Article ID: CBB953684150

An Experiment on Releasing Water from Water Tanks by Xu Youzhen during the Ming Dynasty (2017)


In 1453, Xu Youzhen, a scholar-bureaucrat and hydrologist in Ming China, was dispatched to Shandong to find a way to harness the Yellow River. He proposed the opening up of multiple channels to diverge the flood waters. An experiment was conducted to compare the efficiency of releasing water using one large opening with the use of a number of small openings. This experiment proved that opening up multiple channels outperformed the construction of only one, thereby convincing the emperor and officials of the efficacy of this method. Xu’s method for water control proved to be successful in averting a flood that occurred in 1456.

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Authors & Contributors
Deng, Ke-hui
Li, Cho-ying
Chen, Zhihui
Min, Zong-dian
Di, Li
Ch'iu, Chung-lin
Ziran Kexueshi Yanjiu (Studies in the History of Natural Sciences)
Nei Menggu Shifan Daxue Xuebao (Ziran Kexue Ban)
Zhongguo Keji Shiliao (China Historical Materials of Science and Technology)
Lishi yuyan yanjiuso jikan (Bulletin of the Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica)
Chinese Journal for the History of Science and Technology
East Asian Science, Technology and Society: An International Journal
Harvard University Press
Princeton University
Harvard University
East Asia, civilization and culture
Cross-cultural interaction; cultural influence
Transmission of texts
Ricci, Matteo
Li Hongzhang (1823-1901)
Vagnoni, Alfonso
Shao Zeng (1832-1877)
Li, Zhi-zao
Yellow River (China)
Ming dynasty (China, 1368-1644)
Qing dynasty (China, 1644-1912)
17th century
15th century
16th century

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