Geographical Location: Gansu is an important province in northwest China. Being abbreviated as “Gan” or “Long”, it is situated as geographical center, on the middle and upper reaches of the Yellow River and the Yangtze River, and at the juncture of the Loess Plateau, Inner Mongolia Plateau and the Qinghai Tibet Plateau. It faces Shaanxi Province in the east, boards Sichuan and Qinghai provinces on the south and southwest, and adjoins Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in the northwest. It is bounded on the north by Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and the People’s Republic of Mongolia and joined by Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region in the northeast. Running through the whole province, the ancient Silk Road and the new Eurasian Continental Bridge are important thoroughfare linking up East Asia, Central Asia, West Asia and Europe.
Being located at 92.13-108.46 E and 32.31-42.57 N, Gansu is about 1,520 kilometers long from east to west, 1,655 kilometers in its widest place and only 25 kilometers in the narrowest place.
Topography and Landforms:The landforms in Gansu are complicated and varied. High mountains and deep valleys aloft on its southeastern part with peaks rising one higher than another. Covered by loess, a loess topography has formed in its eastern part. Hexi Corridor, the western fringe of the province has smooth terrain, oasis, dessert and Gobi desert. With cold climate and modern glacier, the terrain is highly situated in the southwestern part of the province.The highest peak of the province is Tuanjie Peak of Qilian Mountain with an altitude of 5,808 meters above sea level and its lowest point is the bottom of Bailongjiang River valley in the eastern part of Wenxian county with an altitude of only 550 meters above sea level. The terrain in the whole province is descending to three levels as a flight of stairs. Hilly areas and plateau consist of 70% of the total land area while desert and Gobi desert consist of 14.99%. According to its topographic feature and structural formation, Gansu can be divided into 8 landform areas of Longnan (Liupan mountain)hilly area, Longzhong loess plateau, Gannan plateau, Qilian mountainous area, Hexi corridor high land plain, Beishan mountainous area and Alashan plateau.
River Distrbution: There are 450 rivers in Gansu, among which 78 rivers have a yearly runoff of over 100 million cubic meters each.. The Black River, Shule River, Yellow River trunk stream, Tao River and Jialingjiang River are the greater ones. The river basin within the province can he divided into 3 valleys as Hexi and the northern part of Chaidamu inland river valley, the Yellow River valley and the Yangtze River valley with 9 water systems of Shule River system, Yellow River mainstream system, Tao River system, Huang River system, Wei River system, Jin River system and Jialingjiang River system.
Climatic Characteristics: Gansu has a dry climate with plenty of sunshine, strong radiation and the temperature varies greatly from day to night. The annual average temperature is between 0。C-14。C dropping from the southeast to the northwest. It is 4。C-9。C in Hexi Corridor, 0。C-6。C in Qilian mountainous area, 5。C-9。C and 7。C-10。C in Longzhong and Longdong respectively. Its annual rainfall is about 300millimeters and differs greatly in different parts. It is reduced from 760 millimeters in the southeast to 42 millimeters in the northwest. The seasonal rainfall is also uneven and concentrated mainly from June to September. Gansu has rich solar energy resources with an annual sunshine time of 1,700-3,300 hours, increasing from the southeast to the northwest. Hexi Corridor has a maximum annual sunshine time of 2,800-3,300 hours, Longnan has a minimum sunshine time of 1,800-2,300 hours, Longzhong, Longnan and Gannan has an annual sunshine time of 2,100-2,700 hours.