Meaning of GOBI in English

The 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 whatat least to the European mindwas 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 Greater Khingan Range, or southward toward the Pei Mountains. To the west, 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometres) from the Gobi's eastern limits, lies the Sinkiang region, a great basin enclosed by the Plateau of Tibet to the south and the Tien Shan ranges to the north. The desert occupies a vast arc of land 1,000 miles long and 300 to 600 miles wide, with an estimated area of 500,000 square miles (1,300,000 square kilometres). 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 Greater Khingan Range to the east; the A-erh-chin Mountains, Pei Mountains, and Yin Mountains to the south; and the eastern Tien Shan to the west. (MongolianDesert) The Gobi Altai rising from the edge of the Gobi, southwestern vrhangay, Mongolia. also called Gobi Desert great desert and semidesert region of Central Asia that stretches across vast lands in the Mongolian People's Republic and the Inner Mongolia autonomous ch'u (region) of China. The Gobi occupies a large arc-shaped area oriented east-west that is approximately 1,000 miles (1,600 km) long, 300 to 600 miles (480 to 965 km) wide, and concave to the north. Its total area is about 500,000 square miles (1,300,000 square km). The region is roughly defined as lying between the Altai and Hangayn mountains to the north; the western edge of the Greater Khingan Range to the east; the A-erh-chin Mountains, Pei Mountains, and Yin Mountains to the south; and the eastern Tien Shan to the west. The Gobi may be subdivided into the Ka-shun, Dzungarian, and Trans-Altai Gobi basins in the west; the Eastern, or Mongolian, Gobi in the centre and east; and the Ala Shan Desert in the south. The chalky plateaus that comprise the regional terrain are largely bare rock with small masses of shifting sands. Climatic conditions are acutely continental and dry; winter is severe, spring dry and cold, and summer hot. The temperature range is considerable, with average lows in January reaching -40 F (-40 C) and average highs in July climbing to 113 F (45 C). The annual total precipitation varies from 2.7 inches (69 mm) in the west to more than 8 inches (200 mm) in the northeast. Drainage in the Gobi is largely underground, and subterranean water is widespread and of sufficient quality to allow cattle raising in some areas. Vegetation on the Gobi's dry grayish brown and brown soils is sparse; small bushlike plants grow on the plateaus and on plains beneath the mountains. Halophytic vegetation, adapted to lowland salt marshes, and desert grass cover the basins and lower mountain slopes. Animal life includes such large mammals as wild camel, Asiatic wild ass, Przewalski's wild horse, gazelle, and antelope. The region supports fewer than 3 persons per square mile (1 per square km), most of whom are nomadic herders. Herds of sheep, goats, cattle, and two-humped camels are moved several times a year, migrating as much as 120 miles (190 km) between pasturelands at extreme points. Agriculture is developed only along the river valleys. Additional reading Information on the Gobi is available in surveys of explorations in the area: Jack Autrey Dabbs, History of the Discovery and Exploration of Chinese Turkestan (1963), a comprehensive introduction with a bibliography; and Sven Hedin, Central Asia and Tibet, trans. from Swedish, 2 vol. (1903, reissued 1969), and Across the Goby Desert (1931, reprinted 1968; originally published in Swedish, 1928). Other records of archaeological and geographic explorations in the area include Aurel Stein, Ruins of Desert Cathay: Personal Narrative of Explorations in Central Asia and Westernmost China, 2 vol. (1912, reprinted 1987), and On Ancient Central-Asian Tracks: Brief Narrative of Three Expeditions in Innermost Asia and North-Western China (1933, reissued 1971); Owen Lattimore, Inner Asian Frontiers of China (1940, reprinted 1988); Paul Pelliot, Les Grottes de Touen-Houang: peintures and sculptures bouddhiques des poques des Wei, des T'ang, et des Song, 6 vol. in 4 (191424); Peter Hopkirk, Foreign Devils on the Silk Road: The Search for the Lost Cities and Treasures of Chinese Central Asia (1980); and Basil Davidson, Turkestan Alive: New Travels in Chinese Central Asia (1957). Specific treatments of the Gobi are Mildred Cable, The Gobi Desert (1942, reprinted 1987); and Alonzo W. Pond, Climate and Weather in the Central Gobi of Mongolia (1954). An overview of the contemporary economic and social situation is presented in Terry Cannon and Alan Jenkins (ed.), The Geography of Contemporary China: The Impact of Deng Xiaoping's Decade (1990). Guy S. Alitto

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