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The New Largest Canyon in the World 
---The Great Canyon of Yarlung Tsangpo River (Tibet)---

We all fallen in love with the Grand Canyon of Colorado River - depth 2,682m (8,799 ft), length 440 km. It was one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the world.

However since 1994, we learned from the American Geography Committee and Guinness Book of World Records that the crown of the "world's largest canyon" went to the Great Canyon of Yarlung Tsangpo (Brahmaputra) River in Himalayas (Tibet).  Its depth reaches 5,382m (17,657 ft) and it has a total length of 496.3km.

However very little information about this new Queen of Canyons is available to the world. Because very few people have reached that remote region in Tibet. (some regions are forbidden for the foreigners to access). What is the features of this mysterious new Queen of the world's canyons? Is she beautiful? attractive? or is she dangerous with bad temper?
To satisfy the curiosity of world public, we piled the major facts here.

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Himalayas & Tibet Plateau - the miracle of Plate-Tectonic Force:
The collision of India into Asia some 50 million years ago caused the Eurasian Plate to crumple up and override the Indian Plate. It pushed up the Himalayas and the Tibetan Plateau to their present heights. The Himalayas, towering as high as Mt. Everest's 8,850 m (29,035 ft) elevation, forming the highest mountain range in the world. Moreover, the neighboring Tibetan Plateau, at an average elevation of about 4,600 m (15,091 ft), is higher than all the peaks in the Alps except for Mt. Blanc and Monte Rosa, and is well above the summits of most mountains in the United States.
Where is the Yarlung Tsangpo River and the Largest Canyon of the world?
The largest canyon of the world is located at the South end of the Himalayas range in Tibet.
Originating in middle Himalayas,  countless tiny drops from the 5,590 meters high Jima Yangzong Glacier source come down and converge into the river. It keeps flowing eastward and getting bigger and bigger as the Nyang Chu, Kyi Chu, Yarlung, Ni Yang and other streams join in.

The  Yarlung Tsangpo River, known as the Brahmaputra river in India, the Siang or Dihang in Arunachal Pradesh and the Jammu in Bangladesh,  is one of the largest rivers of the world.
The 2,057 km traverse of Yarlung Tsangpo River on the world's roof, with an average altitude of >3,000 meters, is the highest rive in the world. Then it drops down to the Indoa plain, after 918 km in India and 337 km in Bangladesh, ended into the Bay of Bengal

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Two High Peaks, Two Big Bends at the Two ends of the Himalayas range - the frontier of the plate-tectonic force:
The red line in the left figure shows the collide border of Eurasian continent and India sub-continents. It is interesting that there are two big bends of rivers formed at the east and the west ends of the Himalayas range. The Yarlung Tsangpo River made a U turn when it reached the highest peak of east Himalayas - the Mt. Namcha Barwa (7,782m). The Indus River made a U turn  when it reached the high peak of west Himalayas - the Mt. Nanga Parbat (8,125m).
These high peaks and deep valleys were formed along the  narrow frontier zones between the Eurasian and India sub-continent where the results of plate-tectonic forces are most evident.

The geological characters of this region is extremely rich, complex and unique. This rock (left last photo) came from the core (about 40 km depth) of |Earth. Its red component can be used to make red diamond.

The Beauty of the new Queen of Canyons:

The Yarlung Tsangpo Great Canyon is a wonderful area with all the fascinating features. And it's still waiting for world expeditors and scientists to explore its extreme beauty.
In the Great Canyon region, it has the complete 9 natural zones of the Earth. From snow mountain, glaciers to tropical rain forests. This remote region is not disturbed by mankind.
No matter who you are - Scientist in geology, geophysics, seismology, geography, glaciology, paleoecology, botany, zoology, hydrology, ecology and anthropology . . ., or professional expeditor, photographer, amateur & young adventurer, you will always be attracted by the treasures and inspirations of the Great Canyon here.
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"Garden of Eden" on World's Roof:

