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The Baishui terrace is situated in Sanba Township 101 kilometers southeast of Zhongdian County seat. The terrace is 3 sq. kilometers in area. It is a karst formation of a layer of white deposits of calcium carbonate crystallized in spring water. It was also one of the places where the Dongba was originated. In Baidi village near the terrace one can still experience the old Naxi ethnic life-style.
Terraces like those of Baishui are one of nature's most remarkable creations. The formations vaguely resemble a frozen cascading series of short waterfalls - and the wet terrace walls have a white jade like glow. The half circular pools of water that fill the shallow basins behind the terrace walls lend a serene visual touch.
The terraces gradually formed over hundreds of thousands of years. Running spring water rich in bicarbonate calcium left behind the calcium sediment that built the terrace walls and basins molecule by molecule.
Calcium is white, but the terraces of Baishui are creamy white and sometimes streaked yellowish brown. Reason: The flowing spring water deposited other dissolved minerals besides the calcium.
The Baishui Terrace runs 130 meters (430 feet) down its mountain slope and extends some 150 meters (500 feet) at its broadest point.
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