September 29, 2008

China Publishes Altitude of Lowest Inland Point

China publishes altitude of lowest inland point

URUMQI, Sept. 28 (Xinhua) -- China's lowest inland point is 154.31 meters below the sea level, the State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping and the government of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region jointly announced here on Sunday.

The figure means the lowest point at Aiding Lake in the northwestern Xinjiang has gotten "higher" by 0.22 meter over the past 29 years. The same point was measured at 154.536 meters below the sea level in 1979.

Experts attributed the 0.22-meter gap to the use of modern surveying technologies and possible geomorphological changes over the years.

The new figure will go in to the books Sunday, said officials from the bureau and the regional government.

Liu Geqing, an official of the Xinjiang Bureau of Surveying and Mapping, said the new figure would help boost local tourism.

Aiding, Uygur for "Moonlight", lies 30 km southeast of the Turpan city, and has a water surface of seven square kilometers. It is the world's second-lowest lake after the Dead Sea in the Middle East.

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