STS066-118-023 Qinghai Lake, Qinghai Province, China November 1994
Qinghai Lake, with an area of 1770 square miles (4580 square kilometers) and a maximum depth of 108 feet (33 meters), is the largest natural lake in China. Situated in the eastern end of the desert environment of the Qaidam Basin in Qinghai Province, the lake's main source of recharge water is snowmelt from the encircling mountain ranges that rise in excess of 14 000 feet (4265 meters). Several small deltas with cultivated field patterns surround the lake. Qinghai Lake, one of many inland saline lakes in west-central and northwest China, exhibits sand deposits on its western shoreline as well as its eastern shoreline where the deposits extend into the lake.

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