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Manas salt lake (Manasi salt lake), Hebukesai'er Co. (Hoboksar Co.; Kobuksar Co.; Qobuqsar Co.), Tacheng Prefecture (Tarbaghatay Prefecture), Yili Hasake Autonomous Prefecture (Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture), Xinjiang Autonomous Region, China

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Name(s) in local language(s): 玛纳斯湖, 和布克赛尔 蒙古自治县 (قوبۇقسار موڭغۇل ئاپتونوم ناھىيىسى), 塔城地区 (تارباغاتاي ۋىلايىتى), 伊犁哈萨克自治州 (ئاپتونوم ئوبلاستىئىلى قازاق), 新疆维吾尔自治区, 中国
Manasi Lake is a now-dry salt lake in a closed sub-basin in the central part of the Zhungeer (Zhunggar) Basin, western Xinjiang. The Zhungeer Basin is bordered to the north by the Altai Mountains (Altai Shan), to the south by the Tian Mountains (Tian Shan), and to the west by a series of mountains and plateaus that rise to elevations of ca 3000 m. The bedrock geology in these mountain ranges consists of granites, Devonian and Carboniferous sedimentary rocks, and Mesozoic limestones. The Zhungeer Basin is covered by Quaternary sedimentary layers. The Manasi Basin originated as a fault depression. The lake was originally fed by the Manasi River, which flows from the northern slopes of the Tian Shan (at a distance of ca. 450 km) and enters the lake basin from the southwest. Thus, the lake had a large catchment area (ca. 11,000 km2), stretching from the Tian Shan and covering much of the central part of the Zhungeer Basin. The Manasi River is largely fed by the seasonal melting of glaciers in the upper parts of the Tian Shan, and by local precipitation. Local precipitation within the Manasi basin itself provided some additional input to the lake, but there is no evidence that groundwater inflows contributed to the lake water budget. Geomorphic data suggest, that the Manasi Lake may have been fed by rivers draining the Altai Shan at an earlier stage in its history. The increasing use of the water from the Manasi River for irrigation during the late 1950’s resulted in the total diversion of the major source of inputs to Manasi Lake, and the lake has been dry since about 1960. In 1957, the lake still had a water depth of ca 6 m (257 m a.s.l.) and an area of ca 750 km2. The water was hypersaline. The former lake bed is now covered by a halite crust.

Mineral List

10 entries listed. 9 valid minerals.

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Bingxiao Li (1992): Salt minerals and their mechanism of the salt lakes in Xinjiang. Journal of Lake Sciences 4(1), 48-55 (in Chinese with English abstract).

Yu, G., Harrison, S.P., and Xue, B. (2001): Lake status records from China: Data Base Documentation. MPI-BGC Technology Report No. 4, pp. 137-145.

Yanling Tang (2005): Non-metallic mineral deposits of Xinjiang, China [Zhongguo Xinjiang Fei Jinshu Kuangchuang]. Geological Publishing House (Beijing), 289 pp. (in Chinese)

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