Kanas Lake

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Kanas Lake
Lake Kanas.jpg
Location Burqin County and Habahe County, Xinjiang
Coordinates 48°49′N 87°2′E / 48.817°N 87.033°E / 48.817; 87.033Coordinates: 48°49′N 87°2′E / 48.817°N 87.033°E / 48.817; 87.033
Primary outflows Kanas River
Basin countries China
Surface area 45.73 km²
Average depth 120 m
Max. depth 188.5 m
Surface elevation 1,340 m
Lake Kanas satellite Landsat 7 image, 2006-07-23

Kanas Lake (Chinese: 喀纳斯湖; pinyin: Kānàsī Hú) is a lake in Altay Prefecture, Xinjiang, China. The lake is located in a valley in the Altai Mountains, near the very northern tip of Xinjiang, and the province's borders with Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and Russia. The lake was formed around 200, 000 years ago during the Quaternary period as a result of glacier movement. The crescent moon shaped lake has an estimated water storage capacity of 53.8 billion cubic meters, coupled with an average depth of around 120 meters.[1]

Kanas river, part of Etix River to the Arctic Ocean, view from rafting boat
Kanas view

The Kanas River, flowing out of the lake, later merges with the Hemu River to form the Burqin River, which itself discharges into the Irtysh at Burqin Town, the county seat of Burqin County.

Kanas lake besides the alpine glacier
Kanas lake tour

The local tourism information office compares Lake Kanas, which is located at around 48°N, with Lake Léman (the Genève Lake) in Switzerland and France (46°N), due to the similarity of their climate and scenery.

There is a large population of Tuvans and Kazakhs in the Kanas valley area. While most of them have maintained their traditional agriculture and nomadic life style, many of the local people also begin to participate in the developing tourism business recent years, managed to establish facilities for orienteering, hiking, rafting, rock climbing, paragliding and camping.[2][3] The scenic spot is classified as a AAAAA scenic area by the China National Tourism Administration.[4]

About 117 different kinds of birds live along the lake.

Lake creatures[edit]

For several centuries there have been sightings of large lake creatures in the waters. First efforts in research of these legends were done by Yuan Guoying (Xinjiang University) who observed fish of enormous size in 1985. He and his students assessed that the fish could be 10 - 15 m long and more than 4 tons heavy, with total population in excess of 50 individuals.[5]

Frequency of observation has increased in the 21st century, with the development of mass tourism. A video was taken and shown in the local Chinese media where numerous unidentifiable creatures can be seen.[6] According to CCTV10, the creatures living in the lake are speculated by Chinese scholar as giant Hucho taimen.[7]

Scenic points[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.silk-road-china.com/hanas.htm
  2. ^ http://www.china.com.cn/travel/txt/2009-03/12/content_17427946_4.htm
  3. ^ http://outdoor.lotour.com/x/20080424/n306090.shtml
  4. ^ "AAAAA Scenic Areas". China National Tourism Administration. 16 November 2008. Retrieved 9 April 2011. 
  5. ^ "Kanas Lake Monsters". Wondermondo. 
  6. ^ YouTube: Unknown creature in Kanas Lake
  7. ^ http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XMTkwNDU2MDg=.html

External links[edit]

Media related to Lake Kanas at Wikimedia Commons