Jiuzhaigou valley is dominated by three drainages, Rize and Zechawa streams which flow from south to north, meeting at the centre of the site to form the Shuzheng which drops 1,000m to the north end of the reserve. There it meets the Zharu stream flowing north-west from the eastern boundary to form the Jiuzhaigou river, one of the sources of the Jialing river, part of the Yangtze River system. Most of the park boundaries follow the high mountain ridgelines defining the watersheds of these rivers. There are 114 lakes, 47 springs,17 groups of waterfalls, 11 rapids and 5 tufa shoals within the reserve.

Many of the lakes there are classic ribbon lakes in glacially formed valleys, dammed by avalanche rock-falls and stabilised and terraced by carbonate deposition. Above or below some of the lakes are calcareous tufa dykes and shoals. Shuzheng Lakes and Nuorilang Lakes, with 19 and 18 lakes respectively and much larger in size. There is a number of large and spectacular waterfalls, including Xionguashai (Panda Lake) Fall which drops 78m in three steps, and the Zhengzhutan (Pearl Shoal) Fall, which drops 28m in
a 310m-wide curtain of water, both in the Rize valley.

Basic Information about Jiuzhaigou
Name: Jiuzhaigou Valley Scenic and Historic Interest Area.
Administrative Bureau of Jiuzhaigou, Jiuzhaigou Town, Jiuzhaigou County, Sichuan Province, China.
Altitude :2,140m (Luveihai, Reed Lake, at the mouth of Jiuzhaigou) to 4,558m (Mt. Ganzigonggai).

The area has a subtropical to temperate monsoon climate, with a succession of zones cooling with altitude. Valleys are warm and dry, the middle mountain slopes cold and damp. At Nuorilang at 2,400m in the Shuzheng valley the mean annual temperature is 7.3°C, the mean January temperature is –3.7°C and the mean July temperature is 16.8°C. The total annual rainfall there is 761mm but in the cloud forest between 2,700m and 3,500m it is at least 1,000mm. 80% of this falls between May and October as the monsoon moves up the valley giving mild, cloudy, moderately humid summers. Above 3,500m the climate is colder and drier. Snow falls between October and April . Monthly precipitation totals are: January 15mm, February 24mm, March 36mm, April 43mm, May 87mm, June 96mm, July 104mm, August 82mm, September 86mm, October 54mm, November 26mm and December 18mm .

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