The Tarim Basin is an endorheic basin in northwest China occupying an area of about 1,020,000 km2. Located in China's Xinjiang region, it is sometimes used synonymously to refer the southern half of the province, or Nanjiang, as opposed to the northern half of the province known as Dzungaria or Beijiang, its northern boundary is the Tian Shan mountain range and its southern boundary is the Kunlun Mountains on the edge of the Tibetan Plateau. The Taklamakan Desert dominates much of the basin; the historical Uyghur name for the Tarim Basin is Altishahr. Xinjiang consists of two main geographically and ethnically distinct regions with different historical names and the Tarim Basin, before Qing China unified them into one political entity called Xinjiang province in 1884. At the time of the Qing conquest in 1759, Dzungaria was inhabited by steppe dwelling, nomadic Tibetan Buddhist Dzungar people, while the Tarim Basin was inhabited by sedentary, oasis dwelling, Turkic speaking Muslim farmers, now known as the Uyghur people.
They were governed separately until 1884. North side: The Chinese called this the Tien Shan Nan Lu or Tien Shan South Road, as opposed to the Bei Lu north of the mountains. Along it runs the modern railroad while the middle Tarim River is about 100 km south. Kashgar was. Bachu or Miralbachi. Center: Most of the basin is occupied by the Taklamakan Desert, too dry for permanent habitation; the Yarkand and Aksu Rivers join to form the Tarim River which runs along the north side of the basin. It continued to Loulan, but some time after 330AD it turned southeast near Korla toward Charkilik and Loulan was abandoned; the Tarim ended at the now-dry Lop Nur. Eastward is the fabled Jade Gate. Beyond, Dunhuang with its ancient manuscripts and Anxi at the west end of the Gansu Corridor. South side: Kashgar; the modern road continues east to Tibet. There is no current road east across the Kumtag Desert to Dunhuang, but caravans somehow made the crossing through the Yangguan pass south of the Jade Gate. Roads and passes and caravan routes: The Southern Xinjiang Railway branches from the Lanxin Railway near Turpan, follows the north side of the basin to Kashgar and curves southeast to Khotan.
Roads:The main road from eastern China reaches Urumchi and continues as highway 314 along the north side to Kashgar. Highway 315 continues east to Tibet. There are four north-south roads across the desert. 218 runs from Charkilik to Korla along the former course of the Tarim forming an oval whose other end is Kashgar. The Tarim Desert Highway, a major engineering achievement, crosses the center from Niya to Luntai; the new Highway 217 follows the Khotan River from Khotan to near Aksu. A road follows the Yarkand River from Yarkand to Baqu. East of the Korla-Charkilik road travel continues to be difficult. Rivers coming south from the Tien Shan join the largest being the Aksu. Rivers flowing north from the Kunlun are named for the town or oasis they pass through. Most dry up in the desert, only the Hotan River reaching the Tarim in good years. An exception is the Qiemo River. Ruins in the desert imply. Caravans and passes: The original caravan route seems to have followed the south side. At the time of the Han Dynasty conquest it shifted to the center.
When the Tarim changed course about 330AD it shifted north to Hami. A minor route went north of the Tian Shan; when there was war on the Gansu Corridor trade entered the basin near Charkilik from the Qaidam Basin. The original route to India seems to have started near Yarkand and Kargilik, but it is now replaced by the Karakoram Highway south from Kashgar. To the west of Kashgar via the Irkeshtam border crossing is the Alay Valley, once the route to Persia. Northeast of Kashgar the Torugart pass leads to the Ferghana Valley. Near Uchturpan the Bedel Pass leads to the steppes. Somewhere near Aksu the difficult Muzart Pass led north to the Ili River basin. Near Korla was the Iron Gate Pass and now the railway north to Urumchi. From Turfan the easy Dabancheng pass leads to Urumchi; the route from Charkilik to the Qaidam Plateau was of some importance. North of the Mountains is Dzungaria with its central Gurbantünggüt Desert, Urumchi the capital and the Karamay oil fields; the Kulja territory is the upper basin of the Ili River and opens out onto the Kazakh steppe with several roads eastward.
