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Lakes Habbaniyah, Milh and Qadisiyah Near Lake Tharthar in Iraq

32.7N 43.6E

February 12th, 2011 Category: Lakes, Rivers

Iraq - January 16th, 2011

The largest lake in this image is the teardrop-shaped Lake Tharthar, situated between the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers in Iraq. The construction of several dams has made it an important source for irrigation.

Several other lakes can also be observed nearby. To the south is
Lake Habbaniyah, a shallow natural lake with a surface area 140 km². Further south is Lake Milh, a depression into which excess water from the Euphrates River is diverted by a controlled escape channel or canal.

Finally, Lake Qadisiyah can be observed to the west of Lake Tharthar. It was formed by the damming of the Euphrates River above Haditha, Iraq. It has 100 kilometres of shoreline and provides irrigation water for nearby cultivated fields.

Lakes and Borders of Iraq – February 5th, 2013

32.7N 43.6E

February 5th, 2013 Category: Clouds, Image of the day

Iraq – January 27th, 2013

Although a large portion of the Middle East is cloud covered, the use of the Chelys Satellite Rapid Response System (SRRS) “borders” feature allows the borders between Iraq (center), Iran (right) and Kuwait (bottom left) to be clearly visible. This features also allows three lakes’ locations in Iraq to be observed despite the clouds: Lake Tharthar, Lake Habbaniyah and Lake Milh (top to bottom).

Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq and Neighbors – August 2nd, 2009

32.8N 39.0E

August 2nd, 2009 Category: Image of the day, Lakes, Rivers

Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq and neighbors - June 21st, 2009

Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq and neighbors - June 21st, 2009

The navy blue of the Mediterranean Sea (above) and the Red Sea (below) interrupt the expanses of brown and yellow land. Egypt is the only country visible here that touches both seas. Of particular note in Egyptian territory here are the Nile River (bottom left corner) and the Sinai Peninsula.

Moving up the Mediterranean coast, one comes first to Israel/Palestine and the Dead Sea, then Lebanon, then Syria. Heading inland into Syria, the Euphrates River moves southeastward to Iraq. The two greenish lakes are in Iraqi territory, Buhayrat ath Tharthar (above) and Lake Milh (below).

Returning to the south, Saudi Arabia is crossed by a bright orange swath of desert before arriving at the shores of the Red Sea. At the western extreme of this orange area, between Saudi Arabia and Israel/Palestine, is Jordan.

Dust Storm Over Iraq Covers Baghdad – July 1st, 2009

33.3N 44.3E

July 1st, 2009 Category: Dust Storms, Image of the day

Dust storm over Middle East - June 28th, 2009

Dust storm over Middle East - June 28th, 2009

Dust over Iraq

Dust over Iraq

A large dust storm reaches from Saudi Arabia to the Iraq-Iran border, covering much of Iraq including the capital, Baghdad.

The close-up focuses on an area in central Iraq. The Tigris (above) and Euphrates (below) Rivers, Lake Buhayrat ath Tharthar (center) and Lake Milh (bottom right) are partially visible. The city of Baghdad, east of the lakes, cannot be seen beneath the thick veil of dust.

The storm forced the closure of Baghdad’s airport due to poor visibility and thus caused a one-day postponement of Iraq’s historic oil development auction – the opening of bids entered by foreign oil companies (for the first time since the nationalization of the industry over 30 years ago) hoping to develop the country’s large oil reserves.

Iraq’s Alluvial Plain – July 10th, 2009

31.8N 45.9E

July 10th, 2009 Category: Image of the day, Lakes, Rivers

Iraq - June 3rd, 2009

Iraq - June 3rd, 2009

An alluvial plain, visible in the center of the image, begins north of Baghdad and extends to the Persian Gulf (lower right). Here the Tigris (above) and Euphrates (below) Rivers lie above the level of the plain in many places.

The whole area is a river delta interlaced by the channels of the two rivers and by irrigation canals. Intermittent lakes, fed by the rivers in flood, also characterize this area of Iraq.

A fairly large area (15,000 km² or 5,800 mi²) just above the confluence of the two rivers at Al Qurnah and extending east of the Tigris beyond the Iranian border is marshland, known as Hawr al Hammar, the result of centuries of flooding and inadequate drainage. Much of it is permanent marsh, but some parts dry out in early winter, and other parts become marshland only in years of great flood.

Because the waters of the Tigris and Euphrates above their confluence are heavily silt-laden, irrigation and fairly frequent flooding deposit large quantities of silty loam in much of the delta area. Windborne silt also contributes to the total deposit of sediments.

It has been estimated that the delta plains are built up at the rate of nearly twenty centimeters in a century. In some areas, major floods lead to the deposit in temporary lakes of as much as thirty centimeters of mud.

The Tigris and Euphrates also carry large quantities of salts. These, too, are spread on the land by sometimes excessive irrigation and flooding. A high water table and poor surface and subsurface drainage tend to concentrate the salts near the surface of the soil.

In general, the salinity of the soil increases from Baghdad south to the Persian Gulf and severely limits productivity in the region south of Al Amarah. The salinity is reflected in the large lake in central Iraq, southwest of Baghdad, known as Bahr al Milh (Sea of Salt). There are two other major lakes in the country to the north of Bahr al Milh: Buhayrat ath Tharthar and Buhayrat al Habbaniyah.

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