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《Geographical Research》 1988-04
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How Weilin(Hangzhou University)  
Situated in the west of Xiaoshan County, Zhejiang Provinc, the Xiang Hu, a famous lake in the Ningho-Shaoxing Plains, has as its predecessor the Xicheng Hu. originally a layoon, filled up under the combined work of both nature and man. In the Secondyear of the reign of Zhenghe in the Northern Song Dynasty (1112A.D.), under the specific geographic circumstances, a lake was restored by turning the former fields into a lake, and this artificial lake was known as the Xiang Hu. During the eight centuries and more from the end of the Northern Song Dynasty to the Republic of China, Sharp conflicts continued between those who maintained to drain and those to preserve the lake A certain dimensions of the lake, however, survive as a result ofthe need in agriculture though the lake, like many of its counterparts, has experienced a series of the processes of natural evolution-from a lake, the marshes to the land.In the 1920's, as reclamation activities went on in an ever increasing pace, the waters of the Xiang Hu narrowed gradually. Since the large-scale construction of water conservancy works undertaken by Xiaoshan County since 1949 took over the irrigation function of the lake, it became a necessary trend to reclaim cultivable land from the lake by building bunds. Thus the Xiang Hu is reduced from an immense water bony of 37, 002 mu of its original size to the present riverslieped lake with a mere reduced area of 1,460 mu.On the other hand, owing to its mavellous character suitable for brick-making, the clay of the lake was exploitsd in as early as the Mig Dynasty in handicraft industry to make bricks aad tiled, the unprecedented enlargement of the brick and tile market since the establishment of New China has greatly sped up the industry, which, through its effective digging, has led to the reappearance of a wide expanse of waters from the former dying .lake. Once again enlarged, the Xiang Hu provides excellent conditions from the development of touristry and in addition, an uncommon example for the transformation of lakes in the Ningbo-Shaoxing Plains.
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