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Seasonal Changes in Sediments in Lake Van, Turkey

38.6N 42.9E

April 29th, 2013 Category: Lakes, Sediments

Turkey – April 28th, 2013

The varved sediments (the layer or series of layers of sediment deposited in a body of still water in one year) of Lake Van (the greyish white salt lake in the upper right quadrant), in Turkey, provide a high-quality continental archive of seasonal to decadal-scale climate variability. Remotely-sensed total suspended-matter concentrations, validated by contemporaneous water-column sampling, show great temporal and lateral variations (whitings and turbidity plumes).

From 2006 to 2009, sequential sediment traps recorded high particle fluxes during spring and fall, medium fluxes during summer, and almost zero flux during winter. Some fluxes are controlled by river discharge (precipitation and snowmelt) during spring, by high productivity during summer, and by river discharge (precipitation before snowfall starts) and mixing during fall (click here for more information).

Dust Between Iraq, Lake Van and the Caspian Sea

38.3N 44.3E

May 22nd, 2012 Category: Dust Storms, Lakes

Caspian Sea - May 21st, 2012

Dust blows northward from Iraq towards Turkey and northwestern Iran. Here, two main clouds of dust can be observed: one between Lake Van (left edge) and the Caspian Sea (right edge), and the other near the Iraq-Iran border, east of the Tigris and Euphrates River Valley. While the land below those two main dust clouds is almost completely obscured, Lake Tharthar can be seen through a thinner veil of dust at the lower left.


Turkey’s Lake Van Surrounded by Snow

38.6N 42.9E

February 8th, 2011 Category: Lakes

Turkey - January 16th, 2011

The irregularly shaped Lake Van, in Turkey, is surrounded by snow. The land to the south in Iraq (bottom right quadrant) and Syria (lower left quadrant), however, is snow free.

Several other lakes can be observed on the left side of the image, including Lake Assad in Syria (bottom left) and Lake Atatürk Dam, north of Lake Assad, in Turkey.

Mount Sipan Stratovolcano North of Lake Van, Turkey – March 15th, 2010

38.6N 42.9E

March 15th, 2010 Category: Image of the day, Lakes, Volcanoes

Turkey - February 18th, 2010

Turkey - February 18th, 2010

Lake Van, the largest lake in Turkey, occupies most of this orthorectified image. It is a saline and soda lake, receiving water from numerous small streams that descend from the surrounding mountains. It is an endorheic lake (having no outlet), as the original outlet from the basin was blocked by an ancient volcanic eruption.

As a deep lake with no outlet, Lake Van has accumulated great amounts of sediment washed in from surrounding plains and valleys, and occasionally deposited as ash from eruptions of nearby volcanoes. This layer of sediment is estimated to be up to 400 metres (1,300 ft) thick in places, and has attracted climatologists and vulcanologists interested in drilling cores to examine the layered sediments.

One volcano visible near its shores is Mount Sipan (or Mount Süphan), a stratovolcano. Located immediately north of Lake Van, it is the second highest volcano in the Armenian Highlands, after Mount Ararat.

Mount Nemrut and Arms of Lake Van, Turkey – November 30th, 2009

38.6N 42.9E

November 30th, 2009 Category: Image of the day, Lakes, Volcanoes

Turkey - November 24th, 2009

Turkey - November 24th, 2009

Lake Van is one of the largest endorheic lakes in the world and the largest lake in Turkey, located in the far east of the country in the Van district. It is a saline and soda lake, receiving water from numerous small streams that descend from the surrounding mountains. Here, the Nemrut Volcano can also be seen west of the lake, partially covered with snow.

The lake’s average depth is 171 metres (560 ft) with a maximum recorded depth of 451 metres (1,480 ft). The western portion of the lake is deepest, with a large basin deeper than 400 m (1,300 ft) lying northeast of Tatvan and south of Ahlat. This deeper section of the lake appears navy blue here.

The eastern arms of the lake, on the other hand, are shallower and appear greenish from sediments and algae. The Van-Ahtamar portion, southeast, shelves gradually, with a maximum depth of about 250 m (820 ft) on its northwest side where it joins the rest of the lake. The Erciş arm, northeast, is much shallower, mostly less than 50 m (160 ft), with a maximum depth of about 150 m (490 ft).

Over 100 species of phytoplankton have been recorded in the lake including flagellates, diatoms, bacteria, cyanobacteria, green algae and brown algae. Thirty-six species of zooplankton have also been recorded including Rotatoria, Cladocera and Copepoda in the lake.