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Lakes on the “Roof of the World”, China

31.8N 89.0E

February 12th, 2010 Category: Lakes, Mountains, Rivers

China - January 7th, 2010

China - January 7th, 2010

The Tibetan Plateau is a vast, elevated plateau in Central Asia covering most of the Tibet Autonomous Region and Qinghai Province in China and Ladakh in Kashmir, India. It occupies an area of around 1,000 by 2,500 kilometers, and has an average elevation of over 4,500 meters.

Sometimes called “the roof of the world,” it is the highest and biggest plateau, with an area of 2.5 million square kilometers (about four times the size of Texas or France). The plateau is a high-altitude arid steppe interspersed with mountain ranges and large brackish lakes. Annual precipitation ranges from 100 mm to 300 mm and falls mainly as hailstorms.

Near the south the plateau is transected by the Yarlung Tsangpo River valley which flows along the base of the Himalayas, and by the vast Indo-Gangetic Plain. The southern and eastern edges of the steppe have grasslands which can sustainably support populations of nomadic herdsmen, although frost occurs for six months of the year.

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