Unlike other dry regions of the Tibet Plateau, the Great Canyon is the major path of wet wind which flows from India plain through the Himalayas enter the Tibet Plateau. Nature built a fantastic "Garden of Eden" on the World's Roof here. It;s wet, green, it's a heaven of plants and animals, with a perfect undisturbed ecosystem.
Ten thousands plants are hidden in this region. A professor said that even working only on the plants in a single small branch of the canyon, it will be excellent  for the Ph.D. thesis's.
It has tropical rain forests growing on North latitude 27 - 29.30 degree, (Normal north zone of tropical rain forests is up to 23.30 degree only.)
Many ancient tropical plants (living fossils) have been reserved here.
During the Himalayas arise, there are many unique plants generated. These plants are existed in the Himalayas only 

Wildlife in the Great Canyon:

It was a debate about the existence of Cobra on Tibet Plateau. Now there is no doubt that the King Cobra found a comfortable home in the Great Canyon of Yarlung Tsangpo River.

There are 6 geographic zones of wildlife on the Earth. The north of Himalayas belongs to the Old North Zone, and the south of Himalayas belongs to East Ocean Zone. However in the Great Canyon region, the dominate animals were immigrated from the  East Ocean Zone, plus many animals of the Old North Zone staying here as well. The complex geographic and climate conditions here formed many small kingdoms for different types of wildlife.

Tiger, Bear, King Cobra, Red Panda, Leopard, Musk Deer, Monkey . . . countless birds, insects . . . all happily living here. There are butterfly valley, snake valley . . . Even the residents in the glaciers - Ice mouse (see right last photo) and Ice Earthworm and Ice Flea. Many unique species you could not found anywhere else in the world.

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The wonderful crystal world of the Glaciers:

There are 4,800 square kilometers glaciers in this region (map see left last picture). One of the largest area of the season wind type modern glaciers in the world.

The snowfields at the originates of the glaciers are as large as 70 - 100 sq.km (left 1st photo). The ice waterfalls as high as 700 meters. The wonderful Ice waves of the glaciers (left 3rd photo). The ice hall is a fantastic ice world with its roof thickness reached several hundreds meters. The ice mushroom (left 4th photos) is the favored table of the geologists. These ice mushrooms can be several hundreds tons in weight. The glaciers, the forests, the wildlife consist together to form a wonderful world here.

A special type of glaciers - the "jumping glaciers". So far there are two glaciers in the Great Canyon region have had periodical long distance and high speed jumping movements. The ZheLongLong Glacier and the MiDui Glacier. During the jumping period, the glaciers' moving speed reached 1.5 km per day. It reflects the geological  extreme active of this region.

Natural Mysteries and Great Challenges:

Very rare combination of the highest mountain range, the deepest valley, the richest source of glaciers and rivers,  the ice waterfall and  hot waterfalls, the virgin forests, the mysterious kingdoms of the rare plants and animals, and after all the extreme active plate-tectonic force . . . The World's Roof is a special place on the Earth. The discovery of the Great Canyon add a brilliant diamond onto its crown .

Walking through the Great Canyon is a life time adventure experience. There is an area of mystery remains as the greatest challenge   - about 100 km length of the Great Canyon , no one ever be able to through, either by mountain climbing or by river boating. This world record is still waiting for the bravest explorer to break it!

The natural wonders of the Great Canyon is the precious treasure of the whole world. It welcomes world scientists of all disciplines to explore this wonderland on the Earth..

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To visit Tibet needs special permission. We made special  arrangement  for world scientists. There will be 3 levels of Expeditions to the Great Canyon available in 2001. Please contact our Expedition Manager Dr. E. Katz for more info, by E mail: <expedition@100gogo.com>




Adventure Stories in The Great Canyonnext3w.gif (4584 bytes)

Photo Gallery of the Great Canyon

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