The Dzungarian Gate was once a migration route and is now a road and rail crossing. Tacheng or Tarbaghatay is a road crossing and former trading post; the Tarim Basin is the result of an amalgamation between an ancient microcontinent and the growing Eurasian continent during the Carboniferous to Permian periods. At present, deformation around the margins of the basin is resul
Treaty of Saint Petersburg (1881)
The Treaty of Saint Petersburg known as Treaty of Ili, was the treaty between the Russian Empire and the Qing dynasty, signed in Saint Petersburg, Russia, on 24 February 1881. It provided for the return to China of the eastern part of the Ili Basin region known as Zhetysu occupied by Russia in 1871 during the Dungan Revolt up to 1881. During the Russian conquest of Turkestan Russia gained control of eastern Kazakhstan up to the current Chinese border. During the Dungan Revolt China lost control of much of its western territory and power passed to various factions. In 1871 Russia occupied the Ili territory. There was talk of permanent annexation, but Saint Petersburg declared that it was occupying the territory to protect its citizens. Chinese authority in Xinjiang was reestablished by 1877. Wanyan Chonghou was sent to Russia to negotiate. In September 1879, he concluded the Treaty of Livadia. Russia would retain the Tekes valley at the southwest end of the Ili Valley and passes over the mountains to the Tarim Basin.
China would pay 5 million rubles and various trade concessions were made. In January 1880 Chonghou was greeted with indignation, he was declared to have betrayed his country, was arrested and sentenced to death. Zeng Jize, was appointed as the new ambassador. Russia refused to negotiate unless Chonghou was released and this was backed by the other powers. In August 1880 Chonghou was released and negotiations resumed; the Treaty of Saint Petersburg was ratified within six months. Two years Russia evacuated the province. There were some minor border problems and a final protocol was signed on 31 October 1883; the Russian side was represented by Nicholas de Giers, head of Asiatic Affairs department of Foreign Ministry, Eugene Bützow, Russia's Ambassador in China. According to the treaty, Russia agreed to return most of the occupied area to China; the Chinese government agreed to hold the residents of the area, regardless of their ethnicity and religion, harmless for their actions during the rebellion.
The residents of the area would be allowed to move to Russian Empire. Under Article 6 of the treaty, Chinese government would pay Russia 9,000,000 "metal rubles" to serve as a payment for the occupation costs, compensation for the claims of Russian subjects who lost their property during the rebellion, for material assistance to the families of Russian subjects killed during the rebellion. Article 7 set the new international border in the Ili Valley; the area west of the border was retained by Russia "for the settlement of the region's residents who will choose to become Russian subjects and will have to leave the lands that they have owned" east of the new border. The treaty provided for minor adjustments of the border between the two countries in the area east of Lake Zaysan. Article 10 of the treaty allowed Russia to expand its consular network in the northwestern parts of the Chinese Empire. Besides the consulates in Ili City, Tarbagatai and Urga provided for in earlier treaties, Russia would open consulates in Suzhou, Turpan.
In Kobdo, Hami and Gucheng, Russia would be allowed to establish consulates on, as demanded by the volume of trade. Article 12 affirmed the right of duty-free trade for Russian traders in Xinjiang; the treaty contained various provisions designed to facilitate activities of Russian merchants and to regulate bilateral trade. An appendix to the treaty specified; the Treaty of Saint Petersburg was perceived as a huge loss and step backward by many in Russia, as Minister of War Dmitry Milyutin and the military, as notable commander Aleksei Brusilov. Several thousands Dungan and Taranchi families made use of the treaty to move to Russian-controlled territory, i.e. to today's south-eastern Kazakhstan and northern Kyrgyzstan. While some of them soon returned to China, most stayed in Russian domains, descendents of them have lived in Kazakhstan and Northern Kyrgyzstan since; the border between the two empires set by Article 7 of the treaty remains the border between Kazakhstan and China until this day.
Historians have judged the Qing dynasty's vulnerability and weakness to foreign imperialism in the 19th century to be based on its maritime naval weakness while it achieved military success against westerners on land, the historian Edward L. Dreyer said that "China’s nineteenth-century humiliations were related to her weakness and failure at sea. At the start of the Opium War, China had no unified navy and no sense of how vulnerable she was to attack from the sea. In the Arrow War, the Chinese had no way to prevent the Anglo-French expedition of 1860 from sailing into the Gulf of Zhili and landing as near as possible to Beijing. Meanwhile, new if not modern Chinese armies suppressed the midcentury rebellions, bluffed Russia into a peaceful settlement of disputed frontiers in Central Asia, defeated the French forces on land in the Sino-French War, but the defeat of the fleet, the resul
The Dalmatian pelican is the most massive member of the pelican family, the world's largest freshwater bird, although rivaled in weight and length by the largest swans. They are elegant soaring birds, with wingspans that rival that of the great albatrosses, their flocks fly in graceful synchrony, it is a short to medium distance migrant between overwintering areas. No subspecies are known to exist over its wide range, but based on size differences, a Pleistocene paleosubspecies, P. c. palaeocrispus, has been described from fossils recovered at Binagady, Azerbaijan. As with other pelicans, the males are larger than the females, their diet is fish, their curly nape feathers, grey legs and silvery-white plumage are distinguishing features, the wings appear solid grey in flight. The adults acquire a drabber plumage in winter, when they may be mistaken for great white pelicans, their harsh vocalizations become more pronounced during the mating season. They breed from southeastern Europe to Russia and China in swamps and shallow lakes.
They return to traditional breeding sites, where they are less social than other pelican species. Their nests are crude heaps of vegetation, which are placed on islands or on dense mats of vegetation; the species' numbers underwent a dramatic decline during the 20th century due to land use and poaching activities. The core population survives in Russia. Removal of power lines to prevent collisions or electrocution, the construction of nesting platforms or rafts have reversed declines locally; this huge bird is by a slight margin the largest of the pelican species and one of the largest living bird species. It measures 7.25 -- 15 kg in weight and 245 to 351 cm in wingspan. Its median weight is around 11.5 kg, which makes it the world's heaviest flying bird species, although the largest individuals among male bustards and swans may be heavier than the largest individual Dalmatian pelican. More six male Dalmatians were found to average 10.4 kg and four females 8.7 kg, around the same average weight as the great white pelican and lighter than mean body masses from other huge birds such as the trumpeter swan or Andean condor.
A mean estimated body mass for the Dalmatian pelican of 10.9 kg was published, around the same mass as the aforementioned largest swan and condor. It is either the heaviest or one of the heaviest birds native to Europe, its closest rivals in mass being mute swans and cinereous vultures, which both weigh on average around 10 kg, followed by great white pelicans and the whooper swans, it appears to have one of the largest wingspans of any living bird, rivaling those of the great albatrosses and the great white pelican. These four species are the only modern birds with verified wingspans; the somewhat similar-looking great white pelican broadly overlaps in size but has greater size sexual dimorphism: female great whites can be noticeably smaller than female Dalmatians but male individuals of the two species are the same size and weight. However, the Dalmatian differs from this other large species in that it has curly nape feathers, grey legs and silvery-white plumage. In winter, adult Dalmatian pelicans go from silvery-grey to a dingier brownish-grey cream colour.
