Lake Tai or
Lake Taihu (Chinese: 太湖, p Tài Hú, Wu: Ta
Wu, lit. "Great Lake") is a large freshwater lake in the Yangtze
Delta plain in Wuxi, China. The lake belongs to
Jiangsu and the
southern shore forms its border with Zhejiang. With an area of 2,250
square kilometers (869 sq mi) and an average depth of 2
meters (6.6 ft), it is the third-largest freshwater lake in
China, after Poyang and Dongting. The lake houses about 90 islands,
ranging in size from a few square meters to several square kilometers.
Lake Tai is linked to the renowned Grand Canal and is the origin of a
number of rivers, including
Suzhou Creek. In recent years,
has been plagued by pollution as the surrounding region experienced
rapid industrial development.
3 Scenic locations
4 Business and industry
5 Ferris wheel
7 See also
Also translated as Tai or T'ai
Lake and as Taihu or T'ai-hu Lake.
Scientific studies suggest that
Lake Tai's circular structure is the
result of a meteor impact based on the discovery of shatter cones,
shock-metamorphosed quartz, microtektites, and shock-metamorphic
unloading fractures. The prospective impact crater has been dated
to be greater than 70 million years old and possibly from the late
Devonian Period. However, new research suggests that present
evidence shows no impact crater structure or shock-mineral at Lake
Tai. Fossils indicate that
Lake Tai was dry land until the
ingression of the East
China Sea during the Holocene epoch. The
growing deltas of the
Yangtze and Qiantang rivers eventually sealed
Lake Tai from the sea, and the influx of fresh water from rivers
and rains turned it into a freshwater lake.
Lake Tai in Wuxi's Three Kingdoms Park
The lake is renowned for its unique limestone formations at the foot
of the adjacent Dongting Mountain (洞庭山). These "scholar's rocks"
or "Taihu stones" are often prized as a decorating material for
traditional Chinese gardens, as exemplified by those preserved as
museums in nearby Suzhou.
Lake Tai is best seen from atop the Dragon Light
Pagoda in western Wuxi's Xihui Park, from which both
are visible. Another well-known panoramic view, made famous by an
11th-century poem by Su Shi, is that from Longshan.
Three of the lake's islands are preserved as a national geological
park under the name Sanshan. They are famed as a former haunt of local
Mei Yuan is also located in
Lake Tai, along
Yuantouzhu received its name ("Turtle Head Isle")
from the shape of its outline.
Business and industry
The lake is also known for its productive fishing industry and is
often occupied by fleets of small private fishing boats. Since the
late 1970s, harvesting food products such as fish and crabs has been
invaluable to people living along the lake and has contributed
significantly to the economy of the surrounding area.
The lake is home to an extensive ceramics-industry, including the
Yixing pottery-factory, which produces the world-renowned
The Star of
Lake Tai is a 115-meter (377 ft) tall giant Ferris
wheel on the shoreline of the lake. Completed in 2008, it takes 18
minutes to complete one revolution. Passengers can enjoy the scenery
Lake Tai and the city center. At night, lighting effects are
switched on around the wheel.
Lake scene at Wuxi
Further information: Water resources of the People's Republic of China
and Pollution in China
Pollution of the lake has been ongoing for decades despite efforts to
reduce pollution that were not sustained and thus proved ineffective.
