caption=Lake Dongting on the map of China Infobox lake
lake_name = Lake Dongting
image_lake = Dongting Lake.jpg
coords = coord|29|18|38|N|112|57|05|E|region:CN-43_type:waterbody|display=inline,title
inflow = Yangtze, Xiang, Zi, Yuan, Li
outflow = Yangtze
basin_countries = China
area = 2,820 km² (flood season: 20,000 km²)
Lake Dongting, or Dongting Lake (zh-cpw|c=洞庭湖|p=Dòngtíng Hú|w=Tung-t'ing Hu) is a large, shallow
lakein northeastern HunanProvince of China. It is a flood-basin of the Yangtze River(Chang Jiang); hence the lake's size depends on the season. The provinces of Hubeiand Hunan are named after their location relative to the lake: "Hubei" means "North of the Lake" and "Hunan" means "South of the Lake" in Chinese.
Dongting Lake is famous in Chinese culture as the place of origin of
Dragon boatracing. It is the site of Junshanisland, and is a home to the Finless Porpoise, which is endangered in China.
In the July-September period, flood water from the Yangtze flows into the lake, enlarging it greatly. The lake's area, which normally is 2,820 km², may increase to 20,000 km² in flood season, when vast amounts of water and sediment from the Chang Jiang flow into the lake. The lake is also fed by four rivers: the Xiang, Zi, Yuan (沅) and Li rivers. In addition, the
Xiao River(瀟) flows into the Xiang near Changsha, before the Xiang flows into the lake. Ocean-going vessels can travel through the Xiang to reach Changsha.
Han Dynasty, Yunmeng Marsh (雲夢大澤; yun2 meng4 da4 ze2), which lies to the north of Dongting Lake in Hubei Province, served as the main flood-basin of the Yangtze. The rich sediment of the marsh attracted farmers. Embankments were built, keeping the river out, and the Dongting Lake area south of the Yangtze gradually became the river's main flood-basin.
At that time, Dongting Lake was China's largest lake. Because of its size, it gained the name "Eight-hundred-li-Dongting" (八百里洞庭). Nowadays, it is the second-largest, after
Poyang Lake(鄱陽湖), as much of the lake has been turned into farmland.
Culture and mythology
The area is well-known in
Chinese historyand literature. Dragon boat racing is said to have begun on the eastern shores of Dongting Lake as a search for the body of Qu Yuan(屈原), the Chu poet (340-278 BC), and a dragon-kingis said to live at the bottom of the lake. Junshan(君山), which was formerly a Daoistretreat, is a famous one-kilometer island with 72 peaks in the middle of the lake. The island is also famous for its Junshan Yinzhen tea. The basin of Dongting Lakeand its surrounding area is famous for its scenic beauty, which has been encapsulated in the phrase 瀟湘湖南 (Xiao1-Xiang1 Hu2nan2; "Hunan of the Xiao and Xiang rivers").
The scenery of the
Jiuyi Mountains(九嶷山) and of the Xiao and Xiang rivers below is often mentioned in Chinese poetry. During the Song Dynasty, it became the fashion to paint this region's scenery in a set of eight scenes, usually entitled as " Eight Views of the Xiao and Xiang"(瀟湘八景). The fashion spread to Japan, where eventually other famous places were substituted for the Xiao and Xiang rivers.
In 2007 fears were expressed that China's
Finless Porpoise, a native of the lake, might follow the baiji, the Yangtzeriver dolphin, into extinction.
There have been calls for action to save the finless porpoise, of which there are about 1400 left living, with between 700 and 900 in the Yangtze, with about another 500 in
Poyangand Dongting Lakes.
2007 population levels are less than half the 1997 levels, and the population is dropping at a rate of 7.3 per cent per year.
