Lanzhou is the capital of Gansu Province, the second biggest city in the northwest of China, and an important joint on the New Euro-Asian Continental Bridge.
Natural Environment 1-1.Geography & Climate:At latitude 36o N and longitude 103o40’E, Lanzhou city is the geographical center of China, with the least average distance to the other four provinces’ capitals. Mountains surrounded the southern and northern part of the urban, and Huanghe River cuts through it from west to east. With 1,500 metres of average altitude, the city lies mainly in the basin.
Located inland, Lanzhou has an obvious continental monsoon climate with the character of less rainfall, more sunshine, large potential of solar energy, and big different temperatures between day and night, and with an annual average temperature of 9.1 C, annual frost-free period of 185-200 days, annual sunshine of 3,600 hours, and annual rainfall, most coming from June to September, of 250-350 mm.
1-2.Region & Population:
The city now municipality administers 5 districts namely Chengguan, Qilihe, Xigu, Anning, Honggu, and Yongdeng, Yuzhong, Galan 3 counties, with a total coverage of 13,086 square km., and a total population of 2.75 million, including 36 nationalities, such as Han, Hu, Maan, Dongxiang, Zang, Meng, Tujia nationalities, among which the minority nationalities occupy 3.6% of the total number.
1-3. Natural Resources:
There are 159 ore deposits and mineral vein already explored, about 35 sorts of mineral resources in Lanzhou. The non-metal reserve is comparatively rich, including limestone, flux quartz, ferrosilicone quartz, fire clay. With the reserves of 30 million tons, the deposits of quartz are assembled and supply strong reserve force to the ferrosilicone industry, and 97.97 million tons of coal have been found, which can meet the needs of the city in the near future. On the Gansu sector of Huanghe River’s upper reaches, except the Huangshui River and its branch Datong River that both can be used, there are 8 cascades to be developed between Jinshi Canyon and Heisan Canyon. The water resource of Lanzhou is lower than the country’s average level. Huanghe River and its branches flow across the urban, the discharges of which are 33,7 billion cubic meters, with small silt content, and non-frozen period in winter, which can meet the need of industry, agriculture and living. After being initially measured, the annual subsoil water of the whole city is 212,4 billion cubic meters.
Occupying 13.46% of the total area, the forestry area is 182.55 thousand ha., among which there are 90,157 ha. of free forestland for further developing the reforestation. There are over 600 kinds of wild plants, 40% of which have the obvious economic value, including many famous Chinese medical herbs, such as dangshen, licorice root, Chinese rhubarb, safflower, the bulb of fritillary and glossy ganoderma, etc. Among 187 species of wild animals, the rare species are leopards, Tibetan snow cock, golden pheasant, etc. The arable and is up to 1,353 thousand ha., including 219,000 ha. of cultivated land, 76,000 ha. of the forestland, 765,000 ha. of grassland, 235,000 ha. of uncultivated land, sandy and alkaline land. The land resources can be divided into 3 types: 1) grassy mountain slopes for grazing located in the western and southern part of Lanzhou; 2) Valley and plain for vegetables and fruits located in the rivers’ valleys and banks; 3) Low mountain and hilly land for grain and oil located in the Beishan Mountain of Yuzhong county, northwestern part of Gaolan county and Qinzeng Plain of Yongdeng county, etc. Gifted with grand and various lands, Lanzhou has great potentials to develop agriculture, forestry, stock raising, sideline and fishery.