Immature birds lack the pink facial patch of immature white pelicans. The loose feathers around the forehead of the Dalmatian pelican can form a W-like-shape on the face right above the bill. In the breeding season it has an orange-red lower mandible and pouch against a yellow upper mandible. In winter, the whole bill is a somewhat dull yellow; the bill, at 36 to 45 cm long, is the second largest of any bird, after the Australian pelican. The bare skin around the eye can vary from yellow to purplish in colour. Among standard measurements, compared to the great white pelican, the Dalmatian's tarsus is shorter, at 11.6 to 12.2 cm, but its tail and wing chord length are notably larger, at 22 to 24 cm long and 68 to 80 cm, respectively. When the Dalmatian pelican is in flight, unlike other pelicans, its wings are solid grayish-white with black tips, it is an elegant soaring bird. When a whole flock of Dalmatian pelicans is in flight, all its members move in graceful synchrony, their necks held back like a heron's.
The Dalmatian pelican is silent, as most pelicans tend to be, although it can be vocal during the mating season, when it may engage in a wide range of guttural, deep vocalisations, including barks and grunts. The Dalmatian pelican is found in lakes, rivers and estuaries. Compared to the great white pelican, the Dalmatian is not as tied to lowland areas and will nest in suitable wetlands with many elevations, it is less opportunistic in breeding habitat selection than the great white returning to a traditional breeding site year after year unless it becomes unsuitable. During the winter, Dalmatian pelicans stay on ice-free lakes in Europe or jheels in India, they visit during winter, inshore areas along sheltered coasts for feeding. This pelican migrates short distances, it is dispersive in Europe, based on feeding opportunities, with most weste
The white-headed duck is a small stiff-tailed duck some 45 cm long. The male has a white head with black crown, a blue bill, reddish-grey plumage; the female has rather duller colouring. Its breeding habitat is dense vegetation at the margin, it feeds on aquatic vegetation as well as some animal matter. It is more to swim away from a perceived threat than to fly; this duck is known from Spain, North Africa and central Asia. Populations are declining due to loss of habitat and pollution, the International Union for Conservation of Nature has rated the bird's status as "endangered". Adult males have a grey and reddish body, a blue bill and a white head with a black cap and neck. Adult females have a grey-brown body with a white face and a darker bill and cheek stripe. Length is 43–48 cm and weight is 580–750 g; this duck breeds with a larger population in western and central Asia. Their breeding habitat is large tracts of open water, such as lakes and ponds including artificial water bodies, with dense stands of aquatic plants to provide shelter and nesting sites.
Individuals are frequently reported well north of their breeding range, but as with many wildfowl, the status of these extralimital records is clouded by the possibility of escapes from collections. These birds swim under water, they are omnivorous, with vegetable matter predominating. They are reluctant to fly; this duck is considered endangered due to a large reduction in populations in the last 10 years. Most of this decline is due to habitat loss and hunting, but interbreeding of the Spanish population with the introduced ruddy duck is a more recent threat; this has led to the attempted eradication of the American species from western Europe. The white-headed duck is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds applies, the International Union for Conservation of Nature has rated the bird's conservation status as being "endangered". Gantlett, Steve The status and separation of White-headed Duck and Ruddy Duck Birding World 6: 273-281 ARKive - images and movies of the white-headed duck BirdLife Species Factsheet
Uyghur is a Turkic language with a long literary tradition spoken in Xinjiang, China by the Uyghurs. Today, the Uyghur Arabic alphabet is the official writing system used for Uyghur in Xinjiang. Whereas other alphabets like the Uyghur Latin alphabet and Uyghur Cyrillic alphabets are still in use outside China Central Asia; the Old Uyghur language and Modern Uyghur are distinct Turkic languages and are not different stages of the same language. The Old Uyghur language is ancestral to Western Yugur, while modern Uyghur is descended from one of the Karluk languages. In the 5th century Old Uyghur was written for the first time using the Sogdian alphabet; this fell out of use during the 10th century, when it evolved into the Old Uyghur alphabet, although it was taken into use again between the 15th and 16th century. While the Sogdian alphabet was still in use, it was written with the Old Turkic alphabet from the 6th-9th centuries; the Old Uyghur language evolved into the modern Western Yugur, remained in use until the 18th century among the Yugur.
