Monday, June 9, 2008

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Three Gorges Dam

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The Three Gorges Dam on the Chang Jiang (Yangtze) River in China is one of the largest single construction projects ever attempted on the planet. The dam was constructed to supply approximately one-ninth of China's electricity- as much power as could be generated by at least fifteen nuclear power plants. It is a relatively environmentally clean option compared to coal burning or nuclear power plants. It is also hoped that the dam will help control flooding on a river where seasonal floods during the past century have caused the deaths of over one million people. However, the Three Gorges Dam project has also had negative environmental and social impacts as a result of the massive construction efforts and the submergence of land along the river above the dam. The former village of Zigui (top center of image) has already been submerged.

The 1987 image shows the nature of the river and surrounding landscape before work on the dam was begun. In the May 2004 image, the enormous Three Gorges Dam is clearly visible, as is the reservoir of impounded river water that has been created behind it. View detailed information

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