Min River (Sichuan)

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Min River
Origin Songpan
Mouth Chang Jiang at Yibin
Basin countries China
Right tributaries Dadu River
Map of the Min River drainage basin

The Min River or Min Jiang (Chinese, p Mínjiāng) is a 735-kilometer-long river (457 mi) in central Sichuan province, China. It is a tributary of the upper Yangtze River which it joins at Yibin. Within China, it was traditionally taken as the main course of the upper Yangtze prior to extensive exploration of its sources.[1][2]


The Min River flows in the general southern direction. It starts in north-central Sichuan, where its basin is limited by the Qionglai Mountains in the west and the Min Mountains in the east. The river passes through the Longmen Range and enters the plains of the Sichuan Basin near Dujiangyan City; in that area, the ancient Dujiangyan Irrigation System (都江堰) and the modern Zipingpu dam are located. The Giant Buddha of Leshan is built into the stone banks of the Min.


Some 19th-century Western authors used the name Blue River as the "colloquial name" for the Minjiang, after the former local Chinese name Qingshui (清水, lit. "Clear Water").[3] and the belief that the Min constituted the main course of the Yangtze,[1] which was itself known to Europeans as the "Blue River".[4]


A survey by biologist Deng Qixiang found that only 16 of the 40 fish species recorded in the 1950s are to be found today. The Sichuan Taimen, a protected species, has not been seen in one stretch of river, the Wenchuan, for an entire decade.[5]


Located along the Min River is the oldest surviving water management scheme. It was built about 2,300 years ago. The first western academic who researched its history was Joseph Needham. It is named the Dujiangyan Irrigation System.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Jamieson, George. Encyclopædia Britannica, 11th ed. "Yangtsze-Kiang". Cambridge Univ. Press, 1911. Accessed 14 August 2013.
  2. ^ Fan Chengda. James M. Hargett (trans.) Riding the River Home: A Complete and Annotated Translation of Fan Chengda's (1126–1193) Travel Diary Record of a Boat Trip to Wu, p. 77. Chinese Univ. of Hong Kong (Hong Kong), 2008. Accessed 15 August 2013.
  3. ^ Davenport, Arthur (1877), Report upon the trading capabilities of the country traversed by the Yunnan Mission, Harrison and Sons, pp. 10–11 
  4. ^ E.g., Moll, Herman. "The Empire of China and island of Japan, agreeable to modern history." Bowles & Bowles (London), 1736. Accessed 13 August 2013.
  5. ^ [1]

Coordinates: 28°46′14″N 104°37′56″E / 28.77056°N 104.63222°E / 28.77056; 104.63222