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Posts tagged Lake Balkhash

Lake Balkhash and Climate Change’s Effects on Lakes in Central Asia – June 11th, 2013

42.8N 81.3E

June 11th, 2013 Category: Climate Change, Deserts, Image of the day, Lakes VIIRSSuomi-NPP

Kazakhstan and China – June 10th, 2013

Lakes in arid regions of Central Asia, such as Lake Balkhash, in Kazakhstan (upper left), northwest of China’s Taklamakan Desert (below), act as essential components of regional water cycles, providing sparse but valuable water resource for the fragile ecological environments and human lives.

Lakes in Central Asia are sensitive to climate change and human activities, and great changes have been found since 1960s. Mapping and monitoring these inland lakes can improve our understanding of mechanism of lake dynamics and climatic impacts. Satellite altimetry provides an efficient tool of continuously measuring lake levels in these poorly surveyed remote areas.

Scientists have shown that alpine lakes are increasing greatly in lake levels during 2003-2009 due to climate change, while open lakes with dams and plain endorheic lakes decrease dramatically in water levels due to human activities, which reveals the overexploitation of water resource in Central Asia (click here for more information).

Lakes and Mountains of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan – October 13th, 2012

42.3N 77.2E

October 13th, 2012 Category: Lakes, Mountains

Kazakhstan – October 10th, 2012

Several lakes can be observed in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, northwest of the Taklamakan Desert (lower right) in China. Nearest the desert is Lake Issyk Kul, an endorheic lake in the northern Tian Shan mountains in eastern Kyrgyzstan. Although it is surrounded by snow-capped peaks, it never freezes.

North of Lake Issyk Kul is Lake Balkhash, in southeastern Kazakhstan, belonging to an endorheic basin shared by Kazakhstan and China, with a small part in Kyrgyzstan. The basin drains into the lake via seven rivers, most notably the Ili River, which is fed from precipitation (largely vernal snowmelt) from the mountains of China’s Xinjiang region.

Visible to the east of Lake Balkhash, near the right edge of the image, is Lake Alakol, located in east central Kazakhstan. The lake is the northwest extension of the region known as the Dzhungarian Gate (Alataw Pass), a narrow, fault-bounded valley that connects the southern uplands of Kazakhstan with arid northwest China.

Differences Between Eastern and Western Ends of Lake Balkhash, Kazakhstan – September 27th, 2012

46.6N 75.7E

September 27th, 2012 Category: Lakes

Kazakhstan – September 26th, 2012

Lake Balkhash has an area of about 16,400 km2 (2000), making it the largest lake which lies entirely within the territory of Kazakhstan. It is elevated about 340 m above sea level and has a crescent shape. Its length is about 600 km and the width varies from 9–19 km in the eastern part to 74 km in the western part.

Saryesik Peninsula, located near the middle of the lake, hydrographically divides it into two very different parts. The western part, which comprises 58% of the total lake area and 46% of its volume, is relatively shallow, quiet and is filled with freshwater, whereas the eastern part is much deeper and saltier. Here, the western part appears milky blue, probably due to sediments and suspended minerals in the waters. This opaque look gradually disappears as one moves eastward. The two parts are connected by the Uzynaral Strait which is 3.5 km wide and about 6 m deep.

Rivers of Lake Balkhash, Kazakhstan – August 26th, 2012

46.6N 75.7E

August 26th, 2012 Category: Deserts, Image of the day, Lakes, Rivers

Kazakhstan – August 23rd, 2012

The waters of Lake Balkhash, in Kazakhstan, range in color from bright blue to the east and milky teal to the west. Several rivers can be seen empyting into the lake (from east to west): Ayaguz River, Aksy River, Karatal River and Ili River. Much vegetation can be seen by the banks of the Ili River. Between the Ili and the Karatal lies the Saryesik-Atyrau Desert.

Bays and Islands of Western End of Lake Balkhash, Kazakhstan

45.5N 73.7E

August 15th, 2012 Category: Lakes, Rivers

Kazakhstan – August 14th, 2012

While the southwestern shores of Lake Balkhash show large, green areas of vegetation, the northwestern shores show significantly less. Interesting features of the northern shoreline include Saryshagan Bay (diagonally northwest across from the Ili River on the southern side) and nearby Tasaral Island. Visible at the southernmost tip of the western end is Shempek Bay, near the islands of Basaran and Ortaaral. Although this image focuses on the western half of Lake Balkhash, the entire body of water can be observed upon opening the full image.

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