Syr Darya River Flowing by Aydar Lake Towards Aral Sea42.6N 68.1E
The Syr Darya can be seen flowing across this image near the Aydar Lake (bottom). It is a river in Central Asia that rises in two headstreams in the Tian Shan Mountains in Kyrgyzstan and eastern Uzbekistan.
It flows for some 2,212 kilometres (1,374 mi) west and north-west Uzbekistan and southern Kazakhstan to the remains of the Aral Sea.
Along its course, the Syr Darya irrigates the most fertile cotton-growing region in the whole of Central Asia. Massive expansion of irrigation canals during the Soviet period, to irrigate cotton fields, caused ecological damage to the area, with the river drying up long before reaching the Aral Sea which, as a result, has shrunk to a small remnant of its former size.