Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features an astronaut’s view of Khar Nuur, one of the world’s oldest lakes.
Khar Nuur Lake is located in Mongolia’s Great Lakes Depression, but is still more than 6,400 feet above sea level.
The photograph, which was captured from the International Space Station at sunrise, highlights the landscape that surrounds the lake including the Big and Small Avgash Islands. Khar Nuur Lake in Mongolia The lake is located in Har Us Nuur National Park . Its area value (1,852 km²) includes the island Agbash (or Ak-Bashi, white head) area (274 km²), so the water surface area is 1,578 km² only. Some sources are using different Khar-Us Lake Lake statistics values.
Cracks are visible in the ice-covered surface of the lake, and rolling waves of sand dunes can be seen along the shore.
NASA explains that while sand dunes are typically associated with hot climates, they can form in all deserts, including the cold steppe of western Mongolia.
Khar Nuur Lake is in the Ulaagchinii Khar National Park, which is part of the Eurasian Steppe. The region is home to many endangered animals, including threatened bird species that are protected within the national park.
Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory