Ordos (ôrˈdōs) [key], Mandarin Erdesi, sandy desert plateau region, c.35,000 sq mi (90,650 sq km), Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region, N China; almost encircled by the great northern bend of the Huang He. The Great Wall of China separates the Ordos from the fertile loess land to the south and east. The desert receives less than 10 in. (25 cm) of rain annually, mainly in the form of thunderstorms. The region has many salt lakes and intermittent streams. Large soda and coal deposits are mined, and there are sizable natural gas reserves. The alkaline soil supports some grasslands, and nomadic Mongol herders raise sheep and goats; some oasis-farming is also practiced.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.