In the 1980s and 1990s the number of industries in the lake region has
tripled, while the population also increased significantly. One
billion tons of wastewater, 450,000 tons of garbage and 880,000 tons
of animal waste were dumped in the shallow lake in 1993 alone. The
central government intervened and initiated a campaign to clean up the
lake, setting a deadline to comply with pollution standards. When the
deadline was not met, 128 factories were closed on New Year's Eve in
1999. Compliance improved somewhat afterwards, but the pollution
problem remained severe. In May 2007, the lake was overtaken by a
major algae bloom and by major pollution with cyanobacteria. The
Chinese government called the lake a major natural disaster despite
the anthropogenic origin of this environmental catastrophe. With the
average price of bottled water rising to six times the normal rate,
the government banned all regional water providers from implementing
price hikes. The lake provides water to 30 million residents,
including about one million in Wuxi. By October 2007 it was
reported that the Chinese government had shut down or given notice to
over 1,300 factories around the lake. However, Wu Lihong, one of the
leading environmentalists who had been publicizing the pollution of
the lake, was sentenced to three years in prison for alleged extortion
of one of the polluters, but, undeterred, alleged in 2010 that not
a single factory was closed.
Jiangsu province planned to clean up
the lake, and chaired by
Wen Jiabao the State Council set a target
Lake Tai by 2012. However, in 2010
The Economist reported
that a fresh pollution outbreak had occurred, and that Wu, released
from prison in April, was claiming that the government was trying to
suppress news of it, all the while switching to other supplies in
place of lake water.
List of unconfirmed impact craters on Earth
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for
Wikimedia Commons has media related to
^ 太湖 [
Lake Tai]. The
Suzhou Science Window [苏州科普之窗]
(in Chinese). Science and Technology Association of
[苏州市科学技术协会]. Archived from the original on
^ Wang Erkang; Wan Yuqiu; Xu Shijin (May 2002). "Discovery and
implication of shock metamorphic unloading microfractures in Devonian
bedrock of Taihu Lake". Science in
China Series D: Earth Sciences. 45
^ Wang, K.; Geldsetzer, H. H. J. (1992). "A late Devonian impact event
and its association with a possible extinction event on Eastern
Gondwana". Lunar and Planetary Inst., International Conference on
Large Meteorite Impacts and Planetary Evolution: 77.
^ Dong et al., (2012). "The Deformation Features of
Quartz grains In
the Sandstone of Taihu Area: Taihu Impact Origin Controversy".
Geological Journal of
^ Barrett, Rick (February 3, 2007). "
China offers open waters".
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
^ 文涛 (September 1, 2008). "太湖之星"摩天轮即将开放.
Xinhuanet (in Chinese). Retrieved January 15, 2013.
^ Ma, Jun (2004). China's Water Crisis. Norwalk, CT: International
Rivers Network. pp. 163–164. ISBN 1-891936-28-X.
^ a b Kahn, Joseph (October 13, 2007). "In China, a Lake's Champion
Imperils Himself". International Herald Tribune.
^ "Algae smother Chinese lake, millions panic". MSNBC. AP. May 31,
^ "China's third-largest freshwater lake faces algae threat". China
Daily. Xinhua. April 14, 2008. Retrieved April 20, 2008.
^ "Umweltschützer in
China - Der unbeugsame Herr Wu". Tagesschau (in
German). May 18, 2010. Archived from the original on May 21,
China to clean up polluted lake". BBC News. October 27, 2007.
^ "Taihu cleanup plan".
China Daily - Across China: Beijing. April 4,
2008. p. 4. Retrieved April 20, 2008.
^ The Economist, 7 August 2010 p 49.
National parks of China
Chengde Mountain Resort
Dujiangyan Irrigation System
Jade Dragon Snow Mountain
Lushan Quaternary Glaciation
Mount Heng (Hunan)
Mount Heng (Shanxi)
Pearl Shoal Waterfall
Shilin (Stone Forest)
Wangwushan - Yuntaishan
Geography of China
Lakes of China
Five Great Lakes
Notable freshwater lakes
Heaven (Changbai Tianchi)
Notable salt lakes
Rakshastal (La-Ang Tso)
Major urban lakes
See also: List of dams and reservoirs in China
Grand Canal of China
Nanjing Normal University
Nanjing University of Science and Technology
Ge Yuan Garden
Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum
Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum
Yangtze River Bridge
Grand Buddha at Ling Shan
Tianning Temple Pagoda