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Karamay is located in the northwestern part of the Junggar Basin at an elevation of 270 to 500 meters above sea level. Its administrative area covers 7,733 square kilometers, in a north-south belt. It borders Hoboksar Mongol autonomous county to the northeast, Toli county to the southwest, and Wusu and Dhawan counties to the south.


It has a temperate continental climate, with seasonal temperature extremes, the winters being long and cold, and the summers hot and dry. Spring and autumn are short. Temperatures can reach -15.4 C, in January, the coldest month, and 27.9 C, in July, the hottest. The city is occasionally hit by rough weather, such as heavy winds, cold waves, hail, or flash floods.


Soil and vegetation

Much of the city is in the Gobi desert, where the soil is quite poor, mixed with gravel and salt. But, it also has 28,100 hectares of forests and as much as 105,000 hectares of grassland.

Flora and fauna

The city has more than 30 types of wild animals, such as gazelle, argal, foxes, and wolves, and more than 230 wild desert plants, poplars, and rose willows.


The rivers that run intermittently through the city are the Baiyang, Crassus and Dahl Bootu. The city has been working on diversion works since 2007, which has reduced the number of water shortages.


The city has plenty of good quality oil and gas, with other minerals scattered about, including asphalt and tar sands, coal, salt, gypsum and sodium sulfate.