These incredible pictures were taken at Xiao Lang Di Dam on the Yellow River in Jiyuan, Central China’s Henan province. Silt builds up in massive amounts and has to be periodically cleared. They adjust the dam so that it fires water out hard and fast enough to clear this 800 kilometer section of river. The water shoots out at 2,600 cubic metres per second, I can’t really visualize that, but the pictures kind of fill you in on the type of quantity we’re talking about.
Spectators armed with just an umbrella stand perilously close to water which could knock their teeth out. So why are they bothering to clear this silt build up? Well, as the river reaches the sea it’s girth spreads out into a huge estuary, this means water moves slower, silt builds up, and the threat of flooding increases.
This is an annual operation where they try and remove about 30 million tonnes of silt further down stream. They start just in advance of the rainy season when the silt builds up at it’s quickest rate.