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Encyclopedia > Lake Balkhash
Lake Balkhash from space, April 1991
Lake Balkhash from space, April 1991
Lake Balkhash: NASA image, taken 18 April 2000 by SeaWiFS
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Lake Balkhash: NASA image, taken 18 April 2000 by SeaWiFS

Lake Balkhash, or Lake Balqash, is a large lake in southeastern Kazakhstan, the second largest in Central Asia after the Aral Sea. It is part of the huge west/Central Asian endorheic basin that includes the Caspian and Aral seas. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (633x640, 72 KB)Lake Balkhash, Kazakhstan - April 1991 image description here File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (633x640, 72 KB)Lake Balkhash, Kazakhstan - April 1991 image description here File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... April 18 is the 108th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (109th in leap years). ... This article is about the year 2000. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... Map of area around the Aral Sea. ... The shores of Lake Hart, an endorheic desert lake in South Australia In geography, an endorheic basin is a watershed from which there is no outflow of water (either on the surface as rivers, or underground by flow or diffusion through rock or permeable material). ... Caspian Sea viewed from orbit The Caspian Sea or Mazandaran Sea is a landlocked endorheic sea between Asia and Europe (European Russia). ...

Contents


History

From as early as 103 BC up until the 8th century, the Balkhash polity was known to the Chinese as Pu-Ku/Bu-Ku. During China's Qing Dynasty, the lake formed the northwestern-most boundary of the Empire. However, in 1871, the lake and its neighbouring area was ceded to Imperial Russia through an unequal treaty. With the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the lake became part of Kazakhstan. The Qing Dynasty (Manchu: daicing gurun; Chinese: 清朝; pinyin: qīng cháo; Wade-Giles: ching chao), sometimes known as the Manchu Dynasty, was founded by the Manchu clan Aisin Gioro, in what is today northeast China, expanded into China proper and the surrounding territories of Inner Asia, establishing... 1871 was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... The Russian Empire in 1913 Imperial Russia is the term used to cover the period of history from the expansion of Russia under Peter the Great, through the expansion of the Russian Empire from the Baltic to the Pacific Ocean, to the deposal of Nicholas II of Russia, the last... 1991 (MCMXCI) is a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Characteristics

The lake currently covers 16,996 km² (6,562 sq mi), but, like the Aral Sea, it is shrinking because of the diversion of water from the rivers that feed it. The lake has a mean depth of 5.8 m, and a maximum of 25.6 m. The western half of the lake is fresh water, while the eastern half is salt water. The mean depth of the eastern part is 1.7 times that of the western. For the village on the Isle of Wight, see Freshwater, Isle of Wight. ... Salt water may refer to: Saltwater, the name of a single released by UK electronic musician Chicane For information on water from a sea or ocean, see sea water For information on the concept of saltiness of a body of water, see salinity For information on salt water aquariums, see...


The Balkhash inland basin drains into Lake Balkhash via seven rivers; chief among these is the Ili River, which brings the majority of the riparian inflow. The Ili is fed from precipitation (largely vernal snowmelt) from the mountains of China's Xinjiang region. The Balkhash basin is itself endorheic – there is no outflow – and Balkhash suffers from the same problems as other endorheic lakes. The Ili River is a river in Kazakhstan and in the western part of the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, in northwestern China. ... Xinjiang (Chinese: æ–°ç–†; pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Hsin1-chiang1; Postal Pinyin: Sinkiang; literal meaning: New Frontier; Uyghur: (Shinjang)), full name Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, is an autonomous region of the Peoples Republic of China (PRC). ...


Economic development

The waters of the Ili and of Lake Balkhash are of vital economic importance to Kazakhstan. The Ili is dammed for hydroelectric power at Kaptchagayskoye, and the river waters are heavily diverted for agricultural irrigation and for industrial purposes. Balkhash itself serves as a vital fishery. Hydroelectric dam diagram The waters of Llyn Stwlan, the upper reservoir of the Ffestiniog Pumped-Storage Scheme in north Wales, can just be glimpsed on the right. ... High-altitude aerial view of irrigation in the Heart of the Sahara Irrigation (in agriculture) is the replacement or supplementation of rainfall with water from another source in order to grow crops. ...


Environmental and political problems

As the population and degree of industrialisation in western China increase, and with traditionally poor political relations between Kazakhstan and the People's Republic, it is likely that conflict over the fate of the limited waters of the Ili will intensify. Similar international disputes over water use in the arid region led to the desiccation of the Aral Sea, and Balkhash appears to be following a similar path.


The water pollution of Balkhash is intensified as urbanisation and industrialisation in the area grow rapidly. Extinctions of species in the lake due its decreasing area, as well as overfishing activities, are cause for alarm among conservationist organisations worldwide. Environmental Pollution is the release of harmful environmental contaminants, or the substances so released. ... In biology and ecology, extinction is the ceasing of existence of a species or group of taxa. ... Overfishing is a situation where one or more fish stocks are reduced below predefined levels of acceptance by fishing activities. ...


External link

  • Information on Balkhash's geography and biology
  • Kazakh 'national treasure' under threat

  Results from FactBites:
 
Lake Balkhash - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (581 words)
Lake Balkhash (Kazakh: Balqash Köli) is a large lake in southeastern Kazakhstan, the second largest in Central Asia after the Aral Sea.
From the 8th century the land to the south of the lake, between it and the Tian Shan mountains, was known as "Seven Rivers" (Jetisu in Turkic, Semireche in Russian).
The waters of the Ili River and of Lake Balkhash are of vital economic importance to Kazakhstan.
Salt lake - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (257 words)
A salt lake or saline lake is a landlocked body of water which has a concentration of salts (mostly sodium chloride) and other minerals significantly higher than most lakes (often defined as at least 3,000 milligrams of salt per liter).
Salt lakes form when the water flowing into the lake, containing salt or minerals, cannot leave because the lake is endorheic or terminal.
The salt lake with the highest elevation is Namtso, and the one with the lowest elevation is the Dead Sea, which is also the lowest exposed point on the Earth's surface.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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