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Posts tagged Oil Field

Wetlands and Tengiz Oil Field on Northeastern Shores of Caspian Sea

46.2N 52.2E

June 19th, 2012 Category: Lakes, Wetlands

Caspian Sea - January 5th, 2012

This wide-swath ASAR image shows the northern part of the Caspian Sea, in Kazakhstan. While the sea apears dark grey, the land actually extends out further into the dark grey area than the edge of the light grey area suggests. The medium grey zone between there and the shores of the sea is an area of low-lying wetlands. Located beneath these wetlands is the Tengiz field, an oil and gas field that covers a 2,500 km2 (970 sq mi) project license area. The reservoir is 19 km (12 mi) wide and 21 km (13 mi) long.

Deltas and Wetlands of the Caspian Sea – June 10th, 2009

43.0N 49.9E

June 10th, 2009 Category: Image of the day, Lakes, Rivers

Caspian Sea - June 3rd, 2009

Caspian Sea - June 3rd, 2009

Volga River Delta

Volga River Delta

Ural River Delta

Ural River Delta

Various types of wetland and delta areas can be found on the shores of the Caspian Sea. The northern section of this immense lake is encompassed by the Caspian Depression, a low-lying flatland region.

The depression, which covers approximately 200,000 kilometers² (77,220 miles²), lies at the southern end of the Ryn Desert, and is in both Kazakhstan and Russia.

The Volga River and the Ural River, which forms part of the traditional boundary between Europe and Asia, flow into the Caspian Sea through this region. The deltas of the Ural and Volga Rivers are extensive wetlands.

Both deltas can be observed in detail in their respective close-ups. The fan-shaped Volga River Delta has, unfortunately, experienced significant wetland loss due to industrial and agricultural modification to the delta plain. Much of the water in and around the delta appears bright green due to algal blooms, intensified by fertilizers carried in by the river.

Tengiz Field

Tengiz Field

Kura River and wetlands

Kura River and wetlands

In fact, studies have shown that water pollution, mostly coming from the Volga River, poses a serious threat to the biodiversity of the Caspian Depression. Water pollution is contributed mainly by industrial, agricultural, and household discharges.

The Ural River Delta in Kazakhstan has a different shape from that of the Volga: rather than a wide triangular or fan-shape, it is longer and thinner. This is called a “bird’s foot” or “digitate” delta. Such deltas are often seen on sediment-rich rivers flowing into lakes.

Much of the Caspian Depression is below the level of the sea; its lowest point is 28m (92 ft) below sea level. Its eastern region comprises large areas of marshlands. One such marshy area in western Kazakhstan is the location of the Tengiz Field (see close-up), a huge source of oil.

The final close-up focuses on the western shore of the Caspian Sea, in Azerbaijan. Here, the Kura River enters the sea, discharging sediments. Onland, the dark green area in the center near the coast is swampy Gyzylaghadj State Reserve. Also called the Gizil-Agach State Reserve, it is a Ramsar Wetland that is an important wintering and nesting area for migrant, swamp and wild birds.

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