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Three Gorges Dam

Overview: The Three Gorges Dam site is 27 miles upstream from Yichang City proper, at Sandouping Town, 38km upstream from the Gezhouba Dam Lock, inside the third of the Three Gorges. It is planned to be by far the largest hydroelectric project in the world. The Project calls for the construction of a concrete dam, a hydroelectric power plant and a series of locks just below the scenic Three Gorges region.

The project is designed to be built in three phases and was scheduled for completion in year 2009. Upon arrival at Sandouping, passengers will take a bus across the Three Gorges Bridge, which leads toward the top of Three Gorges Project the hill for a birds-eye view of the construction from the observation deck. details >>

Where is Three Gorges Dam

The Three Gorges Dam situated at the upstream of Sandouping, Yichang, Hubei peovince, 38km away from the Gezhou Dam at the downstream. Three Gorges dam has broken the world record for annual hydroelectric power production.

Location Map of the Dam
The Map of The Three Gorges Dam

What is the Three Gorges Dam Site?

The dam site is at Sandouping, Yichang City, Hubei province. The total catchment area is about 1,000,000 square meters and there is 451,000,000,000 cubic meters of average annual runoff.

At the location of the Sandouping dam site, the river valley is relatively open and broad, with a small islet known as Zhoubaodao in the river, which is favorable for a river diversion scheme with phased construction. details>>

Three Gorges Dam, Tianzi Park

Taianzi Park, The Three Gorges Dam

The Three Gorges Dam Square, Yichang

The Three Gorges Dam Square, Yichang

Why Built the Three Gorges Dam ?

The Three Gorges Dam is the world’s largest power producing facility, and the world’s largest hydroelectric dam. There were many reasons for building the dam due to its history and other causes. This article will investigate some of these.

The Three gorges dam was built across the Yangtze River to control the amount of water allowed through. This created a massive artificial lake which has become an international tourist attraction. The construction of a dam on the Yangtze River had been considered since 1919, but the Civil war and Cultural Revolution delayed the project until fairly recently.

  • Flooding

    One of the main reasons that the Three Gorges dam was built was to prevent flooding further downstream. The need for a dam was highlighted in 1954 when people were killed as a result of flooding of the Yangtze River.

  • Power Generation

    Another reason why the Three Gorges Dam was constructed was to generate electricity. There are several generators within the dam which use the potential energy stored in the water, to generate electricity.

  • Environmental Impact

    The dam has been designed to impact the environment as little as possible. It has meant that some ancient artifacts were lost, or are no longer accessible. However, it is stated that the impact on the environment is very small.

  • Visiting the Dam

    The Dam isn’t just designed to save lives and generate electricity, but it is also a very popular tourist attraction. As it is the world’s largest hydroelectric dam it attracts thousands of tourists every year.

    The Only Passengers' Ship Go Through Three Gorges Dam Lock: Yangtze 1. We have been advised that the passengers' ships should dock at Maoping port (west of Three Gorges Dam) and can not pass the dam lock since the beginning of 2018.

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The three Gorges Dam Lock

The three Gorges Dam Floodgate

The Ship Lock

The Ship Lock

Schedule of the Dam

The Three Gorges Dam Project, which is the world largest water and power project, was kicked off on December 14,1994. The total construction period will be 17 years.

  • Selection Of The Site

    Sandouping, 7 km from the entrance of Xiling Gorge at the lower reaches of the Yangtze River, was selected as the site of the Three Gorges Dam in 1959. The river here is much bigger than it is in other area. There is a small island named Zhongbaodao in the middle of this part of the river. It is the best choice of the site for the dam.

  • The 1st Phase Of The Construction: 1993 - Nov.1997

    The planning of the project was started in 1993. The actual building of the Dam started on 14 Dec. 1994. ZhongbaoIsland was used to build dyke A to dam the river water and to connect the right bank with the other dyke. In order to build the main part of the Dam and the diversion channel afterwards, foundation work B and foundation work C which is long and thin were built in the dry riverbed. At the same time, channel construction such as Lock D started.

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The Power House

The Power House

The Main Aspect of the Dam

The Main Aspect of the Dam

Layout of Three Gorges Dam

  • Spillway

    The Three Gorges Project is designed with a concrete gravity dam with a crest elevation of 185 meters and maximum height of 175 meters. The dam axis runs 2, 309. 47 meters long, which is even longer than the noted Grand Coulee Dam of US.

    The 483-meter spillway, located in the middle of the main dam, has 23 bottom outlets dimensioned at 79 meters. Each of its 22 surface sluice gates measures 8 meters wide. The maximum discharge capacity of the TGP is 116,000 cubic meters, the biggest in the world.

  • Left Powerhouse

    Two powerhouses, flanking the spillway, accommodate altogether 26 sets of turbine-generators. As the world's biggest unit ever made, each has a generating capacity of 700MW. The 643.6-meter-long left powerhouse, 60 meters longer than the 584.2-meter-long right one, houses 14 sets of generators. With all these huge generators, the TGP is designed to generate electricity of 84.7 TW/h.

