Three Gorges Dam on Yangtze River in China - which slows the rotation of Earth
Location show on map
Sandouping, Yiling, Hubei, China
Date of build
December 14, 1994 - construction starts
May 20, 2006 - completion of construction
October 26, 2010 - filling the tank
The Three Gorges Dam is the largest dam in the world, located on the Yangtze River in the central Chinese province called Hubei between three gorges: Qutang, Wuxia and Xiling.
A dam on the Yangtze River was already proposed in 1919 by the president of China Sun Yat-Sen. In the following years, the project was returned, including after 1954, when nearly 30,000 people were killed as a result of the Yangtze river flooding. Finally, the All-China General Assembly of People's Representatives approved the construction of the dam in 1992.
The whole complex can be divided into three parts: a barrier in itself, a water slide (shiplock) and a shiplift. The complex includes 386 metal gates of various types, 139 lifts and 26 locks (the largest has a height of 37 meters). Two water locks located on one side of the dam are used to transport ships in opposite directions (up to 12 vessels at the same time). The ramp serves as the "elevator" for smaller ships.
The hydroelectric power plant consists of 26 sets of turbines, 700 MW each and 400 tonnes. Another 7 turbines are under construction on the right bank. The total capacity is 18200 MW, which gives an average annual energy production of 84.7 TWh.
The 5-channel input channel has a total length of 6442 meters, of which the main section is 1607 meters. The maximum height is 170 meters.
The Three Gorges Dam is the largest water project in the world. As a result of the construction of the dam, a water reservoir was built that was over 630 km long, 175 meters deep, and 1045 square kilometers.
To subjugate the third-largest river in the world - Yangtze River, whose length is over 6.3 thousand. kilometers, it was necessary to extract 102.6 million cubic meters of land and stones, flooding 26.43 million cubic meters of concrete and use 463 thousand tons of steel (which would allow to build 63 Eiffel Tower ).
Since the commencement of work on the dam there have been resettled 1.24 million inhabitants from 13 cities, 140 towns and over 1600 surrounding villages in 1994. Over the next five years, China will have to relocate another 350,000 people to allow the creation of a water diversion project.
Already more than 70% of drinking water in China is contaminated. Dam design can further aggravate pollution. Some cities have already rejected plans to obtain water through the redirection project as being too polluted.
The firewall is not only meant to prevent flooding but it can also benefit farmers by supplying water from the basin of this dam to more than 20 percent of agricultural land in China. Other benefits are: reduction of coal production, fivefold increase in trade in the area of the basin and 35-37% reduction of travel costs (five times the number of vessels sailing on the Yangtze River).
The firewall will negatively affect the environment, including in the aspect of fish species, of which there are over 300 kinds in the river, and which will not be able to get through the dam. Many species of flora and fauna will disappear, for example metasequoia or Chinese river dolphin.
Another negative effect of the dam is the sinking of 1,300 archaeological sites that were lost forever when filling the tank with water.
According to NASA specialists, the dam affected the Earth's rotation. Researchers say that such a large mass shift caused the day to be extended by 0.06 microseconds, and the planet's axis was shifted by 2 cm. Other scientists say that as a result of evaporation of water over the Hubei province, clouds blocking the sun's rays began to appear, and thus the average temperature dropped by about 0.67 degrees Celsius around the dam.
The structure of the dam is prepared for the survival of an earthquake up to 7 on the Richter scale. However, seismologists warn that such a high pressure on the Earth's crust can increase their seismic activity. Some even suggest that the great Sichuan earthquake that killed 87,000 people was caused by the filling of the dam, despite the fact that this was carried out gradually to minimize landslide and maintain tectonic balance.
Official website: http://www.ctgpc.com
"Walls of stone will stand up to the west
To hold back Wushan's clouds and rain
Till a smooth lake rises in the narrow gorges" - Mao Zedong's poem Swimming