Qiemo County and the Altun Shan Range, China38.1N 85.5E
The Qiemo River, or Qarqan River, raches from the Altun Range, or Altyn Tagh, to Qiemo County, in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. From the foot of the mountains to the oasis of Qiemo, it has a fall of nearly 4000 feet. The peaks and contours of this downward slope are seen without geometric distortion thanks to orthorectification.
The Altun Shan Range is one of the chief constituent ranges of the Kunlun and forms the border of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region with the Tibetan Plateau. Together with the Qilian Shan, it forms the Nan Shan.
The Altun Shan runs roughly 1,000 km south of Lake Lop Nur in a southwest to northeast direction, forming the boundary between the Tarim Basin to the north and the Qaidam Basin in the south.
The southwest reaches snowy peaks of 6100 m, although it descends to an average of 4000 m in the narrow middle and eventually rises up to average 5000 m as it meets the Nan Shan.