Salt-Ringed Shores of Lake Urmia, Iran37.6N 45.4E
Lake Urmia is a salt lake in northwestern Iran, near Iran’s border with Turkey. The lake is between the Iranian provinces of East Azerbaijan and West Azerbaijan, west of the southern portion of the similarly shaped Caspian Sea (visible in the full image).Here, Lake Urmia appears green in color, and ringed by white salt flats. A slight haze partially veils the skies over the lake.
Lake Urmia 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 km² (2,000 mile²), 140 km (87 mi) length, 55 km (34 mi) width, and 16 m (52 ft) depth. However, the construction of a dam on part of the lake and the recent drought has significantly decreased the annual amount of water it receives. This in turn has increased the salinity of its water, causing the lake to lose its significance as home to thousands of migratory birds including the large flamingo populations.