Kashgar Plain

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Kashgar Plain


(Tarim Basin), a plain in Western China, bounded by the Tieu-Shan and the Pamir, Kunlun, and Pei mountains. Its length from west to east is about 1, 200 km, and its width is as much as 500 km. The elevation ranges from 1, 500 m in the west to 780 m in the east, near Lake Lob Nor.

Most of the Kashgar Plain is occupied by the sandy Takla-Makan Desert. Located in the foothills of the mountains are gently sloping talus trains, formed by pebble beds and sand-clay deposits. In the depressions of the terrain there are extensive solonchaks. In the west there are low, isolated ridges, formed by sedimentary rocks. The climate is moderate (warm, sharply continental, and desert). The summers are hot (with an average temperature in July of 25° or 26°C); winters are brief, with temperatures as low as — 20°C but without snow. Precipitation amounts to less than 100 mm annually, with the maximum during the summer. There are mountain rivers; when they emerge onto the Kashgar Plain, they frequently dry up or are diverted for irrigation. The largest rivers are the Tarim, Khotan, Kashgar, Aksu, and Konchedar’ia. The Tarim and Kon-chedar’ia in their lower courses frequently change their river beds, thus causing shifts in the position of Lake Lob Nor. Most of the Kashgar Plain is covered by desert vegetation growing on sierozem soils. In the river valleys there is tugai vegetation (bottomland complex with forests, bushes, and meadows); in the oases on the piedmont plains there is agriculture and the cultivation of orchards. There are oases in the west and northwest (at the cities of Kashgar, Aksu, and Yarkand). In a more limited sense the name “Kashgar Plain” denotes the delta region of the left tributaries of the Yarkand River.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.