Trevelor

Gobi Desert

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Gobi, also called Gobi Desert, great desert and semidesert region of Central Asia. The Gobi (from Mongolian gobi, meaning “waterless place”) stretches across huge portions of both Mongolia and China. Contrary to the perhaps romantic image long associated with what—at least to the European mind—was a remote and unexplored region, much of the Gobi is not sandy desert but bare rock. It is possible to drive over this surface by car for long distances in any direction: northward toward the Altai and Hangayn mountain ranges, eastward toward the Da Hinggan (Greater Khingan) Range, or southward toward the Bei Mountains and Huang He (Yellow River) valley. To the west, beyond the southwestern limit of the Gobi, lies another arid expanse—the Tarim Basin of the southern Uygur Autonomous Region of Xinjiang—which encompasses the Takla Makan Desert and is enclosed by the Tien Shan ranges to the north and the Kunlun and western Altun mountains to the south.

The Gobi occupies a vast arc of land 1,000 miles (1,600 km) long and 300 to 600 miles (500 to 1,000 km) wide, with an estimated area of 500,000 square miles (1,300,000 square km). In the present discussion, the Gobi is defined as lying between the Altai Mountains and Hangayn Mountains to the north; the western edge of the Da Hinggan Range to the east; the YinQilian, eastern Altun, and Bei mountains to the south; and the eastern Tien Shan to the west.

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