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Dust Storm Over Tarim Basin, China

39.1N 82.9E

March 15th, 2013 Category: Dust Storms

China – March 11th, 2013

Winds blowing about the Tarim Basin kick up a large quantity of dust particles that obscure the entirety of the Taklamakan Desert, in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. The tall mountains surrounding the desert – the Tian Shan to the north, the Kunlun Mountains to the south, and the Pamir Mountains to the west, keep much of the dust from blowing beyond the basin. However, much escapes via the eastern side, through the Gobi Desert, and can blow eastward across the country.

Dust Over the Taklamakan Desert, Tarim Basin, China

38.5N 79.8E

May 22nd, 2012 Category: Dust Storms

China - May 21st, 2012

Dust blows about the Taklamakan Desert in this image of the Tarim Basin, China. Dust storms have affected the area various times since early April 2012. Here, the dust appears thickest along the desert’s western edge. Dust storms are common in the Taklamakan Desert, China’s the largest, warmest, and driest desert. Most of the desert is covered by huge sand dunes, some of which reach heights of 200 meters.

Dust Over Taklamakan Desert and Tarim Basin, China

42.4N 77.2E

May 9th, 2011 Category: Deserts, Dust Storms, Mountains

China - May 2nd, 2011

Airborne dust from the Taklamakan Desert blows over the desert itself and around the Tarim Basin, in China. The desert covers an area of 270,000 km2 (100,000 sq mi) of the basin, 1,000 kilometres (620 mi) long and 400 kilometres (250 mi) wide.

The tall mountains surrounding the desert – the Kunlun Mountains to the south, the Pamir Mountains to the west and the Tian Shan Mountains to the north – prevent the dust from blowing beyond the basin.

Visible in the Tian Shan mountains to the north, in eastern Kyrgyzstan, is Lake Issyk Kul, an endorheic lake.

Kunlun Mountains South of Tarim Basin, China

36.8N 78.1E

November 15th, 2010 Category: Mountains

China - August 27th, 2010

This orthorectified image shows a section of the Kunlun Mountains, one of the longest mountain chains in Asia, extending more than 3,000 km. Here, multiple ridges and valleys can be observed.

The range forms the northern edge of the Tibetan Plateau south of the Tarim basin (in which the Taklamakan Desert of China is located) and the Gansu corridor, and continues east south of the Wei River to end at the North China Plain.

Taklamakan Desert in China’s Tarim Basin

39.4N 81.7E

June 5th, 2010 Category: Mountains

China - June 2nd, 2010

China - June 2nd, 2010

The Taklamakan Desert forms the greater part of the Tarim Basin, west-central China. One of the world’s largest sandy wastes, it is about 600 mi (960 km) across, with an area of 123,550 sq mi (320,000 sq km).

It is flanked by high mountain ranges, including the Kunlun Mountains, whose rivers penetrate the desert 60–120 mi (100–200 km) before drying up in its sands. Its wind-blown sand cover is as much as 1,000 ft (300 m) thick and has formed such features as high pyramidal dunes.