Saturday, September 13, 2008

Songhua River

The Songhua River is a river in Northeast China, and is the largest tributary of the , flowing about 1,927 km from Changbai Mountains through the Heilongjiang and Jilin provinces. The river drains 212,000 square miles of land. It joins the Amur at the town of . The river has a dam at , which is used for hydroelectricity production. It forms a lake that stretches 62 km upstream. Below the dam, the river flows northwest until its largest tributary, the Nen River, joins it near . The Nen River drains the northern Manchurian Plain. The river travels east until it joins the Hulan River near Harbin. Then it passes between the northern end of the eastern Manchurian mountain system and the Lesser Khingan Range. The river then flows into the Amur River valley. The river from late November until March. It has its highest flows when the mountain snow melts during the spring thaw. The river is navigable up to Harbin by medium-sized ships. Smaller craft can navigate the Songhua up to Jilin and the Nen River up to Qiqihar.

The extreme flatness of the Manchurian Plain has caused the river to meander widely over time. The result of the meandering is that the river is surrounded by a wide plain that is filled with swirls and curves, showing paths the river once took.

In November 2005, the river was , leading to a shutdown of Harbin's water supply and threats of a Russian lawsuit against China.

Cities along the river include:
* Jiamusi

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