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Lake Balqash, the Qapshaghay Bogeni Reservoir and Lake Issyk Kul

46.2N 74.3E

November 17th, 2009 Category: Lakes, Rivers

Kazakhstan - October 5th, 2009

Kazakhstan - October 5th, 2009

Lake Balqash (center) and the smaller Qapshaghay Bogeni Reservoir, both in southeastern Kazakhstan, and the deep Lake Issyk Kul, in Kyrgyzstan, show varying shades of blue waters.

The waters of Lake Balqash appear turquoise to the east and a slightly lighter blue with a tan tint to the west. This difference could be from sediments draining into the lake from the Ili River (visible at the western end of the lake along the eastern shores), from differences in depth, or from differences in salinity, as the eastern half of the lake is salty while its western half is fresh.

Further south, the Qapshaghay Bogeni Reservoir also has a turquoise color. The Tian Shan Mountains to its south, crested with snow, mark the border between Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. South of the first ridge is Lake Issyk Kul , which is deeper and darker blue than its neighbors.

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