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Favorite Image: STS099.ESC.02113306

Frozen lake Qinghai Nanshan, northern China

This image captures almost all of Qinghai, the largest lake in China. This lake has a surface elevation of 10,450 feet, partially filling one of the easternmost closed drainage basins of Central Asia. It is located within Qinghai Province on the Tibetan Plateau. Small market towns, including Tianjun and Ganga, dot the outskirts of Qinghai Lake. It is here, in one of the most ethnically diverse areas of China, that Tibetan nomads cash in their livestock.

On the shores of the lake, the bar-headed goose, lesser sandplover, and great black-headed and brown-headed gulls breed. The rare black-necked crane and the endangered Pallas's fish eagle can also be found there. Qinghai Lake is used by scientists for telescope work because of its high altitude.

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