Thousand Island Lake or Qiandao Lake viewed from atop a bell tower
|Location||Chun'an County, Zhejiang|
|Surface area||573 km2 (221 sq mi)|
|Average depth||26 m (85 ft).|
|Max. depth||120 m (394 ft).|
|Water volume||17.8 km3 (4.3 cu mi).|
|Surface elevation||108 m (354 ft).|
Qiandao Lake (simplified Chinese: 千岛湖; traditional Chinese: 千島湖; pinyin: Qiāndǎo Hú; literally: "Thousand Island Lake"), a human-made, freshwater lake located in Chun'an County, Zhejiang Province, China, was formed after the completion of the Xin'an River hydroelectric station in 1959.
1,078 large islands dot the lake and a few thousand smaller ones are scattered across it. Over 90% of the area is forested. The islands in the lake include Bird Island, Snake Island, Monkey Island, Lock Island (featuring supposedly the world's biggest lock),[clarification needed] and the Island to Remind You of Your Childhood. The lake covers an area of 573 km2 (221 sq mi) and has a storage capacity of 17.8 km3 (4.3 cu mi). The islands in the lake cover about 86 km2 (33 sq mi).
Xin'an River Dam
The valley was flooded in 1959 to create the lake for the Xin'an River Dam project. The dam that created the lake is located at and is 105 m (344 ft) tall with a crest length of 466.5 m (1,531 ft). Xin'an Dam was the first dam constructed in China with a height greater than 100 m (328 ft) and its power plant has an installed capacity of 845 MW.
Submerged city of Shi Cheng
Submerged in the lake, at the foot of Wu Shi Mountain (五狮山, "Five Lion Mountain"), lies an ancient city known as Shi Cheng (狮城, "Lion City"). It was built during the Eastern Han Dynasty (AD 25–200) and was first set up as a county in AD 208. The city acquired its name from nearby Wu Shi (Five Lion) Mountain, which is now known as Wu Shi Island since it too became partially submerged by the reservoir. At present Shi Cheng remains well-preserved and undisturbed at a depth of 26–40 m (85–131 ft). It has been explored by Big Blue, an underwater diving operator based in Shanghai.
Qiandao Lake incident
In 1994, in an event since named the Qiandao Lake Incident, three hijackers boarded a boat full of tourists and set it on fire, killing all 32 passengers on board. The passengers were mainly tourists from Taiwan.
In 1998, a Chinese-Italian consortium began planning the construction of a prototype of a submerged floating tunnel (also known as an Archimedes bridge), and decided in 2005 to build it across Quiandao Lake. The bridge, the first in the world of its kind, is expected to span 100 m (330 ft), as a proof of concept for larger bridges.
Companies take advantage of the pristine quality of the water and environment for aquaculture and water branding. Qiandao Lake is used to produce the Nongfu Spring brand of mineral water. Kaluga Queen produces much of the world's caviar through raising sturgeon in pens at the lake.
The lake has made Zhejiang a popular area for tourists. As a result, housing development has increased in the area since the late 1990s.
A railway development project to the area ceased as it was considered damaging to the "natural" sights of Qiandao Lake.
- Lucky Buddha Beer
- Qiandao Lake Incident
- Hangzhou Qiandaohu, a company named after the lake, next to which its headquarters and brewery are located.
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- "This Is What China's Version of Atlantis Looks Like". YouTube. Smithsonian Channel. 16 November 2018.