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Posts tagged Lake Balqash

Climate Change’s Effect on Glaciers Around Lake Issyk Kul, Kazakhstan

40.6N 79.6E

June 22nd, 2013 Category: Climate Change, Deserts, Lakes VIIRSSuomi-NPP

Kazakhstan and China – June 21st, 2013

In the last 15 years, all of the 22 glaciers around Lake Issyk Kul (center, between Lake Balqash and the Taklamakan Desert), in Kazakhstan, have retreated. There are a number of reasons for the degradation of glaciation in Issyk Kul, but the increase in surface pollution and climate change are the main ones.

Both contribute to more intense melting and therefore degrade the mass balance of the glacier. The average yearly temperature in the glaciation zone has risen by 0.2ºC; summers are warmer by 0.6ºC, evidenced not only by melting rates but by a longer ablation period. This continued warming trend will accelerate glacial collapse and, most important, lead to a change in the water volume in the rivers the glaciers help to feed (click here for more information).

Rivers Draining Into Lake Balkhash, Kazakhstan

46.6N 75.7E

June 21st, 2011 Category: Lakes, Rivers

Kazakhstan - May 23rd, 2011

Rivers draining into Lake Balkhash (or Lake Balqash) create green lines across the otherwise arid terrain. Sediments from these rivers give the waters of the lake a greenish tinge near their mouths.

Lake Balkhash, one of the largest lakes in Asia, is located in southeastern Kazakhstan. It belongs to an endorheic (closed) basin shared by Kazakhstan and China, with a small part in Kyrgyzstan.

The basin drains into the lake via seven rivers. The major one is the Ili River, which brings the majority of the riparian inflow; others, such as the Karatal, provide both surface and subsurface flow. The Ili is fed from precipitation (largely vernal snowmelt) from the mountains of China’s Xinjiang region.


Taklamakan Desert and Lakes Balqash and Issyk Kul in Asia – November 24th, 2010

42.6N 77.8E

November 24th, 2010 Category: Deserts, Image of the day, Lakes, Rivers

China, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan - November 9th, 2010

The Taklamakan Desert in China occupies most of the lower half of this image. In the full version, many rows of towering sand dunes can be observed. Cutting vertically across the otherwise arid desert is the Khotan River.

The Khotan River is formed by the confluence of the White Jade (Yurungkash) and Black Jade (Karakash) Rivers. Their convergence can be observed by the southwestern part of the desert.

Several lakes can also be seen to the north. The largest two are Lake Issyk Kul, in Kyrgyzstan, and Lake Balqash, in southeastern Kazakhstan. The former is dark blue and surrounded by the Tian Shan Mountains. The latter is larger and lighter blue in color, particularly to the west where tan sediments mix with the waters.

Ili River Entering Lake Balqash, Kazakhstan – October 10th, 2010

46.2N 74.3E

October 10th, 2010 Category: Image of the day, Lakes, Rivers

Kazakhstan - August 29th, 2010

The waters of Lake Balqash, in southeastern Kazakhstan, appear bright blue in this late summer image. Green sediments are present in the southearn reaches of the lake, while the northeastern part appears slightly darker in color.

The green sediments or algae are entering the lake from the Ili River, on its southeastern shores. The land around the riverbanks shows green vegetation, in constrast to the surrounding tan, arid landscape. Due to the influx of fresh water from the river, the western end of the lake is fresh while the eastern end is salty.

Lakes Balqash, Sasykkol and Alakol in Southeastern Kazakhstan

46.2N 74.3E

August 19th, 2010 Category: Lakes, Rivers

Kazakhstan - July 30th, 2010

The large, curved lake in the lower half of this image is Lake Balqash, in southeastern Kazakhstan. Two other bodies of water, Lakes Sasykkol (bright green) and Alakol (blue), can be seen to the east of the eastern tip of the former.

The waters of Lake Balqash gradually change in color from whitish tan, to the west, to bright blue, to the east. This is due to the influx of sediments from the Ili River. The land around the river, by the western end of the lake, is covered in vegetation and dark green.