An Arabic alphabet introduced along with Islam in the 10th century to the Karluk Kara Khanids, which evolved into the modern day Uyghur Arabic alphabet. The Arabic-derived alphabet taken into use first came to be the so-called Chagatai script, used for writing the Chagatai language and the Turki language, but fell out of use in the early 1920s, when the Uyghur-speaking areas variously became a part of, or under the influence of, the Soviet Union; the Chagatai alphabet was known as Ⱪona Yeziⱪ. The Syriac alphabet has been used for writing Old Uyghur at some time between the 5th century and 19th century; the writing of Uyghur saw many changes during the 20th century to do political decisions, both from the Soviet and Chinese side. The Soviet Union first tried to romanize the writing of the language, but soon after decided to promote a Cyrillic script during the late 1920s known as the Uyghur Cyrillic alphabet, fearing that a romanization of the language would strengthen the relationship of the Uyghurs with other Turkic peoples.
With the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949, the promotion of a Cyrillic script began, but when the tensions between the Soviet Union and China grew during the late 1950s, the Chinese devised a new alphabet based upon Pinyin and Cyrillic, known as the Uyghur New Script and promoted this instead, which soon became the official alphabet of usage for 10 years. In 1982 Uyghur new script was abolished, the Arabic alphabet was reinstated in a modified form as the Uyghur Arabic alphabet. However, due to the increasing importance of information technology, there have been requests for a Latin alphabet, for easier use on computers; this resulted in five conferences between 2000 and 2001, where a Latin-derived auxiliary alphabet was devised known as the Uyghur Latin alphabet. Today the Uyghur language is being written by using four different alphabets, they are: UEY, the Uyghur Arabic alphabet, the only official alphabet in Chinese Xinjiang province, is used in government, social media and in everyday life commonly.
In the table below, the alphabets are shown side-by-side for comparison, together with a phonetic transcription in the International Phonetic Alphabet. It is only grouped by phonemic proximity; some letter forms used for words borrowed from other languages, or kept from older orthographic conventions, are shown between parentheses. As it can be seen, the Uyghur Arabic alphabet, Uyghur New Script and Uyghur Latin alphabet each have a total of 32 letters. There may still exist differences in texts using the newer Latin orthography, where the standard choice of ⟨ë⟩ is sometimes written ⟨é⟩ instead, with the acute accent instead of the standardized diaeresis: this should not make any difference in Uyghur; the Uyghur Cyrillic alphabet has three additional letters, the Cyrillic soft letters/ligatures ⟨ё⟩, ⟨ю⟩, ⟨я⟩, representing /je/, /jo/, /ja/ which are written with independent consonant+vowel in the other alphabets. Some words may still use the Cyrillic soft sign. Loanwords of Russian origin are spelled as they are in Russian, thus not adapted to the Uyghur orthography.
Another notable feature of the Uyghur New Script was the use of the letter ⟨ƣ⟩ to represent /ʁ/. This letter has erroneously been named LATIN LETTER OI in Unicode, although it is referred to as gha and replaced by the digraph ⟨gh⟩ in the newer Uyghur Latin alphabet. In the Uyghur Latin alphabet, only the Basic Latin base alphabet is needed, with the common diaeresis being the only diacritic added above vowels, supported in many fonts and encoding standards; the letter ⟨c⟩ is only used in the ⟨ch⟩ digraph, the letter ⟨v⟩ is not used, except in loanwords where the difference between /v/ and /w/ is needed for correct pronunciation and distinctions. The /ʒ/ may be interchangeably represented in two ways, either as
A river is a natural flowing watercourse freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, lake or another river. In some cases a river flows into the ground and becomes dry at the end of its course without reaching another body of water. Small rivers can be referred to using names such as stream, brook and rill. There are no official definitions for the generic term river as applied to geographic features, although in some countries or communities a stream is defined by its size. Many names for small rivers are specific to geographic location. Sometimes a river is defined as being larger than a creek, but not always: the language is vague. Rivers are part of the hydrological cycle. Potamology is the scientific study of rivers, while limnology is the study of inland waters in general. Most of the major cities of the world are situated on the banks of rivers, as they are, or were, used as a source of water, for obtaining food, for transport, as borders, as a defensive measure, as a source of hydropower to drive machinery, for bathing, as a means of disposing of waste.
