Lop Nur is a group of small, now seasonal salt lake sand marshes between the Taklamakan and Kuruktag deserts in the southeastern portion of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in China.Lop Nur, lying east of Korla and covering 3,000 square kilometers, was an important station on the Silk Road and once a very large lake. In the Han dynasty, Lop Nur was such a vast lake that it was often mistaken as the source of the Yellow River.
However, over deforestation and environmental deterioration caused by human activity curtailed the lifespan of the lake and during the 4th century A.D. codes and regulations had to be introduced to control the use of the insufficient water. When Marco Polo reached Lop Nur in 1275 he found nothing more than sand. Its contraction continued and Lop Nur finally disappeared in 1972.
Lop Nur is hydrologically endorheic—it is landbound and there is no outlet. Though it was determined to be a single salt lake by ancient Chinese geographers, the lake system has largely dried up from its 1928 measured area of 3,100 km2 and the desert has spread by windblown sandy loess. This has shifted the lake system 30 to 40 kilometers westwards during the past 40 years.
In 1996 a famous explorer, Yu Chunshun, died accidentally in Lop Nur on his expedition, and before him, another Chinese scientist, Peng Jiamu lost his life there while carrying out his research in 1979.
Shanghai, Huangshan Mountain, Wuyuan, Jingdezhen, Beijing
Beijing, Shanghai, Suzhou, Hangzhou, Xi'an, Guilin, (Hong Kong)
Beijing, Xi’an, Shanghai, Guilin
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