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Differences Between Eastern and Western Ends of Lake Balkhash, Kazakhstan – September 27th, 2012

46.6N 75.7E

September 27th, 2012 Category: Lakes

Kazakhstan – September 26th, 2012

Lake Balkhash has an area of about 16,400 km2 (2000), making it the largest lake which lies entirely within the territory of Kazakhstan. It is elevated about 340 m above sea level and has a crescent shape. Its length is about 600 km and the width varies from 9–19 km in the eastern part to 74 km in the western part.

Saryesik Peninsula, located near the middle of the lake, hydrographically divides it into two very different parts. The western part, which comprises 58% of the total lake area and 46% of its volume, is relatively shallow, quiet and is filled with freshwater, whereas the eastern part is much deeper and saltier. Here, the western part appears milky blue, probably due to sediments and suspended minerals in the waters. This opaque look gradually disappears as one moves eastward. The two parts are connected by the Uzynaral Strait which is 3.5 km wide and about 6 m deep.

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