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Dongting Lake
Lake
is a large, shallow lake in northeastern Hunan
Hunan
province, China. It is a flood basin of the Yangtze
Yangtze
River. Hence the lake's size depends on the season. The provinces of Hubei
Hubei
and Hunan
Hunan
are named after their location relative to the lake: Hubei
Hubei
means "North of the Lake" and Hunan, "South of the Lake". Dongting Lake
Lake
is famous in Chinese culture as the place of origin of dragon boat racing. It is the site of Junshan Island and is a home to the Finless Porpoise, which is endangered in China.

Contents

1 Geography 2 History 3 Culture and mythology 4 Environmental issues 5 Major cities on the Lake 6 See also 7 References 8 Cited works 9 External links

Geography[edit]

Map of Dongting Plain

In the July–September period, flood water from the Yangtze
Yangtze
flows into the lake, enlarging it greatly. The lake's area, which normally is 2,820 square kilometers or 1,090 square miles (data before 1998), may increase to 20,000 square kilometers (7,700 sq mi) 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 major rivers: the Xiang, Zi, Yuan and Li rivers. Small rivers also flow in, the most famous one being Miluo River
Miluo River
where a famous poet Qu Yuan
Qu Yuan
committed suicide. In addition, the Xiao River
Xiao River
flows into the Xiang near Yongzhou, before the Xiang flows into the lake. Ocean-going vessels can travel through the Xiang to reach Changsha. History[edit] The earliest rice paddies yet discovered in the world were in the Liyang plain, which was then on the western edge of Dongting lake.[1] The state of Chu occupied the region in the Eastern Zhou period, and its territory there was taken over by Qin in the 3rd century BCE. During the Han Dynasty, Yunmeng Marsh (Chinese: 云梦大泽; pinyin: Yúnmèng dàzé literally "Great Marsh of Cloud Dream"), which lies to the north of Dongting Lake
Lake
in Hubei
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
Lake
area south of the Yangtze
Yangtze
gradually became the river's main flood-basin. The Han state was actively involved in the colonization of the region, maintaining dikes in Liyang to protect farmland from flooding.[2] At that time, Dongting Lake
Lake
was China's largest freshwater 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
Lake
(鄱阳湖), as much of the lake has been turned into farmland.[3] Culture and mythology[edit]

Hermit Fisherman on Lake
Lake
Dongting, by Wu Zhen
Wu Zhen
(1287–1354)

The area is well known in Chinese history
Chinese history
and literature. "Dongting" literally means "Grotto Court", and the lake was named for the huge hall or cavern, which was believed to exist beneath the lake, where the spirits of the Sage-King Shun's wives Ehuang and Nüying were said to be the rulers of this grotto, which was claimed to have underground passages opening to all parts of the empire.[4] Dragon boat racing
Dragon boat racing
is said to have begun on the eastern shores of Dongting Lake
Lake
as a search for the body of Qu Yuan, the Chu poet (340–278 BC), and a dragon-king is said to live at the bottom of the lake. Junshan was also named after the goddess-wives of Shun, who lived there after his death by drowning, while they mourned him and sought for his body all the way from the source of the Xiang River, in which he drowned, and then on down to where it could have drifted, into the lake.[5] Junshan Island, formerly a Daoist
Daoist
retreat, 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 Lake
Lake
and its surrounding area is famous for its scenic beauty, which has been encapsulated in the phrase " Hunan
Hunan
of the Xiao and Xiang rivers" (Chinese: 瀟湘湖南; pinyin: Xiāo-Xiāng Húnán).[citation needed] The scenery of the Jiuyi Mountains
Jiuyi Mountains
and of the Xiao and Xiang rivers below is often mentioned in Chinese poetry. The late Tang Dynasty poet Yu Wuling
Yu Wuling
is supposed to have been fond of the scenery of Dongting Lake.[6] 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 Xiaoxiang. The fashion spread to Japan, where eventually other famous places were substituted for the Xiao and Xiang rivers.[citation needed] One of the famous ponds based on the geography of the lake is at the Daikaku-ji
Daikaku-ji
in Kyoto. Environmental issues[edit] The agricultural colonization of the region began in ancient times, and by the 19th century much of the lake's shallower areas had been destroyed to create farmland.[7] After 1949 a new round of wetland drainage destroyed much of what remained, leaving only a fraction of the original wetland intact, though some of that area has subsequently been returned to wetland conditions. Nonetheless, along with Poyang Lake, it remains one of the largest lakes in China, and is an important wintering area for migratory birds. In 2007 fears were expressed that China's Finless Porpoise, a native of the lake, might follow the baiji, the Yangtze
Yangtze
river dolphin, into extinction. There have been calls for action to save the finless porpoise, of which there are about 1400 left living, with approximately 700 to 900 in the Yangtze, and approximately another 500 in Poyang and Dongting Lakes. The 2007 population levels were less than half the 1997 levels, and the population continues to drop at a rate of 7.3 per cent per year. Pressure on the finless porpoise population on Poyang Lake
Lake
comes from the high numbers of ships passing through, as well as sand dredging.[8] After flooding of the Yangtze River
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.[9] The lake was also featured on news services as having a problem with schistosoma and malaria infected mosquitoes. Billions of mice were forced from their holes and were sent scurrying into local villages when officials opened the sluice gates on Dongting Lake
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 should have been properly disposed of, and other animals—such as cats and dogs—were the unintended victims of the poisons.[citation needed] A restoration project, the Sino-Norwegian Project of Biodiversity Protection Management, began in 2005. According to a 2007 article in the China
China
Daily, "[The Dongting Lake
Lake
area] will be restored to a sustainable biodiversity environment within five to 10 years".[10] Major cities on the Lake[edit]

