Earth Snapshot RSS Feed Twitter

Posts tagged Xinjiang

Lakes Zaysan and Ulungur in Kazakhstan and China

47.3N 87.1E

May 17th, 2011 Category: Lakes, Mountains

Kazakhstan, Russia and China - May 2nd, 2011

Visible at the top of this image are the Altai Mountains, in southwestern Siberia, Russia near the borders with China, Kazakhstan and Mongolia.

Visible to the south is Lake Zaysan, in eastern Kazakhstan, in a hollow between the Altai and Tarbagatai Mountains. A freshwater lake, at around 1,810 km² (700 mi²) it is the largest lake in the East Kazakhstan Province.

Moving eastward, one can see Lake Ulungur, in Fuhai County, Xinjiang, China. With an area of 1,035 square kilometers, the lake is one of China’s ten largest freshwater lakes.

Dust from Gurbantünggüt Desert, China

44.3N 90.4E

April 17th, 2011 Category: Deserts, Dust Storms

China - April 10th, 2011

A plume of sand blows eastward from the Gurbantünggüt Desert, China. The desert occupies a large part of the Dzungarian Basin in northern Xinjiang, in the northwest of the country.

It is approximately 50,000 square kilometers (19,000 mi²), and located around 300 to 600 meters above sea level. It is China’s (and Xinjiang’s) second largest desert, after Taklamakan Desert, which is located in the Tarim Basin.

A remote, arid, and rugged area, Gurbantünggüt Desert is separated by the Tian Shan mountains from the Ili River Basin, Turfan Depression, and the Tarim Basin of the southern Xinjiang.

Turpan Depression Below Bogda Mountains, China

42.9N 89.1E

April 6th, 2010 Category: Mountains

China - March 5th, 2010

China - March 5th, 2010

The Turpan Depression or Turfan Depression is nestled at the foot of China’s Bogda Mountains, in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region in far western China. It is situated around and south of the city-oasis of Turpan, about 150 km southeast of the provincial capital Ürümqi.

By some measures, it is also the hottest and driest area in China. An area of sand dunes is visible in the depression near the image center. It includes the second lowest exposed point on the Earth’s surface (dry Lake Ayding, -154m, a greyish area west of the dunes), after the Dead Sea. In fact, the entire depression is below sea level.

The Turpan Basin is a fault-bounded trough located in the eastern part of the Tian Shan. It covers an area of 50,000 km². The surrounding mountain ranges are: the central Tian Shan in the west, the Bogda Shan in the north-west, the Haerlike Shan in the north-west, and the Jueluotage Shan in the south. Beyond the surrounding mountain ranges lie the Junggar Basin in the north and the Tarim Basin in the south.

Lake Bosten Surrounded by Desert, China

42.0N 87.0E

April 3rd, 2010 Category: Lakes

China - March 5th, 2010

China - March 5th, 2010

Bosten Lake is a freshwater lake located 57 km northeast of Korla, Xinjiang, China in the Bayin’gholin Mongol Autonomous Prefecture. Covering an area of about 1,000 square kilometers (together with adjacent small lakes), it is the largest lake in Xinjiang and one of the largest inland freshwater lakes in China.

The Kaidu River is the most important tributary to Lake Bosten, accounting for about 83% of its water inflow. A fishery exists on the lake and fish such as Bullhead and Blunt-snout bream are native to the lake. Westerners sometimes refer to it as the ‘Oriental Hawaii of Xinjiang’ because of its unique lush scenery surrounded by the harsh Gobi Desert.

Dust Storm Shrouds Eastern China

39.9N 116.4E

March 23rd, 2010 Category: Dust Storms

Dust Storm in China - March 22nd, 2010

Dust Storm in China - March 22nd, 2010

Beijing has been shrouded in orange dust as a strong sandstorm blew hundreds of miles from drought-struck northern China to the nation’s capital. Authorities have issued a level-five pollution warning and urged people to stay indoors.

Here, the dust can be seen veiling mainland China, while offshore thick sediments are released into the Bohai Sea (above) and the Yellow Sea (below).

The storm has already caused havoc in Xinjiang, Shanxi, Shaanxi and Hebei regions and is heading to South Korea (visible to the right upon opening the full image). Residents of the South Korean capital, Seoul, as well as those in central and western regions, have been advised to stay indoors.

By Saturday, the storm had spread over an area of 810,000 sq km (313,000 sq miles) with a population of 250 million, state news agency Xinhua reported. It was expected to last until Monday, the meteorological agency said in a statement on its website.

The head of Beijing’s meteorological agency said the storm came from the deserts of Inner Mongolia. Beijing has long-suffered from sandstorms – experts say the storms are, in part, caused by deforestation and the rapid expansion of urban areas in recent decades.