The Huang He River in China is a wanderer. Its lower reaches have changed course many times, moving the delta up and down the coast several hundred kilometers over the centuries.
The Huang He (Yellow) River is over 4,800 kilometers long. It’s the 2nd longest river in China and the 5th longest in the world. It’s also the muddiest river on Earth. On its long journey, the river crosses a soft plateau that’s covered with fine, wind-blown soil. The river carries away millions of tons of this delta-building material every year. The Huang He derives its yellow color from fine particles of mica, quartz, and feldspar.
The river shows up well in most of these Landsat images because of the high sediment load, which reflects light. The sediment even shows up in the water of many of these images where the river flows into the sea.
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