A river begins at a source, follows a path called a course, ends at a mouth or mouths. The water in a river is confined to a channel, made up of a stream bed between banks. In larger rivers there is also a wider floodplain shaped by flood-waters over-topping the channel. Floodplains may be wide in relation to the size of the river channel; this distinction between river channel and floodplain can be blurred in urban areas where the floodplain of a river channel can become developed by housing and industry. Rivers can flow down mountains, through valleys or along plains, can create canyons or gorges; the term upriver refers to the direction towards the source of the river, i.e. against the direction of flow. The term downriver describes the direction towards the mouth of the river, in which the current flows; the term left bank refers to the left bank in the direction of right bank to the right. The river channel contains a single stream of water, but some rivers flow as several interconnecting streams of water, producing a braided river.
Extensive braided rivers are now found in only a few regions worldwide, such as the South Island of New Zealand. They occur on peneplains and some of the larger river deltas. Anastamosing rivers are quite rare, they have multiple sinuous channels carrying large volumes of sediment. There are rare cases of river bifurcation in which a river divides and the resultant flows ending in different seas. An example is the bifurcation of Nerodime River in Kosovo. A river flowing in its channel is a source of energy which acts on the river channel to change its shape and form. In 1757, the German hydrologist Albert Brahms empirically observed that the submerged weight of objects that may be carried away by a river is proportional to the sixth power of the river flow speed; this formulation is sometimes called Airy's law. Thus, if the speed of flow is doubled, the flow would dislodge objects with 64 times as much submerged weight. In mountainous torrential zones this can be seen as erosion channels through hard rocks and the creation of sands and gravels from the destruction of larger rocks.
A river valley, created from a U-shaped glaciated valley, can easily be identified by the V-shaped channel that it has carved. In the middle reaches where a river flows over flatter land, meanders may form through erosion of the river banks and deposition on the inside of bends. Sometimes the river will cut off a loop, shortening the channel and forming an oxbow lake or billabong. Rivers that carry large amounts of sediment may develop conspicuous deltas at their mouths. Rivers whose mouths are in saline tidal waters may form estuaries. Throughout the course of the river, the total volume of water transported downstream will be a combination of the free water flow together with a substantial volume flowing through sub-surface rocks and gravels that underlie the river and its floodplain. For many rivers in large valleys, this unseen component of flow may exceed the visible flow. Most but not all rivers flow on the surface. Subterranean rivers flow underground in caverns; such rivers are found in regions with limestone geologic formations.
Subglacial streams are the braided rivers that flow at the beds of glaciers and ice sheets, permitting meltwater to be discharged at the front of the glacier. Because of the gradient in pressure due to the overlying weight of the glacier, such streams can flow uphill. An intermittent river only flows and can be dry for several years at a time; these rivers are found in regions with limited or variable rainfall, or can occur because of geologic conditions such as a permeable river bed. Some ephemeral rivers flow during the summer months but not in the winter; such rivers are fed from chalk aquifers which recharge from winter rainfall. In England these rivers are called bournes and give their name to places such as Bournemouth and Eastbourne. In humid regions, the location where flow begins in the smallest tributary streams moves upstream in response to precipitation and downstream in its absence or when active summer vegetation diverts water for evapotrans
Dzungaria is a geographical region in northwest China corresponding to the northern half of Xinjiang known as Beijiang. Bounded by the Tian Shan mountain range to the south and the Altai Mountains to the north, it covers 777,000 km2, extending into western Mongolia and eastern Kazakhstan; the term could cover a wider area, conterminous with the Dzungar Khanate, a state led by the Oirats in the 18th century, based in the area. Although geographically and ethnically distinct from the Turkic-speaking Tarim Basin area, the Qing dynasty and subsequent Chinese governments integrated both areas into one province, Xinjiang; as the center of Xinjiang's heavy industry, generator of most of Xinjiang's GDP, as well as containing its political capital Ürümqi, northern Xinjiang continues to attract intraprovincial and interprovincial migration to its cities. In comparison to southern Xinjiang, Dzungaria is well integrated with the rest of China by rail and trade links; the name Dzungaria or Zungharia is derived from the Mongolian term "Zűn Gar" or "Jüün Gar" depending on the dialect of Mongolian used.
