Heaven Lake

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This article is about the lake in northeast China. For the lake in northwest China, see Heaven Lake of Tian Shan.
Heaven Lake
Baitou Mountain Tianchi.jpg
Location North Korea / China
Coordinates 42°00′22″N 128°03′25″E / 42.006°N 128.057°E / 42.006; 128.057Coordinates: 42°00′22″N 128°03′25″E / 42.006°N 128.057°E / 42.006; 128.057
Type crater lake
Primary inflows precipitation
Basin countries North Korea, China
Surface area 9.82 km2 (3.79 sq mi)
Average depth 213 m (699 ft)
Max. depth 384 m (1,260 ft)
Surface elevation 2,189.1 m (7,182 ft)
Korean name
Hangul 천지
Hanja
Revised Romanization Cheonji
McCune–Reischauer Ch'ŏnji

Heaven Lake (천지 (Ch'ŏnji or Cheonji) in Korean; 天池 (Tiānchí) in Chinese) is a crater lake on the border between China and North Korea. It lies within a caldera atop the volcanic Baekdu Mountain, a part of the Baekdudaegan mountain range and the Changbai mountain range. It is located partly in Ryanggang Province, North Korea, at 42°00′22″N 128°03′25″E / 42.006°N 128.057°E / 42.006; 128.057, and partly in Jilin Province, northeastern China.

Geology and limnology[edit]

The caldera which contains Heaven Lake was created by a major eruption in 969 AD (± 20 years).[1]

The lake has a surface elevation of 2,189.1 m (7,182 ft). The lake covers an area of 9.82 km² (3.79 sq mi) with a south-north length of 4.85 km (3.01 mi) and east-west length of 3.35 kilometres (2.08 mi). The average depth of the lake is 213 m (699 ft) and maximum depth of 384 m (1,260 ft). From mid-October to mid-June, it is typically covered with ice.

Names and legends[edit]

In ancient Chinese literature, Tianchi also refers to Nanming (南冥 sometimes translated as "southern sea").

Some other well-known lakes named Tianchi include those in Xinjiang and Taiwan.

In North Korean legend, Kim Jong-il is claimed to have been born near the lake on the mountain. Upon his death, the Korean Central News Agency claimed that the ice on the lake cracked "so loud, it seemed to shake the Heavens and the Earth."[2]

Overhead panorama of Heaven Lake.

Lake Tianchi Monster[edit]

Main article: Lake Tianchi Monster

Heaven lake is also alleged to be home to the Lake Tianchi Monster.[3]

On September 6, 2007, Zhuo Yongsheng (director of a TV station's news center run by the administration office of the nature reserve at Mount Changbaishan, Jilin), shot a 20-minute video of 6 seal-like, finned "Lake Tianchi Monsters", near the border with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). He sent pictures of the Loch Ness Monster-type creatures to Xinhua's Jilin provincial bureau. One of them showed the creatures swimming in 3 pairs, in parallel. Another showed them together, leaving ripples on the volcanic lake.[4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Horn, Susanne; Schmincke, Hans-Ulrich (2000). "Volatile emission during the eruption of Baitoushan Volcano (China/North Korea) ca. 969 AD". Bulletin of Volcanology 61 (8): 537–555. doi:10.1007/s004450050004. 
  2. ^ Kim Jong-il death: 'Nature mourns' N Korea leader
  3. ^ "Chinese monster rivals Nessie". BBC News Newsround. 2003-07-31. 
  4. ^ English.people.com, 'Tianchi monster' caught on film