Lake Balkhash, Kazakhstan - Lake Balkhash, Kazakhstan

Lake Balkhash, Kazakhstan.This series of images from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS). Also on the Terra and Aqua satellites shows the break up and melting of seasonal ice in Lake Balkhash in southeastern Kazakhstan. The crescent-shaped lake is fresh water in the western half and saline in the east. The Ili River feeds the freshwater end, the Karatol flows in east of center, and the Aksu and Lepsy Rivers flow in at the eastern end. At the lower right of the images are the snow-covered peaks of the foothills of the Tien Shan Mountains. In several images, fires have been detected and are marked with red dots. The series of images runs from early April through May 2003.

Lake Balkhash ; Russian is one of the largest lakes in Asia and 15th largest in the world. It is located in Central Asia in southeastern Kazakhstan and belongs to an endorheic basin. Also shared by Kazakhstan and China, with a small portion in Kyrgyzstan. The basin drains into the lake via seven rivers, the primary of which is the Ili River, bringing the majority of the riparian inflow. Therefore others, such as the Karatal, provide both surface and subsurface flow. The Ili is fed by precipitation, largely vernal snowmelt, from the mountains of China’s Xinjiang region.

Credit: Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

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