Lakes in Tibet – November 10th, 2008
In the upper half of this image we can see many lakes in Tibet, just North of the border with Nepal.
The lake on the right surrounded by snow is Lake Namtso (Nam Co), the highest salt lake in the world. It lies at an elevation of 4,718 m, and has a surface area of 1,870 square kilometres.
To the West, the next large body of water is Siling Co, with Lake Gering to the South. Moving westward, other lakes include Lake Ngangze, Tangra Yamco, Zhari Namco, and Xuru Co.
Tibet is a plateau region in Central Asia with an average elevation of 4,900 metres (16,000 ft). It is the highest region on Earth and is commonly referred to as the “Roof of the World.”
The Tibetan climate is severely dry nine months of the year, with an average annual snowfall of only 18 inches due to the rain shadow effect (whereby mountain ranges prevent moisture from the ocean from reaching the plateaus). Western passes receive small amounts of fresh snow each year but remain traversable all year round.
Low temperatures are prevalent throughout the western regions. The Indian monsoon exerts some influence on eastern Tibet. Northern Tibet is subject to high temperatures in the summer and intense cold in the winter.
In the middle right portion of the image, in the Himalayas on the Nepalese-Tibetan border, we can see Mount Everest. It is the highest mountain on Earth, with a summit of 8,848m (29,029ft) above sea level.
In the lower, greener section of the image we can see India and the Ganges River. The grey patch on the lower left is due to smoke from fires burning in India at that time.