Sanjiangyuan – Source Water Systems of Yellow River Changjiang River Lanchang River

 Sanjiangyuan – Source of Three Rivers – three major water systems of Yellow River, Changjiang River and Lanchang River

The terrain of Qinghai is divided into mountains, hills and basins three stages. Featured by high mountains and widespread glaciers, the first stage is composed of Kunlun Mountain, Tanggula Mountain and Bayangela Mountain in the south. The smelted ice and snow make here the sources of the three major water systems of Yellow River, Changjiang River and Lanchang River, hence the name of Sanjiangyuan, which means the source of three rivers.

In order to protect the ecological environment here, the state has established Sanjiangyuan (source of three rivers) Natural Preservation Area in 2000, including Yushu and Guoluo two Tibetan autonomous prefectures and part of Xinghai, Tongde, Zekog and Golmud City, with a total area of 318,000km2. This the ecologically most sensitive area of the drainage areas of the three rivers and the reserve with the biggest area in China, the most natural wet lands in high-elevation areas of the world and the most species of plants and animals. It is of important meaning for the protection of the lakes, wet lands, primeval forests, paramos bushes, marshy grasslands, precious animals and plants in the area of World Roof as well the grade 3 landscapes of the world.

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