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The Spillway


The Powerhouse

The Powerhouse

Impacts of the Dam

  • Positive 0pinion

    Landscape and Cultural Heritage: After the impoundment of the reservoir, higher water level and wider channel would change the scenery of the canyon to a certain extent' The elevations of mountains and peaks along the banks in the gorges range from 800 to 1, 100 m in nature. The elevations of the famous 12 peaks in Wuxi a Gorge are around 1,000 m. The most reputed Goddess Peak is more than 900 m above sea level. The normal pool level of the reservoir at 175 m will result in an increase of 40 to 110 m higher in the Gorges than at present. So the steep canyon enclosing the river valley will be basically untouched, even though the rapids and dangerous shoals will be eliminated. Better navigation condition will provide access to new scenic views, for instance, the Lesser Three Gorges" along the Daning River' The magnificent Three Gorges Project shall certainly become a new hot spot of tourism.

  • Negative

    Environment: Dam defenders point to the environmental benefits given by the dam, such as the availability of hydroelectric power, which is much cleaner than the coal burning China has relied heavily for decades. They believe the dam will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by reducing coal burning (thereby protecting the ozone layer) and have none of the radiation hazards at nuclear plants.

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The escalator of the dam site

The Escalator of the Dam Site

explian the Yangtze Project

The Dam Project Model

The World Records of the Three Gorges Project

  • The world's largest water conservancy project with the biggest flood-control capability

    The total storage capacity of the reservoir is 39.3 billion m3 ,of which 22.15 m3 is for flood control. After the completion of the TGP,The flood -discharging capacity of the Yangtze river would be 27,000 to 33,000 m3 /s,thus the floods from the upstream reaches of the Yangtze River could be controlled and the middle and lower reaches of the river,especially in Jinjiang reaches could be regulated or relieved.

  • The world's largest hydropower station

    The total installed capacity of the Three Gorges Hydropower Station is 18,200 MW with an annual electricity output of 84.68 billion KW/h.

  • The world's largest water conservancy project with the world's largest project building scale

    The total length of the dam axis is 2309.37 meters. The spillway section, which is located in the middle of the river course,is 483 meters long in total.There are 26 sets of turbine generator units in total, 700 MW for each.The shiplock is schemed out as a double-way and five-step lock.It is the world's largest water conservancy project with the world's largest project building scale.

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security check on the dam

Security Check on Three Gorges Dam

Birds-eye view of the Dam

Birds-eye view of the Dam

Three Gorges Dam Ship Lift

  • The Passenger’s Ships are not Permit Passing Through the Dam Lock Since 2018

    Three Gorges Dam ship locks close for passenger’s ship since 2018, and cruise ships would dock at Maoping (a suburb of Yichang, just west of the Three Gorges Dam) from 2018. If passengers want to experience how the ship cross the dam, take the optional tour of ship lock experience is a good choice.

    The ship lift an optional tour of Yangtze River Cruises. On both upstream (day 2) and downstream (day 4), passengers will disembark, and take a specially-designed sightseeing boat through the ship lock lift. A visit to the Three Gorges Dam will follow. Then the cruise companies provide land transfers between Yichang and Maoping in both directions for embarking and disembarking passengers.

  • The world's largest hydropower station

    The total installed capacity of the Three Gorges Hydropower Station is 18,200 MW with an annual electricity output of 84.68 billion KW/h.

  • What is the Dam Ship Lift Like?

    Under construction since 2008 and completed last November, the ship lock lift is the final component in the Three Gorges Dam complex. It is the largest of its kind in the world, capable of lifting ships of up to 3,000 tons. It is nearly the height of a 40-story building, with a water volume equivalent to 4 Olympic swimming pools. The vertical distance traveled is 113 meters (370 feet).

    The ship locks utilized primarily for cargo ships and take 3 to 5 hours to traverse, while the new ship lift, designed for passenger ships (with safety features for passenger ships, including a fire escape), can be transited in 40 minutes to an hour. The new unique ship lock lift (a kind of elevator for vessels) at the Three Gorges Dam beginning with first regular season sailing on March 2017.

  • Three Gorges Dam Ship Lift - Three World Records

    Lifting and Height are the Highest in the World

    The ship lift can carry maximum of 3000 tons’ ship, has a maximum tonnage of 15,500 tons, and a maximum climbing height of 113 meters (371 ft).

    The Largest Scale and Most Difficult Technical

    To set up a ship lift in such a large dam is not an easy work, the whole line length 5,000 meters and 146 meters in height totally, For the project safety and difficulties, it considers the world’s most difficult technical.

    Shorten the Transit Time from 3-4 Hours to 40 Minutes.

    The ship have to use 3-4 hours passing through 5 step lock and reach to the downstream river, the ship lift provides the fast access for the cruise ships and cargos, and shorten the time to 40 minutes.

  • Experience ship lift by taking these Yangtze cruise ships: Century Legned, Century Paragon, Victoria Jenna, Yangtz 2, Yangtze Gold 7, Yangtze Gold 6

Ship for Ship Lift

Sightseeing Ship for Ship Lift

Ship Lift

Ship Lift

How to Get to Three Gorges Dam

The dam site is 27 miles upstream from YichangCity proper, at SandoupingTown, 38km upstream from the Gezhouba Dam Lock. It is very convinient to get there by ship from the cities along yangtze.

  • Ship

    Most of the ships sail between Chongqing and Yichang, Shashi or Shanghai will stop here for an one-hour shore excursion. The avalibale luxury ships can be checked in the column of Yangtze Cruise.

  • Bus:

    There is an express way conecting the dam site with yichang.
    Travellers can take buses from Yichang to the Dam Site.

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Yangtze River Cruise Ship

Yangtze River Cruise Ship

Bus Tour to the Dam

Bus Tour to the Dam

Most popular Tours include visit to Three Gorges Dam

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