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Tarim(dārēm`), Mandarin Dayan, chief river of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, NW China, c.1,300 mi (2,090 km) long, formed by the union of the Aksu and the Yarkant rivers at the western end of the Taklimakan desert, and flowing generally east, along the northern edge of the desert, to Lop NurLop Nur
, salt basin, SE Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China, in the Tarim River basin. Since 1964, Lop Nur has been used by the China for its nuclear test explosions.
..... Click the link for more information. , a largely dried-up salt lake. KashiKashi
, city (1994 est. pop. 190,500), SW Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China, on the Kaxgar (Kashgar) River (a tributary of the Tarim). It is the hub of an important commercial district, the western terminus of the main road of the province, and a
..... Click the link for more information. (Kashgar) is the region's largest city. The river, which is silt-laden, gives its name to the arid Tarim basin, a great depression, c.800 mi (1,290 km) long and 400 mi (640 km) wide, surrounded by the lofty Tian Shan, Kunlun, and Pamir mountains; the Taklimakan occupies most of the basin. Over 50% of Xinjiang's population live in the basin's oases. China's nuclear-testing center is located at the eastern end of the Tarim basin, near Lop Nur. Archaelogical excavations at ancient sites in the region dating from 2,000 to 4,000 years old have revealed the mummified remains of people with Caucasian features. DNA research indicates that these early inhabitants may be of mixed European and Siberian descent, and linguists have speculated that they spoke Tokharian, an extinct Indo-European language known from surviving inscriptions. The important Silk Road between China and Europe passed through the basin.
(or Tarim Darya), a river in western China; part of its basin is in the USSR. Measuring 2,030 km in length, the Tarim is the longest river in Central Asia; it drains an area of 951,500 sq km, including the basins of the lakes Lop Nor and Kara Buran Kol. The main arm of the Tarim is the Yarkand River, which rises in the Karakoram Range and is called the Raskem Darya in its upper course. The Tarim flows mainly along the western and northern edge of the Takla-Makan Desert, where the stream becomes dispersed.
In some years, the waters of the Tarim reach as far as the solonchak east of Kara Buran Kol. The river acquires the name “Tarim” after the confluence of the Yarkand with two other arms, the Aksu and Khotan. The Aksu accounts for 70–80 percent of the total discharge into the Tarim; the Yarkand and Khotan dry up in some years. In its middle and lower course, the Tarim divides into numerous branches, forming a chaotic maze of riverbeds and small lakes within a strip up to 80 km wide, where the location of the main channels changes frequently. In its lower course, the Tarim passes near the Konche Darya, with which it is linked by intermittent streams. In years when most of the Tarim’s water flows into the channel of the Konche Darya, the water level of Lop Nor rises considerably. In years when the flow is reversed, the water level of Kara Buren Kol rises and that of Lop Nor drops significantly; sometimes Lop Nor dries up completely. In the past, the Kashgar, Tiznaf, and Keriya rivers flowed into the Tarim; they are now entirely used for irrigation or are lost in the sands.
The Tarim is fed by snow and rain and, in its upper course, by glacial runoff. High water lasts from May through September. The maximum flow rate in the middle course near the city of Aral exceeds 2,500 cu m per sec. The annual drainage at the river’s emergence from the mountains is about 29 cu km; in the lower course it varies between 4 and 8 cu km. The river freezes in winter.
The Tarim is rich in fishes, including Old World minnows (genus Schizothorax), the osman (genus Diptychus), and the loach Nemachilus barbatulo. In the lower course there are reed thickets, which are nesting places for water birds. The rivers in the Tarim River basin are widely used for irrigation, particularly in the Yarkand, Kashgar, and Aksu oases.
N. T. KUZNETSOV