|Yangtze, Tongtian He|
Jinsha flowing along the bottom of Tiger Leaping Gorge
|Name origin: Chinese: "Golden Sand River"|
|States||Qinghai, Tibet, Yunnan, Sichuan|
|Part of||Yangtze River basin|
|- left||Beilu River, Yalong River|
|- right||Pudu River, Xiaojiang River, Niulang River|
|Cities||Lijiang, Yunnan, Panzhihua|
|- location||Confluence of Chumaer, Muluwusu and Akedamu Rivers, Qinghai|
|- elevation||4,500 m (14,764 ft)|
|- location||Confluence with Min Jiang at Yibin, Sichuan|
|- elevation||300 m (984 ft)|
|Length||2,290 km (1,423 mi) approx.|
|Basin||485,000 km2 (187,260 sq mi) approx.|
|- average||4,471 m3/s (157,892 cu ft/s)|
|- max||35,000 m3/s (1,236,013 cu ft/s)|
It flows through the Qinghai, and Sichuan and Yunnan provinces in western China. The river passes through Tiger Leaping Gorge, and has portions within the Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas.
The Jinsha River's headwaters rise in the Wulan and Kekexili ranges in western Qinghai province, to the south of the Kunlun Mountains, and on the northern slope of the Tanggula Mountains on the border of the Tibet Autonomous Region. The three principal headwaters — the Chumaer, Muluwusu, and Akedamu rivers — join to form the Tongtian River, which flows southeast to Zhimenda near the frontier between Qinghai and Sichuan provinces.
As the Jinsha River, it then flows south through a deep gorge parallel to the similar gorges of the upper Mekong and upper Salween rivers, from which it is separated by the Ningjing Mountains. It forms the western border of Sichuan for some 250 miles (400 km) and then flows into Yunnan province. After a large, 200 mile (320 km) long loop to the north of Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture, the Jinsha swings northeast, forming the Sichuan-Yunnan provincial boundary until it joins the Min River at Yibin in Sichuan to form the Yangtze.
The upper course of the river falls about 14 feet per mile (2.7 m/km). Below Batang (Sichuan) the gradient gradually decreases to about 8 feet per mile (1.5 m/km), but the Jinsha is unnavigable and in its upper course, through the gorges, is more of an obstacle than an aid to transportation.
The Jinsha River is under heavy development by China, with over sixteen dam projects in various phases of development along the river, and many on its tributaries as well, especially the Yalong. Four dams along the lower part of the river are under construction or have already been completed to generate hydroelectric power and to trap silt that would otherwise create problems at the Three Gorges Dam. The ten largest dams will produce 55,710 megawatts of power.
- Jun, Huang; Zulin Zhang and Gang Yu (2003). "Occurrence of dissolved PAHs in the Jinsha River (Panzhihua)—upper reaches of the Yangtze River, Southwest China". J. Environ. Monit. 5 (5): 604–09. doi:10.1039/b210670a.
- International Rivers, (2009-1-16). Jinsha River Dams Retrieved 2010-1-25.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Jinsha River (Jīnshā Jiāng)|