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Dust Over Taklamakan Desert Obscures Khotan River

38.7N 80.2E

November 12th, 2012 Category: Deserts, Dust Storms

China – November 10th, 2012

A dust storm has been affecting the Taklamakan Desert since early November (click here for previous images). Here, the dust appears to float in the air primarily over the western half of the desert, almost completely obscuring geographical features such as the Khotan River, which can usually be seen as a green line crossing the desert from south to north.

Khotan River Crossing Taklamakan Desert, China

38.7N 80.5E

October 22nd, 2011 Category: Deserts, Mountains, Rivers

China - October 18th, 2011

The Khotan River can be seen crossing the western half of the Taklamakan Desert in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, China. It 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 the northern part of the country.

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.

High Dunes of Taklamakan Desert Around Khotan River, China

39.4N 83.9E

November 11th, 2010 Category: Deserts, Rivers

China - August 27th, 2010

The Khotan River flows across the Taklamakan Desert in China, appearing as a thin grey ribbon that divides this image in two. The extraordinarily high dunes that characterize the desert can be seen on either side of it. The ones on the right side of the image appear larger than those on the left.

The Khotan River is formed by the confluence of the White Jade (Yurungkash) and Black Jade (Karakash) Rivers, some 145 kilometres (90 mi) north of the town of Khotan, which then lends its name to the river after the convergence.

Taklamakan Desert Dunes Near Khotan River – October 24th, 2010

40.0N 86.8E

October 24th, 2010 Category: Deserts, Image of the day

China - October 13th, 2010

The Taklamakan Desert occupies the majority of this image, filling the greater part of the Tarim Basin in west-central China. The Kunlun Mountains are visible along the northern edge of the desert, capped in snow.

The greenish line cutting vertically across the desert is the Khotan River. Upon opening the full image, many individual rows of high sand dunes can be discerned throughout the desert, particularly to the east of the river.

On the right edge of the image thumbnail, just north of the desert, is Lake Bosten. Visible at the right edge of the full image, southeast of Lake Bosten, is the basin of the former Lake Lop Nur and a nearby field of salt pans, appearing as a greenish rectangular area. This part of the image appears hazy, as sand is blowing in the air.

Airbourne Dust Over Taklamakan Desert, China – October 6th, 2010

39.2N 83.3E

October 6th, 2010 Category: Deserts, Dust Storms, Image of the day, Rivers

China - August 29th, 2010

Dust blows over the Taklamakan Desert, in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, particularly on its southeastern side. The desert is bounded by the Kunlun Mountains to the south, and the Pamir Mountains and Tian Shan to the west and north, which are holding the dust within the desert basin.

Despite the extremely arid nature of the desert, several rivers can be observed, particuarly along its northern limits. The Khotan River, formed by the union of the White Jade (Yurungkash) and Black Jade (Karakash) Rivers, crosses the desert vertically. In the full image, its usually green banks are partly veiled by the airbourne dust.