. North China Plain has experienced a massive expansion of irrigated agriculture which cools surface temperature and moistens surface air.
However, enhancements integrated measures of temperature and humidity and hence enhances the intensity of heatwaves. The major rivers are the Hai Ho, Huai Ho, and Luan Ho, which follow the monsoon cycle with unexpected seasonal flow variations.
This is a great delta created from silt dropped at the Yellow River’s mouth over the millennia. The North China Plain extends over much of Henan, Hebei, and Shandong provinces. It merges with the Yangtze Delta in northern Jiangsu and Anhui provinces. The Yellow River meanders over the fertile, densely populated plain emptying into the Bohai Sea.
The North China Plain is considered one of China’s most significant agricultural regions. This is producing ample corn, sorghum, winter wheat, vegetables, and cotton. The North China Plain nickname is “Land of the Yellow Earth.” The cradle of Chinese civilization is formed in the southern part of the plain.
The plains cover an area of about 409,500 square kilometers. Most of which is less than 50 meters above sea level. This flat yellow-soil plain is the main area of sorghum, millet, maize, and cotton production in China. Wheat, sesame seed, and peanuts are also grown here. The plain is one of the most densely populated regions in the world. The plain has been passed to frequent floods caused by river overflows, which have been observed massive disasters for the native population.
Throughout most history, widespread flooding about every 2 years out of 3 years was common on the plain. However, after 1949, many large-scale projects to flood control and irrigation systems were built. Wheat, cotton, sesame seed, peanuts, and tobacco are raised, and sea salt is sun-dried along the coast.
On the northeast edge of the plain, Beijing, China’s capital, is located. Moreover, Tianjin, a very significant industrial city and commercial port, is near its northeast coast. Shandong, “Shengli Oilfield” is also a very important petroleum base. It is also home to the Yellow River. The Plain is composed of very deep alluvial deposits, principally redeposited losses.
The Historical Significance of North China Plain
The North China Plain geography has had insightful cultural and political implications. A contrasting area to the south of the Yangtze, it generally runs uninterrupted by mountains and has far fewer rivers. As a result communication by horse is rapid within the plain. Hence, the spoken language is quite uniform as compared to too many languages in Southern China.
The broad-leaved forests, mixed with subtropical evergreens in the south, which had formerly grown on the North China Plain, no longer exist. Small groves of ash, poplars, thujas, and pine have been planted among the agricultural fields.
Furthermore, the possibility of rapid communication has meant that the political center of China has tended to be located here. Because the fertile soil of the North China Plain gradually merges with the steppes and deserts of Dzungaria, Inner Mongolia, and Northeast China, the plain has been prone to invasion from nomadic or semi-nomadic ethnic groups originating from those regions, prompting the construction of the Great Wall of China.
Although the soil of the North China Plain is fertile, the weather is unpredictable, being at the intersection of humid winds from the Pacific and dry winds from the interior of the Asian continent. This makes the plain prone to both floods and drought. Moreover, the flatness of the plain promotes massive flooding when river works are damaged. The North China Plain soil is very fertile, that caused weather is unpredictable.
Hence, the humid and dry winds come from the interior of the Asian continent, making the plain prone to drought and flood. Thus, many legends propose a centralized Chinese state to manage granaries, maintain hydraulic works, and administer fortification against the steppe peoples. The hydraulic society school holds early Euphrates, Indus, and Yellow Rivers due to the need to supervise large numbers of laborers to build irrigation canals and control floods.