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Posts tagged Lake Urmia

Borders Feature Revealing Lakes Near Turkey

40.3N 45.3E

February 10th, 2013 Category: Clouds, Lakes

Iran, Turkey, Armenia – January 27th, 2013

This cloud-covered image highlights the use of the Chelys Satellite Rapid Response System (SRRS) “borders” feature, which overlays countries’ boundaries on satellite images. Here, Iran, Turkey, Georgia, Russia and Azerbaijan can be observed counterclockwise from the bottom right, with Armenia in the center. While Lake Van, in Turkey, is partially visible through the clouds, the borders feature shows the location of other lakes that would be hidden: Lake Urmia (bottom), in Iran, Lake Sevan (center), in Armenia, and the Mingachevir Reservoir (upper right), in Azerbaijan.

Iran Proposes Diverting Water from Araz River to Combat Shrinking of Lake Urmia

37.6N 45.4E

December 4th, 2012 Category: Lakes

Iran – December 2nd, 2012

Lake Urmia, at the northwestern tip of Iran, is one of the largest permanent hypersaline lakes in the world and the largest lake in the Middle East. It extends as much as 140 km from north to south and is as wide as 85 km east to west during high water level periods.

Lake Urmia has been shrinking, as can be seen from the salt flats ringing it. According to official figures, some 70 per cent of Lake Urmia spanning 6,000 square kilometers is shallow. Currently, a liter of lake water contains up to 400 grams of salt. Previously, the amount of salt per liter of water was 160-170 grams. The drying of the lake has an impact on the flora and fauna of the region, which alarms international organizations and regional countries.

Due to this issue, Iran has sent a proposal to Azerbaijan to transfer water from the Araz River in order to help save the drying lake. The project would consist of directing 600 million cubic meters of water from the Araz River into Lake Urmia. Although the two nations have recently discussed the issue, they have not yet reached an agreement.

Azerbaijan itself suffers from a lack of water, and the chairman of the State Committee of Land and Cartography has said the use of the waters of the Araz River to fill the shrinking Lake Urmia in Iran will have a negative impact on the environment of Azerbaijan.

Iran’s Environment Protection Organization Announces Plans to Counter Shrinking of Lake Urmia

37.6N 45.4E

August 13th, 2012 Category: Lakes, Wetlands

Iran – August 13th, 2012

Lake Urmia shows a range of dark and light red hues of water, framed by white salt flats, in this image of Iran. Also visible in the full image is Lake Van, in Turkey, and the Caspian Sea. Lake Urmia has been shrinking in recent years, in part due to the ecological changes from the construction of a causeway across the lake, and in part due to a recent drought that has significantly decreased the annual amount of water the lake receives.

Although measures are now being taken to reverse the trend, the lake has shrunk by 60 percent and could disappear entirely. On August 2nd 2012, Mohammad Javad Mohammadzadeh, the head of Iran’s Environment Protection Organization, announced that Armenia have agreed on transferring water from Armenia to counter the critical fall in Lake Urmia’s water levels, remarking the body of water had reached its lowest water levels ever recorded.

Scientists Warn of Dangers of Shrinking Lake Urmia, Iran

37.6N 45.4E

July 25th, 2012 Category: Lakes

Iran – July 7th, 2012

Lake Urmia is a salt lake in northwestern Iran, near Iran’s border with Turkey. The lake is between the Iranian provinces of East Azerbaijan and West Azerbaijan, west of the southern portion of the similarly shaped Caspian Sea. It is the largest lake in the Middle East, and the third largest salt water lake on earth.

The lake is a major barrier between two of the most important cities in West Azerbaijan and East Azerbaijan provinces, Urmia and Tabriz. A bridge across the lake was completed in 2008 (visible as a white line across the middle of the lake). However, experts have warned that the construction of the causeway and bridge, together with a series of ecological factors, will eventually lead to the drying up of the lake, turning it into a salt marsh which will directly affect the climate of the region.

Lake Urmia has been shrinking for a long time, with an annual evaporation rate of 0.6m to 1m (24 to 39 inches). Although measures are now being taken to reverse the trend the lake has shrunk by 60 percent and could disappear entirely.

Causeway Separating Lake Urmia into Two Halves, Iran

37.6N 45.4E

June 11th, 2012 Category: Lakes, Salt Flats

Iran - June 9th, 2012

The northern half of Lake Urmia, in Iran, appears greenish, while the southern half is rusty red in color. The lake is divided into northern and southern parts separated by a causeway, in which a 1500m gap provides little exchange of water between the two parts. The causeway is visible in this image, near the center of the lake. Due to drought and increased demands for agricultural water in the lake’s basin, the salinity of the lake has risen to more than 300 g/L during recent years, and large areas of the lake bed have been desiccated. These dessicated areas appear as white salt flats.