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Bright White Hypersaline Lake Tuz, Turkey

38.7N 33.3E

December 7th, 2011 Category: Lakes, Salt Flats

Turkey - November 25th, 2011

The saline Lake Tuz appears bright white in this image of central Anatolia, Turkey. To the north is the reservoir created by the Hirfanlı Dam, appearing dark blue in color.

Lake Tuz is the second largest lake in Turkey, with a surface area of 1,665 km2 (643 sq mi), and one of the largest hypersaline lakes in the world. The lake, occupying a tectonic depression in the central plateau of Turkey, is fed by two major streams, groundwater, and surface water, but has no outlet. Brackish marshes have formed where channels and streams enter the lake. Arable fields surround the lake, except in the south and southwest where extensive seasonally flooded salt-steppe occurs.

For most of the year, it is very shallow (approx.0.4 m (1 ft)). During winter part of the salt is dissolved in the fresh water that is introduced to the lake by precipitation and surface runoff (to 32.9% salinity). During the summer the lake dries up exposing an average of 30 cm thick salt layer in August. This mechanism is used as a basis for the process of the salt mines in the lake.

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