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Qinghai Lake splits due to deterioration
Updated: 2004-02-24 11:26

Qinghai Lake, the largest saltwater lake in China, has changed from a boundless lake into one bigger lake and several smaller ones due to eco-environmental deterioration.

Looking at a picture taken from a satellite, three larger water areas and several smaller ones have been formed on the northern part of the lake. In addition, there is a small lake respectively on the southern and southeastern parts of Qinghai Lake.

The picture taken this month showed a lake covering a water surface of 96.7 square kilometers was severed from the main body of Qinghai Lake on its northeastern part.

Qinghai Lake covers 4,200 square kilometers in the northern part of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. In the 1960s, 108 freshwater rivers emptied into it. However, 85 per cent of the rivers around the lake have dried up now, including the Buh River, the lake's largest tributary.

Xu Weixin, an engineer of the Qinghai Provincial Remote Sensing Center, attributed the separation of Qinghai Lake to shrinkage of the water surface as a result of a lowered water level and desertification in the region.

Statistics showed the water level of Qinghai Lake lowered by 3. 7 meters in the past three decades and its water surface shrank by 312 square kilometers.

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