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World's Third Biggest Canyon in Tibet: Scientists

[WTN-L World Tibet Network News. Published by The Canada Tibet Committee. Issue ID: 02/04/26; April 26, 2002.]

People's Daily - Chinese paper 26 Apr 2002.

Two Chinese scientists announced in Lhasa on Thursday that the Great Polungtsangpo Canyon in southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region is the third biggest canyon in the world after the Yarlung Zangbo Canyon in Tibet and the Kaligendege Canyon in Nepal. The discovery was made by Zhang Wenjing and Yang Yichou, research fellows at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, after years of scientific study. Their research will soon be published.

The Great Polungtsangpo Canyon, located at Nyingchi County in eastern Tibet, averages 3556 meters in depth, with the deepest section reaching 4001 meters. It is 50 kilometers or 76 kilometers long, depending on two different ways of positioning of its origin.

It ranks as the world's third largest canyon after the Yarlung Zangbo Canyon in Tibet and the Kaligendege Canyon in Nepal.

Yang said that the discovery is of great significance in terms of the natural environment and development of resources.

Together with the Yarlung Zangbo Canyon, Polungtsangpo Canyon forms a complete and unique regional geological system which can't be seen elsewhere in the world, he added.

Polungtsangpo Valley is in one of China's three virgin forest zones. An attractive tourist destination, the valley comprises Midui glacier, which is composed of two world-class icy waterfalls each 1,000 meters wide, and Rawu Lake, the largest freshwater lake in Tibet. It is a region where glaciers, virgin forest, wild animal haunts and distinctive ethnic villages exist.


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