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Snow Over Taklamakan Desert, China

37.1N 79.9E

January 24th, 2013 Category: Deserts

China – January 7th, 2013

While deserts are usually associated with an imaginary of scorching temperatures and moistureless terrain, they can actually be quite cold. This image shows snow on the Taklamakan Desert, in northern China, a relatively common occurrence in winter. Visible through the snow are the White Jade (Yurungkash) and Black Jade (Karakash) Rivers, which flow north from the Kunlun Mountains into the desert, later converging to form the Hotan River.

Khotan River Crossing Taklamakan Desert, China

38.7N 80.5E

October 22nd, 2011 Category: Deserts, Mountains, Rivers

China - October 18th, 2011

The Khotan River can be seen crossing the western half of the Taklamakan Desert in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, China. It is formed by the union of the White Jade (Yurungkash) and Black Jade (Karakash) Rivers, which flow north from the Kunlun Mountains into the Taklamakan Desert in the northern part of the country.

The two rivers unite towards the middle of the desert, some 145 kilometres (90 mi) north of the town of Khotan. The river then flows 290 kilometres (180 mi) northwards across the desert and empties itself into the Tarim River. Because the river is fed by melting snow from the mountains, it only carries water during the summer and is dry the rest of the year. The Khotan river bed provides the only transportation system across the Tarim Basin.

Taklamakan Desert and Lakes Balqash and Issyk Kul in Asia – November 24th, 2010

42.6N 77.8E

November 24th, 2010 Category: Deserts, Image of the day, Lakes, Rivers

China, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan - November 9th, 2010

The Taklamakan Desert in China occupies most of the lower half of this image. In the full version, many rows of towering sand dunes can be observed. Cutting vertically across the otherwise arid desert is the Khotan River.

The Khotan River is formed by the confluence of the White Jade (Yurungkash) and Black Jade (Karakash) Rivers. Their convergence can be observed by the southwestern part of the desert.

Several lakes can also be seen to the north. The largest two are Lake Issyk Kul, in Kyrgyzstan, and Lake Balqash, in southeastern Kazakhstan. The former is dark blue and surrounded by the Tian Shan Mountains. The latter is larger and lighter blue in color, particularly to the west where tan sediments mix with the waters.

High Dunes of Taklamakan Desert Around Khotan River, China

39.4N 83.9E

November 11th, 2010 Category: Deserts, Rivers

China - August 27th, 2010

The Khotan River flows across the Taklamakan Desert in China, appearing as a thin grey ribbon that divides this image in two. The extraordinarily high dunes that characterize the desert can be seen on either side of it. The ones on the right side of the image appear larger than those on the left.

The Khotan River is formed by the confluence of the White Jade (Yurungkash) and Black Jade (Karakash) Rivers, some 145 kilometres (90 mi) north of the town of Khotan, which then lends its name to the river after the convergence.

Airbourne Dust Over Taklamakan Desert, China – October 6th, 2010

39.2N 83.3E

October 6th, 2010 Category: Deserts, Dust Storms, Image of the day, Rivers

China - August 29th, 2010

Dust blows over the Taklamakan Desert, in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, particularly on its southeastern side. The desert is bounded by the Kunlun Mountains to the south, and the Pamir Mountains and Tian Shan to the west and north, which are holding the dust within the desert basin.

Despite the extremely arid nature of the desert, several rivers can be observed, particuarly along its northern limits. The Khotan River, formed by the union of the White Jade (Yurungkash) and Black Jade (Karakash) Rivers, crosses the desert vertically. In the full image, its usually green banks are partly veiled by the airbourne dust.

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