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Posts tagged Ramsar Wetland

Salt Lakes of Chott el Djerid, Tunisia and Chott Melrhir, Algeria

33.6N 8.3E

March 8th, 2010 Category: Lakes, Salt Flats

Tunisia - March 5th, 2010

Tunisia - March 5th, 2010

Two salt lakes are visible in the middle section of this image of northern Africa: the Chott el Djerid in Tunisia, right, and the Chott Melrhir in Algeria, left. The Grand Erg Oriental of the Sahara Desert begins south of the lakes.

Chott el Djerid is a large endorheic salt lake in southern Tunisia, at. It is the largest salt pan of the Sahara with a surface area of over 7,000 km² (some sources state 5,000 km²). Due to the extreme climate with annual rainfall of only 100 mm and temperatures reaching 50° C, water evaporates from the lake. In summer Chott el Djerid is almost entirely dried up.

Chott Melrhir is a large endorheic salt lake in northeastern Algeria. It has an area of about 6700 km² and is the largest lake in Algeria. It also lies almost entirely below the sea level; the lowest point of Algeria is located here. It regularly dries up and thus becomes a salt pan. Chott Melrhir is designated a Ramsar wetland of international importance.

Lakes of the Göller Bölgesi, the Turkish Lakes Region

38.0N 30.8E

September 8th, 2009 Category: Lakes

Turkey - July 28th, 2009

Turkey - July 28th, 2009

Lakes of varying sizes can be seen across this part of southern Turkey, near the Mediterranean Sea, known as the Göller Bölgesi or Lakes Region.

The large, greenish lake near the center is Lake Beyşehir, with a surface area of 650 km². This freshwater lake is used for irrigation, which has been causing reductions in its water level and thus threatening the fish and plankton inhabiting it.

The other large freshwater lake west of Beyşehir is Lake Eğirdir, with an area of 482 km². Southwest of Eğirdir is the dark blue Lake Burdur, whose surface area is 250 km² .

Unlike its two larger neighbors, its waters are saline. Water level in the lake fluctuates; its maximum depth has been variously reported at between 50 and 110 m. Lake Burdur is also an important wetland site for many bird species and is designated a Ramsar site.

Coastline and Lakes of Albania – August 8th, 2009

40.9N 20.6E

August 8th, 2009 Category: Image of the day, Lakes

Albania - July 27th, 2009

Albania - July 27th, 2009

Sediments line the coast of Albania, which is 362 kilometers long and extends along the Adriatic and Ionian Seas. Several sizeable lakes can also be observed: these are the three largest and deepest tectonic lakes of the Balkan Peninsula, all of which are partly located in Albania.

Lake Scutari, also called Shkodër and Skadar, in the country’s northwest (upper left corner), has a surface which can vary between 370 km2 (140 sq mi) and 530 km2, out of which one third belongs to Albania and rest to Montenegro. The Albanian shoreline of the lake is 57 km (35 mi). It is included in the Ramsar list of wetlands of international importance.

Lake Ohrid is situated in the country’s southeast (right of center) and is shared between Albania and Republic of Macedonia. It has a maximal depth of 289 meters and a variety of unique flora and fauna can be found there, including “living fossils” and many endemic species.

Because of its natural and historical value, Ohrid Lake is under the protection of UNESCO, as human activity on the lake shores and in its catchment area has resulted in the ecosystem coming under stress.

Prespa (to the right of Lake Ohrid) is the name of two freshwater lakes shared by Greece, Albania, and the Republic of Macedonia. Of the total surface area, 190 km² belongs to the Republic of Macedonia, 84.8 km² to Greece and 38.8 km² to Albania. They are the highest tectonic lakes in the Balkans, standing at an altitude of 853 m (2,798 ft).

The Great Prespa Lake is divided between Albania, Greece and the Republic of Macedonia, while the Small Prespa Lake is shared only between Greece and Albania. With an abundance of rare fauna and flora, the area was declared a Transnational Park in 2000.

Environmental Concerns for the Volga Delta, Russia

46.7N 47.8E

July 8th, 2009 Category: Lakes, Rivers

Russia - June 21st, 2009

Russia - June 21st, 2009

The Volga River and Delta stand out as dark green areas in this image of Russia along the shores of the Caspian Sea. Dark brown sediments pour into the sea from the river.

Despite the seemingly dense sediments visible, regulation of the Volga through construction of a series of dams has reduced sediment supply to the delta and prevented the spawning migrations of sturgeon and other fish.

These dams have adversely affected the natural hydrology of the river, in other ways, such as causing reduced river flows for much of the year and irregular, aseasonal flooding.

The Volga is also subject to serious pollution from industrial and agricultural sources. There are huge unregulated industrial complexes along the Volga dams, while the floodplain of the lower Volga is intensively cultivated, with extremely high levels of pesticide and herbicide use.

Here, such chemicals have incited algal growth, visible as green- and blue-colored areas in the Caspian Sea.

A further problem, of currently undetermined cause, is the recent and ongoing rise in level of the Caspian Sea. This has led to a northward retreat of the foredelta, so that the Ramsar site is becoming inundated and increasingly dominated by deeper, open water.

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.