Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Mapping China's Changing Coastline

In China the Yellow River carries 1.4 billion tons of silt to the Bohai Sea every year. One result of all this silt is that the Yellow River Delta continually grows and shrinks over time.

Mapbox has used satellite imagery from NASA and USGS’s Landsat program to dramatically visualize this change in the Yellow River Delta since 1979. The map shows how the Delta has grown and shrunk over the last sixteen years.

In 1996 the main channel into the sea was blocked by Chinese engineers, forcing the river to the northeast. In the first images of Mapbox's China's Changing Coastline map the tip of the delta, at the end of the old channel, has retreated from erosion of the silt deposits. If you press play on the map you can see how a new Yellow River Delta grows out from the new channel of the Yellow River as billions of tons of silt are deposited from the river at the mouth of the new channel.

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