Juyan Lake

Juyan Lake Basin

The Juyan Lake (Mongolian: Gaxun Nuur, Goshun Nur for western lake, Sogo Nur for eastern lake) is a former lake in the Gobi desert of western Inner Mongolia at the Alxa League near the border of eastern Xinjiang. Goshun Nur had an area of 267 km² in 1958, of 213 km² in 1960, and has dried up in 1961.

The Juyan Lake basin is a rare wetland located and covers an area of about 10,000 km². The Juyan lake is one of three former terminal lakes located at the outer edges of the Hei River (Black River) catchment which formed a large inland delta between the Qilian and the Gobi Altay.

The basin's boundary is formed by the Mazong Shan mountains to the west, the Heli Shan and Longshou Shan mountains to the south, the Helan Shan and Lang Shan ranges to the east and the Mongolian Gobi Altay range to the north.


The basin played an important role in ancient times and was historically part of the Gansu Corridor between the 2nd century BC to 8th century AD. The Juyan Lake Basin lies along the route of the Northern Silk Road, which is about 2600 kilometres in length, connecting the ancient Chinese capital of Xian to the west over the Pamir Mountains to emerge in Kashgar before linking to ancient Parthia. According to C.Michael Hogan, this route greatly expanded in its usage after the Han Dynasty pushed back the northern tribes in the latter part of the first millennium BC.


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