|In 1994, Chinese scientists conducted an in-depth research project on world famous canyons. Results show that the 496.3-meter-long Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon has an average depth of 5,000 meters, but drops in places to 5,382 meters. Since these figures came to light, world geography textbooks have had to be rewritten, Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon is the world's deepest, longest, highest and most dangerous one. In the past, the 5,133-meter-deep Grand Canyon of the Colorado was considered to be the deepest, followed by 3,200-meter-deep Colia Grand Canyon in Peru.|
On October 19, 1998, the 50 members of China's Exploration Team began travelling the canyon on foot for the first time. It took them 50 days to accomplish their ambitious expedition.
The Yarlungarea is home to many living species. Preliminary statistics show that there are over 3,768 varieties of plants, 680 varieties of large fungi, 232 species of birds 31 species of amphibians, 2,000 kinds of insects and over 230 rust fungi.
The area has water resources that can be harnessed by hydroelectric power to produce 100 million kw of energy. In addition, incomplete statistics show that glaciers cover an area of more than 4,800 square kilometers, forming a large "natural reservoir" of ice and snow.
A varied and changeable climate makes the canyon a place of different landscapes. Areas lower than 1,100 meters above sea level and with annual mean temperature of 16¡æ to 18¡æ have tropical rainforests and a variety of crops, including thermophilous crops and tropical and subtropical trees. Between 1100 meters and 2,400 meters above sea level with an average mean temperature of 11 to 16, there are evergreen and broad-leafed trees. Between 2,400 meters and 3,800 meters with annual mean temperature of 2 to 11, there are conifer forests, winter crops and timber production. At 3,800 meters above sea level, the climate is cold and moist and there are large mountain meadows and good-quality highland pastures in the summer.
Materials are provided by "Travel China weekly newspaper"