Friday, 10 July 2015

Stunning Crescent Like Lake in the Gobi Desert of China

Yueyaquan or Yuèyá Quán is actually a beautiful crescent-shaped lake in an oasis, six kilometers south of the city of Dunhuang in Gansu Province, China, the Crescent Lake is a fresh water spring in the shape of a half moon. It was named “Yueyaquan” in the Qing Dynasty which is easily called crescent lake a natural wonder in the Gobi Desert. Mildred Cable & Francesca French visited the lake during their travels in the region and recorded their impressions in their book The Gobi Desert, "All around us we saw tier on tier of lofty sand-hills, giving the lie to our quest, yet when, with a final desperate effort, we hoisted ourselves over the last ridge and looked down on what lay beyond, we saw the lake below, and its beauty was entrancing. In fact, the lake is resembles a crescent fallen down into this desert, surrounded by sand dunes for thousands of years, though given countless surprise attacks by sandstorms, Crescent lake still gurgles clear, and still remains worthy as the first spring in the desert. This lake was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.  The area is surrounded by beautiful high mountains, but has an arid climate and is extremely hot in the summer and cold in winter. However, rain only occurs in small amounts and quickly evaporates, resulting in the desert landscape. Desertification has become a foremost environmental problem in China which the government has tried to tackle in numerous ways. But this includes the proposed creation of a “green wall” of forests to counter the spread of deserts.

However, in 1960, the lake measurements were made, the average depth of the lake was four to five meters, with a maximum depth of 25 feet (7.5 metres). Therefore, with the passage of time, the, the depth of the lake continually declined. Moreover, in the early 1990s, its area had shrunk to only 1.37 acres with an average depth of 0.9 to 1.3 meter maximum. Hence, the local government give some attention in 2006 and decided to step in and rescue the oasis with the help of the central government started to refill the lake and restore its depth; its depth and size have been growing yearly since then. More recently, reservoirs have been built a short distance away in hopes that water would seep into the ground and help Crescent Lake, also called Crescent Moon Lake and Crescent Spring. The pressure is now to preserve major cultural and historic significance of this lake. The lake and the surrounding deserts are very popular in sightseers, who are offered camel and 4x4 rides. Moreover, the key to retaining the oasis will be in the dropping of water consumption.  In spite of the tourism that the Crescent Lake entices the amount of glacial melt from the distant Qilian Mountains that feeds the Dang River has not changed for several centuries. If the Three Forbids is strictly enforced then maybe the Crescent Lake will be relished by various generations to come.