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Gobi Desert

Nature creation - Earth Desert ::-- 1.Antarctic - Desert|| 2.Sahara - Desert|| 3.Arctic - Desert|| 4.Arabian - Desert|| 5.Gobi - Desert|| 6.Kalahari - Desert|| 7.Patagonian - Desert|| 8.Victoria - Desert|| 9.Syrian - Desert|| 10.Great Basin - Desert|| Desert List||

Gobi Desert

The Gobi is a large desert region in Asia. It covers parts of northern and northwestern China, and of southern Mongolia. The desert basins of the Gobi are bounded by the Altai Mountains and the grasslands and steppes of Mongolia on the north, by the Hexi Corridor and Tibetan Plateau to the southwest, and by the North China Plain to the southeast. The Gobi is most notable in history as part of the great Mongol Empire, and as the location of several important cities along the Silk Road.
The Gobi is made up of several distinct ecological and geographic regions based on variations in climate and topography. One is the Eastern Gobi desert steppe Ecoregion, a Palearctic ecoregion in the Deserts and xeric shrublands Biome, home to the Bactrian camel and various other animals.. It is a rain shadow desert formed by the Himalaya range blocking rain-carrying clouds from reaching the Gobi from the Indian Ocean.
The Gobi measures over 1,610 km (1,000 mi) from southwest to northeast and 800 km (500 mi) from north to south. The desert is widest in the west, along the line joining the Lake Bosten and the Lop Nor (87°-89° east). It occupies an arc of land 1,295,000 km2 (500,002 sq mi) in area as of 2007, making it fifth largest in the world and Asia's largest. Much of the Gobi is not sandy but is covered with bare rock.

The Gobi has several different Chinese names, including 沙漠 and 瀚海 (Hànhǎi, "endless sea"). In its broadest definition, the Gobi includes the long stretch of desert and semi-desert area extending from the foot of the Pamirs, 77° east, to the Greater Khingan Mountains, 116°-118° east, on the border of Manchuria; and from the foothills of the Altay, Sayan, and Yablonoi mountain ranges on the north to the Kunlun, Altyn-Tagh, and Qilian mountain ranges, which form the northern edges of the Tibetan Plateau, on the south.
A relatively large area on the east side of the Greater Khingan range, between the upper waters of the Songhua (Sungari) and the upper waters of the Liao-ho, is also reckoned to belong to the Gobi by conventional usage. On the other hand, geographers and ecologists prefer to regard the western area of the Gobi region (as defined above), the basin of the Tarim in Xinjiang and the desert basin of Lop Nor and Hami (Kumul) as forming a separate and independent desert, called the Taklamakan Desert.
The Nemegt Basin in the northwestern part of the Gobi Desert (in Mongolia) is famous for its fossil treasures, including early mammals, dinosaur eggs, and even prehistoric stone implements, some 100,000 years old.

The sand dunes of Khongoryn Els, Gurvansaikhan NP, Mongolia.The Gobi is a cold desert, and it is not uncommon to see frost and occasionally snow on its dunes. Besides being quite far north, it is also located on a plateau roughly 910–1,520 meters above sea level, which further contributes to its low temperatures. An average of approximately 194 millimeters of rain falls per year in the Gobi. Additional moisture reaches parts of the Gobi in winter as snow is blown by the wind from the Siberian Steppes. These winds cause the Gobi to reach extremes of temperature ranging from –40°C in winter to +50°C in summer.
The climate of the Gobi is one of great extremes, combined with rapid changes of temperature, not only through the year but even within 24 hours, by as much as 35 °C .

gobi desert

Conservation, ecology, economy

The Gobi Desert is the source of many important fossil finds, including the first dinosaur eggs.
These deserts and the surrounding regions sustain many animals, including black-tailed gazelles, marbled polecats, bactrian camels, Mongolian wild ass and sandplovers, and are occasionally visited by snow leopards, brown bears, and wolves. The desert features a number of drought-adapted shrubs such as gray sparrow's saltwort, gray sagebrush, and low grasses such as needle grass and bridlegrass. There are several large nature reserves in the Gobi, like Gobi Gurvansaikhan National Park, Great Gobi A and Great Gobi B Strictly Protected Area.
The area is vulnerable to trampling by livestock and off-road vehicles (human impacts are greater in the eastern Gobi Desert, where rainfall is heavier and may sustain livestock). In Mongolia, grasslands have been degraded by goats, raised by nomadic herders as source of cashmere wool. Economic trends of livestock privatization and the collapse of the urban economy have caused people to return to rural lifestyles, a movement contrary to urbanization.
Large copper and gold deposits located at Oyuu Tolgoi, about 80 kilometers from the Chinese border into Mongolia, are being investigated for mining operations.

Ecoregions of the Gobi

The Gobi broadly defined, can be divided into five distinct dry ecoregions.

The 'Eastern Gobi desert steppe' is the easternmost of the Gobi ecoregions, covering an area of 281,800 km2 (108,804 sq mi). It extends from the Inner Mongolian Plateau in China northward into Mongolia. It includes the Yin Mountains and many low-lying areas with salt pans and small ponds. It is bounded by the Mongolian-Manchurian grassland to the north, the Yellow River Plain to the southeast, and the Alashan Plateau semi-desert to the southeast and east.

The Alashan Plateau semi-desert lies west and southwest of the Eastern Gobi desert steppe. It consists of the desert basins and low mountains lying between the Gobi Altai range on the north, the Helan Mountains to the southeast, and the Qilian Mountains and northeastern portion of the Tibetan Plateau on the southwest.

The Gobi Lakes Valley desert steppe ecoregion lies north of Alashan Plateau semi-desert, between the Gobi Altai range to the south and the Khangai Mountains to the north.

The Dzungarian Basin semi-desert includes the desert basin lying between the Altai mountains on the north and the Tian Shan range on the south. It includes the northern portion of China's Xinjiang province and extends into the southeastern corner of Mongolia. The Alashan Plateau semi-desert lies to the east, and the Emin Valley steppe to the west, on the China-Kazakhstan border.

The Tian Shan range separates the Dzungarian Basin semi-desert from the Taklamakan Desert, which is a low, sandy desert basin surrounded by the high mountain ranges of the Tibetan Plateau to the south and the Pamirs to the west. The Taklamakan Desert ecoregion includes the Desert of Lop.