Some salt crystals resemble corals , while some take the form of spiked crystals that looked as if they could be easily broken off by a gust of wind . (Photo: Shanghai Daily)|
BEIJING, May 31 -- In vast Qarhan Lake, the salt blossoms like flowers and takes the form of pillars, corals and pearls. The awesome crystalline landscape contains rich deposits of potassium and other minerals, and mining is a vital industry in Qinghai Province.
From the shallow basin containing Qinghai Lake, we crossed the Qinghai Nanshan Mountains and entered the Qaidam Basin to the west. Both basins are endorheic, meaning they have no outlet - they are fed by rivers and rain, but do not allow water to flow to the sea due to their closed nature.
These adjacent basins have met with different fates: one holds the largest lake in China, while the other is a dry expanse of salt lakes.
As we began our venture into the heart of the Qaidam Basin in Qinghai Province, we could see trees growing on the mountain ridges. But there were no trees to be found on the flat expanse. This is because precipitation actually decreases as the elevation gets lower. Most of the trees are the Qilian cypress (Sabina przewalskii), which are among the oldest living trees in China.
Around 1,800 years old, they are an important record of climate change: Scientists can determine the ancient climate by analyzing the thickness of the tree rings.
Before long all the trees disappeared. All we could see were shrubs of camelthorn. Just then, a herd of two-humped Bactrian camels appeared; the landscape provided a fitting backdrop to their majestic stature. Out from the bushes popped two wild rabbits, which quickly hopped away.
As we moved on, all vegetation cover totally disappeared. We had reached the bottom of the vast Qaidam Basin.Qarhan salt lake - Marine Water Maker - Stainless Steel Filter HousingQarhan salt lake - Marine Water Maker - Stainless Steel Filter HousingQarhan salt lake - Marine Water Maker - Stainless Steel Filter Housing
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