TUZ GÖLÜ : SALT LAKE : TURKEY
Lake Tuz is the second largest lake in Turkey and one of the largest hypersaline lakes in the world. It is located in the Central Anatolia Region, 93 miles (150 km) SSE of Ankara.
The lake, occupying a tectonic depression in the central plateau of Turkey, is fed by two major streams, groundwater, and surface water, but has no outlet.
Arable fields surround the lake, which has an average depth below 0.5 m and a 33% salinity during most of the year. During the dry summer months, a 30 cm thick salt layer forms and 300,000 tons is mined to produce 70% of the salt consumed in Turkey.
Lake Tuz was declared a Special Environmental Protected Area (SEPA) by UNESCO, including all of the lake surface and surrounding waterbeds and some of the important neighboring steppe areas. The surface of the edges of the lake looks like an empty planet in which many visitors can perceive some oasis on the horizon.
The lake provides life to the largest flamingo colony in the Middle East and North Africa combined. Born grey, a flamingo’s pink coloration is the eventual result of its diet of fish and other organisms that feed on plankton and red algae present in the lake.
The main Turkish breeding colony of greater flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus) is present on a group of islands in the southern part of the lake. Greater white-fronted goose (Anser albifrons) is the second largest breeder here. Lesser kestrel (Falco naumanni) is a common breeder in surrounding villages.
The inset photograph was taken using an 800mm lens from the International Space Station by either* NASA Astronaut Timothy "TJ" Creamer or Tracy Caldwell Dyson. (*Being the only two NASA astronauts during Expedition 23 when the photograph was taken.)