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Posts tagged Desaguadero River

Climate Change and Lake Poopó Water Levels, Bolivia

18.7S 67W

March 21st, 2013 Category: Climate Change, Lakes, Rivers

Bolivia – March 20th, 2013

Lake Poopó is a large saline lake located in a shallow depression in the Altiplano Mountains in Bolivia at an altitude of approximately 3,700 metres. The lake receives most of its water from the Desaguadero River which flows from Lake Titicaca at the north end of the Altiplano. Here, the water flowing in from the river appears darker than the bright green waters of the rest of the lake.

Since the Lake Poopó lacks any major outlet and has a mean depth of no more than 3 m, its surface area varies greatly. Scientists have recently done studies to determine whether the variability in water level is strongly connected to the influx of water from Lake Titicaca (visible in the full image). By analyzing satellite data and climate fields over a ten year period, it was discovered that over the time span of 2000-2009 a great part of the variability of the Poopó system originated from geographic sources other than Lake Titicaca.

Possible alternative causes include climate change inducing increased temperatures and greater evaporation rates along the Altiplano; increased glacier and snow melting over the Andes Cordillera; and a potential increased anthropogenic water use (such as irrigation, minery, etc.) throughout the path of the Desaguadero River (which connects lakes Titicaca and Poopó). This change in the hydrology of this region could lead to a collapse of water supplies and endanger the already fragile Poopó system as well as the regional socioeconomic system, which closely depends upon it (click here for more information).

Changing Water Levels in Lake Poopó, Bolivia

18.7S 67W

February 13th, 2013 Category: Lakes

Bolivia – January 25th, 2013

Lake Poopó sits high in the Bolivian Andes, catching runoff from its larger neighbor to the north, Lake Titicaca. The runoff arrives by way of the Desaguadero River, visible as the muddy area at the north end of the lake.

Due to the very high elevation at which Lake Poopó is located (roughly 3,400 meters, or 11,000 feet above sea level), its very shallow depth (generally less than 3 meters, or 9 feet), and the dryness of the regional climate, small changes in precipitation in the surrounding basin have large impacts on the lake’s water levels and area. Changing water levels in Lake Poopó affect its idealness as a stop for migratory birds, including flamingoes.

Vivid Colors of Lake Poopó and the Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia – May 29th, 2012

18.7S 67W

May 29th, 2012 Category: Image of the day, Lakes, Salt Flats

Bolivia - May 28th, 2012

Visible north of the immaculate white salt flats of the Salar de Uyuni is a brightly colored green and brown body of water: Lake Poopó. It a large saline lake located in a shallow depression in the Altiplano Mountains in Bolivia, at an altitude of approximately 3,700 metres. The lake is long and wide (90 km by 32 km), and the permanent part of the lake body covers approximately 1,000 km².

The lake receives most of its water from the Desaguadero River which flows from Lake Titicaca at the north end of the Altiplano. The vivid coloring in this image is due to the influx of sediments from the river and the growth of algae. Since the lake lacks any major outlet and has a mean depth of no more than 3 m, the surface area varies greatly. The lake has been designated as a site for conservation under the Ramsar Convention.

 

Lakes and Salt Flats in Peru and Bolivia

15.8S 69.4W

August 28th, 2009 Category: Lakes, Rivers

Chile, Bolivia and Peru - August 24th, 2009

Chile, Bolivia and Peru - August 24th, 2009

The dark blue waters of Lake Titicaca, shared by Peru and Bolivia contrast with the bright white salt flats of Salar de Uyuni, in Bolivia near the border with Chile.

Between the two is the greenish Lake Poopó, a large yet shallow lake in Bolivia’s Altiplano Mountains. Poopó is linked to Lake Titicaca by the Desaguadero River, from which it receives most of its water.

The water of Lake Poopó is highly saline, although the salt gradient has higher values in the southern reaches due to dilution with freshwater from the Desaguadero River in the north.

A minor outlet also leads to Salar de Uyuni in the far south of the Altiplano, but as the lake lacks any major outlet it is classified as an endorheic basin.

Lake Poopó and Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia – June 13th, 2009

18.7S 67W

June 13th, 2009 Category: Image of the day, Lakes

Bolivia - June 9th, 2009

Bolivia - June 9th, 2009

Clouds hug the coast of Chile (bottom) and Peru (left), as well as the snow-capped peaks of the Andes Mountains.

The rest of the image is cloud free, permitting a clear view of the arid terrain in Peru (left), Bolivia (center) and Chile (bottom), and the lush rainforest of Brazil (top).

The extensive white patch is the Salar de Uyuni, in Bolivia, the world’s largest salt flat.

Above it, in a shallow depression in the Altiplano Mountains, is Lake Poopó. This large saline lake, which has been designated as a site for conservation under the Ramsar Convention, is located at an altitude of approximately 3,700 meters.

The lake is about 90 km by 32 km wide, and the permanent part of the lake body covers approximately 1,000 km².

Lake Poopó  receives most of its water from the Desaguadero River, which links it with  Lake Titicaca (upper left quadrant) at the north end of the Altiplano.

Since the lake lacks any major outlet and has a mean depth of no more than 3 m, the surface area varies greatly. Here, some of its waters are greenish in color, while parts of its shores are flanked by white salt flats.

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