Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features Siling Lake, which is one of the largest water bodies on the Tibetan Plateau. The photo was captured by an astronaut omboard the International Space Station while orbiting over the northern part of the plateau.
“Located at an elevation of approximately 4,500 meters (14,860 feet), Siling Lake is a high-altitude endorheic lake, which means that it does not drain through any outlets,” says NASA.
“The lake is fed by precipitation – approximately 38 centimeters (15 inches) per year – as well as runoff from rain, snow, and glacial meltwater from the surrounding landscape. Siling Lake is a saline water body due to the lack of outflow, which concentrates salts as the lake water evaporates.”
While bodies of water on the southern Tibetan Plateau have been shrinking in recent years, lakes in the north have been growing. According to NASA, Siling Lake has been growing since the 1970s.
Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory
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