Yiyang Yueyang Changde

See also[edit]

Hunan Yangzi River Junshan Island Eight Views of Xiaoxiang Xiang River Emperor Shun Spotted bamboo Xiang River
Xiang River
goddesses Xiaoxiang Xiaoxiang
Xiaoxiang
poetry

References[edit]

^ Zhang Chi 張弛, “The Qujialing-Shijiahe Culture in the Middle Yangzi River
Yangzi River
Valley,” in A Companion to Chinese Archaeology, ed. Anne P. Underhill (Chichester: John Wiley & Sons, 2013), 510–34. ^ Brian Lander, “State Management of River Dikes in Early China: New Sources on the Environmental History of the Central Yangzi Region.” T’oung Pao 100.4-5 (2014): 325–362. ^ Peter Perdue, Exhausting the Earth: State and Peasant in Hunan 1500–1850 (Cambridge: Harvard Univ. Council on East Asian Studies, 1987). ^ Murck, Alfreda (2000). Poetry and Painting in Song China: The Subtle Art of Dissent. Harvard Univ Asia Center. pp. 8–10. ISBN 978-0-674-00782-6.  ^ Murck (2000), pp. 9-10. ^ Ueki et al. 1999, pp. 133–4. ^ Brian Lander, “State Management of River Dikes in Early China: New Sources on the Environmental History of the Central Yangzi Region.” T’oung Pao 100 (2014): 287-324; Peter Perdue, Exhausting the Earth: State and Peasant in Hunan
Hunan
1500–1850 (Cambridge: Harvard University Council on East Asian Studies, 1987). ^ http://www.chinadialogue.net/article/show/single/en/839-Poyang-Lake-saving-the-finless-porpoise www.chinadialogue.net - Poyang Lake
Lake
saving the finless porpoise ^ http://www.physorg.com/news103199287.html www.physorg.com - 2 Billion Chinese Mice Overrun Lake
Lake
Area ^ " Lake
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.)

Cited works[edit]

Ueki, Hisayuki; Uno, Naoto; Matsubara, Akira (1999). Matsuura, Tomohisa, ed. Kanshi no Jiten 漢詩の事典 (in Japanese). 1. Tokyo: Taishūkan Shoten. OCLC 41025662. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Lake
Lake
Dongting.

The painting Returning Sails off a Distant Shore: in the Kyoto National Museum Dongting Hu seen from Yueyang Pictures from Dongting, Yueyang Saving the finless porpoise

v t e

Lakes of China

Five Great Lakes

Poyang Dongting Chao Tai Hongze

Notable freshwater lakes

Xingkai Poyang Dongting Tai Hulun Hongze Nansi Bosten Chao Gaoyou Ngoring Gyaring Sayram Baiyangdian Honghu Longgan Liangzi Dianchi Manasarovar Ulansuhai Luoma Erhai Junshan Fuxian Shiju Wabu Nanyi Dongping Ge Yangcheng Chenghai Dianshan Yangzong Xingyun Qilu Yilong Ayding Buir Chagan Daming Diexi Dongqian Heaven (Changbai Tianchi) Baihua Karakul Kunming Lugu Ruyi South Tangjiashan Baiyun Xuanwu Yueya Kanas

Notable salt lakes

Qinghai Namtso Serling Zhari Namco Tangra Yumco Ulungur Yamdrok Pangong Rakshastal (La-Ang Tso) Aibi

National Parks

Jingpo Wudalianchi Tai West (Hangzhou) East Lake
Lake
(Wuhan) Tianshan Tianchi Songhua Jingyue Slim West Dongting Hongfeng Dianchi Jin Crescent QInghai Chao Fairy West (Huizhou) Qiong Bosten Feiyun Huguang Rock Bailong Sayram Huating Zhelin

Protected wetlands

Dongting Poyang Hulun South Dongting West Dongting Xingkai Bita Napa Lashi Nygoring Gyaring

Nature Reserves

Hengshui Xingkai Wudalianchi Yinglong Caiyun Shengjin Poyang Dongting Erhai Serling West (Dunhuang) Gahai Qinghai Caohai Hulun Kanas Hongze Haba

Major urban lakes

West (Hangzhou) East (Wuhan) Tangxun Lake Kunming Yuyuantan West (Huizhou) Slim West Taiye Dianchi Daming Yueya Ruyi South Xuanwu Qujiangchi Lotus Pond Baiyun Yinglong Caiyun

Reservoirs

Three Gorges Longtan Longyangxia Danjiangkou Sapung Thousand Islands Xinfengjiang Liujiaxia Changshou Yantan Jiangkou Guanting Miyun See also: List of dams and reservoirs in China

v t e

Hunan
Hunan
topics

Changsha
Changsha
(capital)

General

History Politics Economy

Geography

Cities

Greater Changsha

Yangtze
Yangtze
River Xiang River Zi River Yuanjiang River Lishui River Wuling Mountains Xuefeng Mountains Nanling Mountains Luoxiao Mountains Lake
Lake
Dongting

Education

Hunan
Hunan
University Hunan
Hunan
University of Arts and Science Hunan
Hunan
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Hunan
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Culture

Culture of Hunan Hunanese people Xiang dialect Shaozhou Tuhua Nü shu writing system Xiang embroidery Huaguxi Yuelu Academy Xiang Army Miao people Tujia people

Cuisine

Hunan
Hunan
cuisine Stinky tofu Dong'an chicken Hongshao rou Lei cha

Visitor attractions

Shaoshan
Shaoshan
Village Avatar Hallelujah Mountain Mount Heng Zhangjiajie

Wulingyuan

Fenghuang County

Category Commons

v t e

Dongting Lake
Lake
River System

Xiang River
Xiang River
system

Laodao River
Laodao River
(捞刀河) Liuyang River
Liuyang River
(浏阳河) Jin River (靳江) Xiao River
Xiao River
(潇水) Wei River (沩水) Tuoshui Juan River(涓水) Miluo River
Miluo River
(汨罗江) Xinqiang River (新墙河) Lianshui River (涟水) Lushui River (渌水) Juan River (涓水) Mi River (洣水) Zheng River (蒸水) Lei River (耒水) Chongling River (舂陵江) Qi River (祁水) Bai River

Zi River
Zi River
system

Fuyi River

Yuanjiang River
Yuanjiang River
system

Wushui (潕水) Chen River Wushui (巫水) Qu River You River

Huayuan River Mengdong River

Lishui River
Lishui River
system

L

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