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Ice Cracking on Qinghai Lake, China

March 17th, 2009 Category: Lakes

Qinghai Lake, China - March 16th, 2009

Qinghai Lake, China - March 16th, 2009

Qinghai Lake, historically known as Koko Nor (from the Mongolian name), is a saline lake situated in the province of Qinghai. It is the largest lake in China.

It is located about 100 km west of the provincial capital of Xining at 3,205 m (10,515 feet) above sea level in a depression of the Tibetan Plateau in the traditional Tibetan province of Amdo.

Twenty-three rivers and streams empty into Qinghai Lake. The lake has fluctuated in size, shrinking over much of the 20th century, but increasing since 2004.

Despite its salinity, it has an abundance of fish, and often remains frozen for three months continuously in winter. Here, a sheet of ice covers its surface, although it is cracking in the southwestern corner, allowing the blue water beneath to be seen.

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