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Khotan River in the Tarim Basin, China

37.1N 79.9E

May 6th, 2010 Category: Rivers

China - April 28th, 2010

China - April 28th, 2010

The Khotan River (also Hotan River or Ho-t’ien River) 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 northern China. Here, the dunes of the desert can be seen in the lower part of the image.

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.

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