The Yangtze River

6 Jun 2010

Again, at ... we are told the Yangtze River is 40 million years older than previously thought because a study of minerals by a team from Durham University says the river began to cut hrough the Three Gorges area around 45 million years ago. The Three Gorges is in SW China and cuts through a range of inaccessible mountains that surround Sichuan Province, the rice bowl of China. However, erosion has removed all evidence of the older, emergent river system and so the research revolves around how quickly the river actually cut through the rock (based on sediments found in the gorge and dated via the orthodox geological timescale). It is thought the gorge formed very slowly, a gradualist event, unlike the quicker formation previously assumed - for quite different reasons.