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Waters Levels in South Aral Sea Basins

45.0N 60.0E

April 19th, 2013 Category: Climate Change, Lakes

Aral Sea – April 18th, 2013

The South Aral Sea is a lake in the basin of the former Aral Sea which formed in 1986 when that body divided in two, due to diversion of river inflow for agriculture.

In 2003 the South Aral Sea itself split into western and eastern basins, the Eastern Sea and the Western Sea, connected by a narrow channel that balanced surface levels but did not allow mixing, and in 2005 the North Aral Sea was dammed to prevent the collapse of its fisheries, cutting off the only remaining inflow to the southern lakes.

In 2008 the Eastern Sea split again, and in May 2009 had completely dried out. In 2010, it was partially filled again by meltwater. The Western Sea has some replenishment from groundwater in the northwest, and so is likely to avoid desiccation. The water levels in the Eastern Sea, however, as can be observed here, are significantly lower.

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