22 Facts About Mekong River


Mekong or Mekong River is a trans-boundary river in East Asia and Southeast Asia.

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Mekong River was originally called Mae Nam Khong from a contracted form of Tai shortened to Mae Khong.

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Internal drainage patterns of the Mekong are unusual when compared to those of other large rivers.

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In marked contrast, the tributary networks of the Salween, Yangtze, and particularly the Mekong River, are complex with different sub-basins often exhibiting different, and distinct, drainage patterns.

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Studies of the provenance of sediments in the Mekong River delta reveal a major switch in the source of sediments about eight million years ago .

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Mekong River basin is not normally considered a seismically active area as much of the basin is underlain by the relatively stable continental block.

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From around the time of the fall of the Khmer empire, the Mekong River was the front line between the emergent states of Siam and Tonkin, with Laos and Cambodia, then on the coast, torn between their influence.

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Mekong River basin is one of the richest areas of biodiversity in the world.

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The Mekong River Region contains 16 WWF Global 200 ecoregions, the greatest concentration of ecoregions in mainland Asia.

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One species of freshwater dolphin, the Irrawaddy dolphin, was once common in the whole of the lower Mekong River but is very rare, with only 85 individuals remaining.

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Low tide level of the river in Cambodia is lower than the high tide level out at sea, and the flow of the Mekong inverts with the tides throughout its stretch in Vietnam and up to Phnom Penh.

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Aquatic biodiversity in the Mekong River system is the second highest in the world after the Amazon.

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Commercially valuable fish species in the Mekong River are generally divided between "black fish", which inhabit low oxygen, slow moving, shallow waters, and "white fish", which inhabit well oxygenated, fast moving, deeper waters.

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People living within the Mekong River system generate many other sources of food and income from what are often termed "other aquatic animals" such as freshwater crabs, shrimp, snakes, turtles, and frogs.

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Mekong River Basin has one of the world's largest and most productive inland fisheries.

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Mekong River is already heavily dammed, with many more dams planned and under construction, mostly for generating hydropower.

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The Mekong is the fastest growing large river basin in the world in terms of hydropower construction.

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Critics fear that China's ability to control the Mekong River's flow gives it leverage over downstream nations who rely on China's goodwill.

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Thousands of years the Mekong River has been an important conduit for people and goods between the many towns on its banks.

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The Mekong is still a wild river and navigation conditions vary greatly along its length.

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Narrower and more turbulent sections of water in the upstream parts of the Mekong River, coupled with large annual water level variations continue to present a challenge to navigation.

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In 2009, Mekong River trade received a significant boost with the opening of a new deep-water port at Cai Mep in Vietnam.

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