Turkish Lakes Region – January 10th, 2009
Several lakes in the Lakes Region of southwestern Turkey are visible in this image.
The largest lake, on the far right, is Lake Beyşehir. It is a large freshwater lake whose water level often fluctuates. Lake Beyşehir is used for irrigation, although it is also a national park. In the image, we can see that sediments have turned parts of it a greyish tan color, while algae has made other parts green.
To the left of Lake Beyşehir is Lake Eğirdir. With an area of 482 km2 it is the fourth largest (second largest freshwater) lake in Turkey. It has some grey-tan sediments as well, although it seems to contain more blue-green algae.
Southwest of Lake Eğirdir we have Lake Burdur which, unlike the previous two, is a large saline lake. Water level in the lake fluctuates, and it is also an important wetland site for many bird species.
Finally, to the left of Lake Burdur we can see the outline of Lake Acıgöl (literally “the bitter lake” in Turkish). Its surface area varies greatly through the seasons, with 100 km² in spring and 35 km² in late summer, with a maximum depth of 1.63 m. In the image, the surface level appears low around the edges, with a deeper green pool in the center.
Lake Acıgöl, fed primarily by high-sulfate springs issuing from a fault line on its south side, is notable for its sodium sulfate reserves. It is estimated to contain 12.5 million mt of sodium sulfate in the surface and in the subsurface brine. These reserves extensively used in the industry and Turkey’s largest commercial sodium sulfate production operations are based here.