塔里木盆地 The Tarim Basin
The Tarim Basin
The Tarim Basin, encircled by the Tianshan Mountains, Kunlun Mountains, Altyn Tagh Mountains and the Pamirs, and with a total area of about 530,000 km2, is the largest inland basin in the world. Because of the mountain barriers, the weather there is extremely dry. It has a typical geomorphology of dry wind erosion and wind deposit.
A typical loop structure has formed from the edge to the interior of the Tarim Basin, moving in turn from the Gravel and Gobi Belt to the Oasis Belt and then desert.
The periphery of the Basin is Gobi land made up of stone fragments. The Gobi land is very permeable. In summer, the melted ice and snow from the high mountains flows down and permeates the ground so that the surface of the Gobi is always dry.
Within the Gobi land, there are intermittent oases forming a strip-like belt. Each oasis is rich in grass and water flowing through a network of channels and farmland, with many trees to provide shelter. This has helped the local economy to develop and the people of the basin mostly live here.
The Taklamakan Desert
The Taklamakan Desert, located in the Tarim Basin, is about 1,000 km long from east to west and about 400 km wide from south to north. It has an area of about 330,000 km2 and is the largest desert in China.
Various dunes can be found in the Taklamakan Desert, some are like new moon, some like waves. The average height is more than 100 m and some can be 200 or 300 m high.
The desert area is very dry, with no rain at all throughout a year, making conditions for life extremely difficult.