Pressure on the finless porpoise population on Poyang Lake comes from the high numbers of ships passing through and sand dredging. [http://www.chinadialogue.net/article/show/single/en/839-Poyang-Lake-saving-the-finless-porpoise "www.chinadialogue.net - Poyang Lake saving the finless porpoise]
After flooding of the Yangtze River in late June 2007, approximately 2 billion mice were displaced from the islands of the lake. The mice invaded surrounding communities, damaging crops and dikes and forcing the government to construct walls and ditches to control the population. [http://www.physorg.com/news103199287.html "www.physorg.com - 2 Billion Chinese Mice Overrun Lake Area" ]
The lake was recently featured on news services as having a problem with
schistosomaand malariainfected mosquitoes.
Billions of mice were forced from their holes and were sent scurrying into local villages with officials opened the sluice gates on Dongting Lake in June 2007 to relieve flooding. Villagers killed an estimated 2 billion mice by beating them with shovels or using poison. The rotting mouse corpses must be properly disposed and other animals - like cats and dogs - were the unintentional victims of the poisons.
A restoration project, the Sino-Norwegian Project of Biodiversity Protection Management, a joint Norwegian Chinese endeavor began in 2005. According to a 2007 article in the
China Daily, " [The Dongting Lake area] will be restored to a sustainable biodiversity environment within five to 10 years". [ [http://www.mwr.gov.cn/english/20070928/87014.asp "Lake back to health in 5 to 10 years"] (on the website of the Ministry of Water Resources of the People's Republic of China.)]
Major cities on the Lake
* [http://www.kyohaku.go.jp/eng/syuzou/meihin/kaiga/chuugoku/item07.html The painting "Returning Sails off a Distant Shore"] : in the
Kyoto National Museum
* [http://www.flickr.com/photos/preetamrai/5756880 Dongting Hu] seen from
* [http://www.travelgallery.org/travelphotos/thumbnails.php?album=5 Pictures from Dongting, Yueyang]
* [http://www.chinadialogue.net/article/show/single/en/839-Poyang-Lake-saving-the-finless-porpoise Saving the finless porpoise]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Dongting Lake — Location Hunan province Coordinates … Wikipedia
Dongting-See — Geographische Lage China Daten Koordinaten … Deutsch Wikipedia
lake — lake1 /layk/, n. 1. a body of fresh or salt water of considerable size, surrounded by land. 2. any similar body or pool of other liquid, as oil. 3. (go) jump in the lake, (used as an exclamation of dismissal or impatience.) [bef. 1000; ME lak(e) … Universalium
Lake — /layk/, n. Simon, 1866 1945, U.S. engineer and naval architect. * * * I Relatively large body of slow moving or standing water that occupies an inland basin. Lakes are most abundant in high northern latitudes and in mountain regions, particularly … Universalium
Dongting Hu — [dooŋ′tiŋ′ho͞o′] lake in Hunan province, SE China: c. 1,450 sq mi (3,755 sq km); during floods, over 4,000 sq mi (10,360 sq km) * * * … Universalium
Dongting Hu — [dooŋ′tiŋ′ho͞o′] lake in Hunan province, SE China: c. 1,450 sq mi (3,755 sq km); during floods, over 4,000 sq mi (10,360 sq km) … English World dictionary
Dongting Lake — Chinese Dongting Hu or Tung t ing Hu Large, shallow lake, northeastern Hunan province, China. Its size varies greatly from season to season. Its normal area of 1,089 sq mi (2,820 sq km) may increase up to 7,700 sq mi (20,000 sq km) in flood… … Universalium
Dongting Lake Bridge — The Dongting Lake Bridge is a bridge with cable stayed bridge section over Dongting Lake in northeastern Hunan Province, China. The bridge was completed in 2002 at a cost of $920 million. Cable stayed section consists of three tower supporting a… … Wikipedia
Lake Tai — Location map China label=Lake Tai lat=31.17 long=120.15 position=right width=300 float=right background=#FFFFDD caption=Lake Tai on the map of China Infobox lake lake name = Lake Tai image lake = IMG 0142 Tai.jpg caption lake = Lake Scenery At… … Wikipedia
Lake Poyang — Location map China label=Lake Poyang lat=29 long=115.5 position=right width=300 float=right background=#FFFFDD caption=Lake Poyang on the map of China Infobox lake |lake name = Lake Poyang image lake = caption lake = image bathymetry = caption… … Wikipedia