Namtso

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Namtso
Namtso-and-holy-rock.jpg
View of the lake and the holy rock near the Tashi Dor monastery (2005)
Nam Tso.png
Relief map. Lhasa is the area marked in red at the bottom.
LocationDamxung/Baingoin, Tibet Autonomous Region
Coordinates30°42′N 90°33′E / 30.700°N 90.550°E / 30.700; 90.550Coordinates: 30°42′N 90°33′E / 30.700°N 90.550°E / 30.700; 90.550
Typesalt lake
Primary inflowssnow cover and spring of Tanggula Mountains
Primary outflowsNone (endorheic)[1]
Basin countriesPeople's Republic of China
Max. length70 km (43 mi)
Max. width30 km (19 mi)
Surface area1,920 km2 (740 sq mi)
Average depth33 m (108 ft)
Max. depth125 m (410 ft)[2]
Water volume768 billion cubic metres (623×10^6 acre⋅ft)
Surface elevation4,718 m (15,479 ft)
Islands5
Namtso
Tibetan name
Tibetan གནམ་མཚོ་
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese納木錯
Simplified Chinese纳木错

Namtso or Lake Nam (officially: Nam Co; Mongolian: Tenger nuur; “Heavenly Lake”; in European literature: Tengri Nor, 30°42′N 90°33′E / 30.700°N 90.550°E / 30.700; 90.550) is a mountain lake on the border between Damxung County of Lhasa prefecture-level city and Baingoin County of Nagqu Prefecture in the Tibet Autonomous Region of China, approximately 112 kilometres (70 mi) NNW of Lhasa.

Geography[edit]

Namtso was born in the Paleogene age, as a result of Himalayan tectonic plate movements. The lake lies at an elevation of 4,718 m (15,479 ft), and has a surface area of 1,900 km2 (730 sq mi).[3] This salt lake is the largest lake in the Tibet Autonomous Region. However, it is not the largest lake on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. That title belongs to Qinghai Lake (more than twice the size of Namtso); which lies more than 1,000 km (620 mi) to the north-east in Qinghai.

Namtso has five uninhabited islands of reasonable size, in addition to one or two rocky outcrops. The islands have been used for spiritual retreat by pilgrims who walk over the lake's frozen surface at the end of winter, carrying their food with them. They spend the summer there, unable to return to shore again until the water freezes the following winter. This practice is no longer permitted by Chinese authorities.[citation needed]

The largest of the islands is in the northwest corner of the lake, and is about 2,100 m (6,900 ft) long and 800 m (2,600 ft) wide, rising to just over 100 m (330 ft) in the middle. At its closest point it is about 3.1 km (1.9 mi) from the shore.[citation needed]

The most remote island is, at its closest, 5.1 km (3.2 mi) from the shore. At summer time birds like Ruddy shelduck and cormorants (Phalacrocorax sp.) migrate to the lake area, besides the fields of Astragalus, Roegneria nutans and Marram grass.[citation needed]

Climate[edit]

The weather at Namtso is subject to abrupt, sudden change and snowstorms are very common across the Nyainqêntanglha range.[citation needed]

Namtso has a Köppen climate classification of alpine or tundra climate (Koppen ET).[citation needed]

Climate data for Namtso
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) −3.0
(26.6)
−1.4
(29.5)
1.7
(35.1)
5.6
(42.1)
10.0
(50.0)
14.0
(57.2)
14.4
(57.9)
13.4
(56.1)
11.7
(53.1)
6.5
(43.7)
1.4
(34.5)
−1.7
(28.9)
6.1
(42.9)
Daily mean °C (°F) −11.8
(10.8)
−9.6
(14.7)
−6.1
(21.0)
−1.7
(28.9)
2.9
(37.2)
7.3
(45.1)
8.4
(47.1)
7.7
(45.9)
5.6
(42.1)
−0.3
(31.5)
−6.8
(19.8)
−10.5
(13.1)
−1.2
(29.8)
Average low °C (°F) −20.6
(−5.1)
−17.8
(0.0)
−13.8
(7.2)
−9.0
(15.8)
−4.2
(24.4)
0.7
(33.3)
2.5
(36.5)
2.1
(35.8)
−0.4
(31.3)
−7.1
(19.2)
−14.9
(5.2)
−19.3
(−2.7)
−8.5
(16.7)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 1
(0.0)
1
(0.0)
1
(0.0)
4
(0.2)
14
(0.6)
51
(2.0)
87
(3.4)
87
(3.4)
48
(1.9)
10
(0.4)
2
(0.1)
1
(0.0)
307
(12)
Source: "NAMTSO QU Climate (China)". Climate-Data.org.

Other Features[edit]

NH-46-5 Nam Tso China

Namtso is renowned as one of the most beautiful places in the Nyainqêntanglha mountain range. Its cave hermitages have for centuries been the destination of Tibetan pilgrims. A surfaced road across Laken Pass at 5186 m was completed to the lake in 2005, enabling easy access from Lhasa and the development of tourism at the lake. Settlements in the area include Dobjoi, Donggar and Cha'gyungoinba. The Tashi Dor monastery is located at the southeastern corner of the lake.

Around the area's natural elements, historical and anthropological background, a 2010 romantic drama Chinese: 香格里拉 Shangri-La, starring China's popular actor Hu Ge, was broadcast at CCTV1 and received positive reviews.[4] Some scenes in the 2002 Hong Kong film The Touch were filmed at the lake. Namtso Lake was featured in Episode 4, The Roof of the World, of BBC TV series: Himalaya with Michael Palin.

Gallery[edit]

Asteroid[edit]

Asteroid 248388 Namtso, discovered by Italian astronomer Vincenzo Casulli in 2005, was named after the lake.[5] The official naming citation was published by the Minor Planet Center on 5 October 2017 (M.P.C. 106504).[6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Schütt, Brigitta; Berking, Jonas; Frechen, Manfred; Yi, Chaolu (September 2008). Late Pleistocene Lake Level Fluctuations of the Nam Co, Tibetan Plateau, China (PDF). Zeitschrift für Geomorphologie. 52. pp. 57–74. doi:10.1127/0372-8854/2008/0052S2-0057.
  2. ^ "Chinese, German scientists record new depth of Nam Co Lake".
  3. ^ "Namtso Lake". Universities Space Research Association. October 5, 2004.
  4. ^ "胡歌主演《香格里拉》30分钟片花 - 电视剧《香格里拉》_新浪视频" [Hu Ge starring in "Shangri-La" 30 minutes- TV series "Shangri-La"_Sina video]. SINA Corporation.
  5. ^ "248388 Namtso (2005 SE19)". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved July 21, 2019.
  6. ^ "MPC/MPO/MPS Archive". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved July 21, 2019.

External links[edit]