STS034-078-031 Chang Jiang (River), China October 1989
Located approximately 50 miles (80 kilometers) north of Changsha in northern Hunan Province, this complex, hydrologically controlled lake region looks almost surreal. Identifying specific rivers that enter this region is difficult because of many crisscrossing rivers, lakes, irrigation canals, and ditches. Two major rivers, the east-flowing Yuan River and the north-flowing Xiang River, merge near the eastern edge of the photograph and flow northeastward into the mighty Chang (Yangtze) River (not shown in this photograph). Triangular Datong Lake (northern area of the photograph) is surrounded by extensive, cultivated field patterns, most of which are presumed to be irrigated rice paddies. The two larger lakes are known collectively as Lake Dongting.
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