Dongting Lake Size report

Dongting Lake was named after the Dongting Mountain in the lake, originating from the Spring and Autumn Period and the Warring States Period. In ancient times, Dongting Lake was known as "Eight Hundred Miles of Dongting." Dongting Lake, once the largest freshwater lake in China, once had an endless water surface. Still, now the water storage capacity of Dongting Lake has been greatly reduced, and even the lake itself has shrunk into three parts like the Aral Sea.

Dongting Lake is an important regulation and storage lake in the Yangtze River Basin. It has a strong flood capacity and has saved countless floods from the Yangtze River so that the Jianghan Plain and the towns in the lake area can safely pass the flood season.

Dongting Lake is an important strategic place in history and the birthplace of traditional Chinese culture. There are many scenic spots in the lake area. The historical sites represented by Yueyang Tower are important tourism and cultural resources. It is also the birthplace of traditional Chinese agriculture and the most important commercial grain and oil base, aquatic product, and breeding base in Hunan Province and the whole country.

Size And Description of Dongting Lake

Dongting Lake was formed during the Yanshan Movement and continued to the Himalayan Movement, and the basin developed and expanded during the Cretaceous period. Since the Quaternary period, the Dongting Lake Basin has fully subsided again under the action of neotectonic movement and accepted deposition. In the middle of the 19th century, Dongting Lake entered the most violent stage of evolution ever recorded, from a vast lake of 6,000 square kilometers to the current lake surface of 2,691 square kilometers. In addition to the silt deposition in the natural environment, the daily activities of residents to reclaim the lake are undoubtedly a major factor in the shrinking of Dongting Lake.

Several rivers join Dongting Lake, the most famous being the Yangtze River. Dongting Lake is one of the important freshwater lakes in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River. It is also an internationally important wetland and a habitat for rare migratory birds. It plays an important role in regulating climate, conserving water sources, maintaining biodiversity in the Yangtze River Basin, and supporting high-quality regional economic development.

Dongting Lake Size

Dongting Lake can be roughly divided into three parts: East, South, and West Dongting Lake. In the summer flooding season, however, the three lakes unite into a single water body. It is now the second-largest freshwater lake in China. The lake's size varies greatly from season to season. Its normal size is about 150 km (95 miles) long from east to west and 95 km (60 miles) wide from north to south, while its area is 2,820 square km (1,089 square miles). During flood periods, the water level may rise by as much as 15 meters (50 feet), and the inundated area may increase by as much as 20,000 square km (7,700 square miles).

FeaturesSize
Length150 km (95 mi)
Width 95 km (60 mi)
Normal Size2,820 sq km (1,089 sq mi)
Water Level15 m (50 ft) during flood seasons
Larger Size20,000 sq km (7,700 sq mi) during flood seasons

Hydrology

Dongting Lake is the largest river-connecting lake in China. Due to the interaction and constraints of natural and human factors, Dongting Lake has experienced an evolution process from small to large and then from large to small. It is still the largest regulating lake in the Yangtze River Basin in terms of storage area and water storage volume.

The average annual temperature in the lake area is 16.4-17°C, and 3.8-4.5°C in January. The frost-free period is more than 250 days. The annual precipitation is 1100-1400 mm, and the rainfall from April to June accounts for more than 50% of the total annual precipitation, mostly heavy and torrential rain. The Dongting Lake basin is prone to floods and waterlogging disasters during the rainy season.

Final Words

The water quality of Dongting Lake is clean, and the eutrophication is not obvious. The main pollutants make the harmful substances in the atmosphere enter the lake with the rainwater through precipitation. Therefore, Dongting Lake is China's main freshwater commercial fish base and rice-growing area. The Dongting Lake area is the earliest birthplace of rice farming in China because of its favorable natural environment and abundant water, soil, and biological resources. China is the first country to cultivate rice, and the Dongting Lake area is the earliest birthplace of artificially cultivated rice worldwide.


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