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Lake Van, Turkey

38.6N 42.9E

May 29th, 2009 Category: Lakes

Turkey - May 17th, 2009

Turkey - May 17th, 2009

Lake Van is the largest lake in Turkey, located in the far east of the country. It is a saline and soda lake, receiving water from numerous small streams that descend from the surrounding mountains.

Lake Van is one of the world’s largest endorheic lakes (meaning it has no outlet). The original outlet from the basin was blocked by an ancient volcanic eruption.

Lake Van is 119 kilometres (74 mi) across at its widest point, averaging a depth of 171 metres (560 ft) with a maximum recorded depth of 451 metres (1,480 ft).

The lake surface lies 1,640 metres (5,400 ft) above sea level and the shore length is 430 kilometres (270 mi). Lake Van has an area of 3,755 km2 (1,450 sq mi) and a volume of 607 cubic kilometres (146 cu mi).

The western portion of the lake is deepest, with a large basin deeper than 400 m (1,300 ft) lying northeast of Tatvan and south of Ahlat. Here, the deeper western part appears dark blue, whereas the eastern arms of the lake, which are shallower, are lighter in color. Sun glint causes some parts of the lake to appear white, while sediments create golden and green swirls in other places.

The Van-Ahtamar portion shelves gradually, with a maximum depth of about 250 m (820 ft) on its northwest side where it joins the rest of the lake. The ErciƟ arm is much shallower, mostly less than 50 m (160 ft), with a maximum depth of about 150 m (490 ft).

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