Potassium Chloride Factory by Lop Lake Basin, China40.5N 90.5E
Visible just above the center of this image is Lop Lake or Lop Nur, a group of small, now seasonal salt lake sand marshes between the Taklamakan and Kuruktag deserts in the Bayingolin Mongol Autonomous Prefecture, southeastern portion of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in the People’s Republic of China.
The lake system into which the Tarim River and Shule River empty is the last remnant of the historical post-glacial Tarim Lake, which once covered more than 10,000 km2 (3,900 sq mi) in the Tarim Basin. Lop Nur is hydrologically endorheic—it is landbound and there is no outlet. The lake system has largely dried up from its 1928 measured area of 3,100 km2 (1,200 sq mi) and the desert has spread by windblown sandy loess. This has shifted the lake system 30 to 40 kilometres (19 to 25 mi) westwards during the past 40 years. The rectangular, teal area just above the dry basin is a potassium chloride factory.