LAKE URMIA : AZERBAIJAN : IRAN
Located in Azerbaijan, the Northwest region of Iran, Lake Urmia is an endorheic salt lake.
It was the largest lake in the Middle East and the sixth-largest saltwater lake on Earth. However, the lake has shrunk 90% from its former size due to the damming of its source rivers and pumping of groundwater.
The Urmia Lake Bridge and causeway (dividing the scene) connects the provinces of East and West Azerbaijan.
Originally planned in the 1970s, a 15km (9.3 mile) causeway with an unbridged gap was completed before the Islamic Revolution of 1979 halted the project. A steel bridge spanning this 1.5km gap was not completed until 2008.
Due to the high saline content caused by the shrinking water levels, the bridge will continue to rust at a rate that will make it unrepairable.
Shahi Island (Bottom) which was once the largest of over 100 islands on the lake, is now a peninsula due to the water level recession.
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 grams/liter during recent years, and large areas of the lake bed have been desiccated.
Furthermore, the causeway restricted the distribution of water by 90%, which will contribute to the drying up on the lake, eventually turning it in to an inland salt marsh.
The inset photograph was taken one year ago today (July 15th, 2015) from the International Space Station during Expedition 44.
The photograph was taken by either* NASA Astronauts Scott Kelly or Kjell Lindgren using a 1150mm Lens. The dramatic difference in water levels is clearly visible in contrast with the satellite basemap image.
- Geo-Historical Text : Wikipedia
- Calculations : WolframAlpha Pro
- Satellite Imagery: ESRI ArcGIS
- Overlay Source Image: NASA Johnson