"Zűn"/"Jüün" means "left" and "Gar" means "hand". The name originates from the notion that the Western Mongols are on the left-hand side when the Mongol Empire began its division into East and West Mongols. After this fragmentation, the western Mongolian nation was called "Zuun Gar". Xinjiang consists of two main geographically and ethnically distinct regions, Dzungaria north of the Tianshan Mountains and the Tarim Basin south of the Tianshan Mountains, before Qing China unified them into one political entity called Xinjiang province in 1884. At the time of the Qing conquest in 1759, Dzungaria was inhabited by steppe dwelling, nomadic Tibetan Buddhist Dzungar people, while the Tarim Basin was inhabited by sedentary, oasis dwelling, Turkic speaking Muslim farmers, now known as the Uyghur people; the Qing dynasty was well aware of the differences between the former Buddhist Mongol area to the north of the Tianshan and Turkic Muslim south of the Tianshan, ruled them in separate administrative units at first.
However, Qing people began to think of both areas. The concept of Xinjiang as one distinct geographic identity was created by the Qing and it was not the native inhabitants who viewed it that way, but rather it was the Chinese who held that point of view. During the Qing rule, no sense of "regional identity" was held by ordinary Xinjiang people. In the late 19th century, it was still being proposed by some people that two separate parts be created out of Xinjiang, the area north of the Tianshan and the area south of the Tianshan, while it was being argued over whether to turn Xinjiang into a province; the core of Dzungaria is the triangular Dzungarian Basin known as Jungar Basin, or in Chinese as simplified Chinese: 准噶尔盆地. It is bounded by the Tian Shan to the south, the Altai Mountains to the northeast and the Tarbagatai Mountains to the northwest; the three corners are open. The northern corner is the valley of the upper Irtysh River; the western corner is the Dzungarian Gate, a important gateway between Dzungaria and the Kazakh Steppe.
The eastern corner of the basin leads to the rest of China. In the south, an easy pass leads from Ürümqi to the Turfan Depression. In the southwest, the tall Borohoro Mountains branch of the Tian Shan separates the basin from the upper Ili River; the basin is similar to the larger Tarim Basin on the southern side of the Tian Shan Range. Only a gap in the mountains to the north allows moist air masses to provide the basin lands with enough moisture to remain semi-desert rather than becoming a true desert like most of the Tarim Basin and allows a thin layer of vegetation to grow; this is enough to sustain populations of wild camels and other wild species. The Dzungarian Basin is a structural basin with thick sequences of Paleozoic-Pleistocene rocks with large estimated oil reserves; the Gurbantunggut Desert, China’s second largest, is in the center of the basin. The Dzungarian basin does not have a single catchment center; the northernmost section of Dzungaria is part of the basin of the Irtysh River, which drains into the Arctic Ocean.
The rest of the region is split into a number of endorheic basins. In particular, south of the Irtysh, the Ulungur River ends up in the endorheic Lake Ulungur; the Southwestern part of the Dzungarian basin drains into the Aibi Lake. In the west-central part of the region, streams flow into a group of endorheic lakes that include Lake Manas and Lake Ailik. During the region's geological past, a much larger lake was located in the area of today's Manas Lake; the cold climate of nearby Siberia influences the climate of the Dzungarian Basin, making the temperature colder—as low as −4 °F —and providing more precipitatio