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Qaidam Basin - Nasa satellite view
A rainbow after a rare shower in the Qaidam Basin on the Tibetan Plateau

Qaidam Basin, also spelt Tsaidam (from Mongolian: Цайдам, salt marsh or wide valley; Chinese: 柴达木盆地pinyin: Chaidamu Pendi) is an hyperarid basin in Haixi Mongol and Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai Province, western China. The basin covers an area of approximately 120,000 km2, one fourth of which is covered by saline lakes and playas.[1] Its large natural reserves caused a great deal of investment interest from 2005. Around 35,000 square kilometers, or one third of the basin was desert, which is named after the basin as Chaidamu Pendi Shamo (柴达木盆地沙漠).

It has reserves of asbestos, borax, gypsum, natural gas, and several metals, with the greatest reserves of lithium, magnesium, potassium and sodium of anywhere in China. Qaidam is also home to the Qarhan Lake, which contains sixty billion tons of salt. There are 22 oilfields, with estimated reserves of 225 million tons, and 6 gasfields, holding 150 billion cubic metres of gas.

References

Coordinates: 37°16′N 94°27′E / 37.267°N 94.45°E / 37.267; 94.45

  1. ^ Chen, K., Bowler, J.M., 1986, Late Pleistocene evolution of salt lakes in the Qaidam Basin, Qinghai Province, China. Paleogeography, Paleoclimatology, Paleoecology, 54:87-104


Qaidam Basin, also spelt Tsaidam (Chaidamu Pendi, 柴达木盆地; Mongolian: Цайдам) is an hyperarid basin in Haixi Mongol and Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai Province, western China. The basin covers an area of approximately 120,000 km2, one fourth of which is covered by saline lakes and playas.[1] Its large natural reserves caused a great deal of investment interest from 2005. Around 35,000 square kilometers, or one third of the basin was desert, which is named after the basin as Chaidamu Pendi Shamo (柴达木盆地沙漠).

It has reserves of asbestos, borax, gypsum, natural gas, and several metals, with the greatest reserves of lithium, magnesium, potassium and sodium of anywhere in China. Qaidam is also home to the Qarhan Lake, which contains sixty billion tons of salt. There are 22 oilfields, with estimated reserves of 225 million tons, and 6 gasfields, holding 150 billion cubic metres of gas.

References

Coordinates: 37°16′N 94°27′E / 37.267°N 94.45°E / 37.267; 94.45

  1. Chen, K., Bowler, J.M., 1986, Late Pleistocene evolution of salt lakes in the Qaidam Basin, Qinghai Province, China. Paleogeography, Paleoclimatology, Paleoecology, 54:87-104

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