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Brown Sediments in Southern Half of Lake Urmia, Iran

37.6N 45.4E

May 11th, 2012 Category: Lakes

Iran - May 8th, 2012

Lake Urmia is a salt lake in northwestern Iran, near Iran’s border with Turkey. It is the largest lake in the Middle East, and the third largest salt water lake on earth, with a surface area of approximately 5,200 kmĀ² (2,000 mileĀ²), 140 km (87 mi) length, 55 km (34 mi) width, and 16 m (52 ft) depth.

Due to drought and increased demands for agricultural water in the lake’s basin, the salinity of the lake has risen to more than 300 g/L during recent years, and large areas of the lake bed have been desiccated.

The lake often appears white (click here for previous images) when water levels are low, due to its high salt content. In this image, however, the water level appears higher, and the lake is thus green and brown in color, with some salt flats visible around the northern shoreline. The lake is divided into north and south parts separated by a causeway in which a 1500m gap provides little exchange of water between the two parts. As such, the northern section of the lake appears green, while the southern portion is more brown, probably from an influx of sediments.

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