Historical Geography Research ›› 2022, Vol. 42 ›› Issue (3): 28-41.

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Water at the Bottom of a Cauldron:The Flood and Flood Control of Wen’anwa Depression during Ming and Qing Dynasties

Bu Fan   

  1. School of History, Capital Normal University, Beijing 100098, Beijing
  • Received:2021-07-22 Online:2022-07-20 Published:2022-11-14


Located along the lower reaches of Daqing River and Ziya River, the Wen’anwa(文安洼) in Wen’an and Dacheng County of Hebei Province is a low-lying depression and shaped like “the bottom of a cauldron” in colloquial language. It is difficult to drain its water reserve, which often caused severe flood disasters in the past. During the Ming and Qing Dynasties, Wen’an County took many measures, such as building dikes, diverting river courses, and planting rice in shallow water, to control the flood but to no avail. It was not only the environmental factors, such as the low-lying terrain and the silt of the lower reaches of Daqing River and Ziya River, that made it hard to control the flood in the Wen’anwa Depression, but also social factors, such as the conflicting interests of water control between Wen’an County and the surrounding prefectural and counties, and the lack of ability and tactfulness of water management by Wen’an County itself.

Key words: Ming and Qing dynasties, Wen’anwa Depression, depression water, flood control

CLC Number: 

  • K928