Scientist Traces Origin of Indus River

A Chinese scientist has challenged the origin of the river Indus, claiming that it’s origin located in a valley northeast of Kailash, the highest peak of the Gangdise Mountain, in the west region of Tibet, southwest of China.

More than 100 years after Swedish explorer Sven Hedin announced the discovery of the origin of the Indus river, Liu Shaochuang, a researcher with the Institute of Remote Sensing Applications under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, has re-examined the origin of the river.

Shaochuang used high-resolution, remote-sensing satellite images and a field investigation to come up with a new finding.

“The headstream, called Banggokong by local Tibetans, is about 30 kilometers away from the place that Sven Hedin believed was the source of the river,” said Shaochuang.

Shaochuang used remote-sensing images, with a resolution of up to 2.5 meters, provided by the French SPOT satellite system, to find the longest headstream of the Indus River, reports

He also made a field investigation at the source of Indus at the end of September to make sure it contained water, even in the dry season.

It’s commonly accepted among the international geographical community that the source of a river is defined as the longest branch in the drainage basin. The source should have water running all through the year.

The Indus river, with a total length of around 3,000 kilometers, runs through China, India and Pakistan and the the ancient Indus civilization was one of the earliest to produce food using agricultural theories in the world.


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