Loess Plateau

From Academic Kids

The Loess Plateau covers an area of some 640,000 km² in the upper and middle parts of China's Yellow River. Loess is the name for the silty soil that has been deposited by wind storms on the plateau over the ages. Loess is a highly erosion-prone soil that is susceptible to the forces of wind and water. The Loess Plateau and its dusty soil cover almost all of Shanxi, Shaanxi, and Gansu provinces and parts of others. The Loess Plateau provides simple yet insulated shelter from the cold winter in the region, as homes were often carved into the loess soil; some families still persist in modern times on this type of shelter. The Loess Plateau was highly fertile and easy to farm in ancient times, which contributed to the development of early Chinese civilization around the Loess Plateau.

Hundreds of years of deforestation and over-grazing, exacerbated by China's population increase, have resulted in degenerated ecosystems, desertification and poor local economies.

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