Three Gorges Dam China
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Three Gorges Dam, China

May 20, 2006

On May 15, 2006, Chinese news media reported that engineers were pouring the last of the concrete to finish the construction of the massive Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River in central China.

The dam is intended to provide flood control and hydroelectric power. When all the generators are operational (projected for 2009), Three Gorges will become the largest hydroelectric project in the world.

The Yangtze River flows from upper left toward upper right in the image. By May 15, 2006, the dam spanned the entire river, and a large reservoir had filled behind it, to the northwest.

The new reservoir is more than 3 kilometers (more than 2 miles) across just upstream of the dam. White spray shoots through gates in the center portion of the dam. The former locks are much less prominent, and the new ones to the north appear as a linear arrangement of thin, blue rectangles.

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