Last update: December 6th, 2019 at 8:00 am
Winter snows began to paint the landscape of Asia Minor in early November, 2014. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this true-color image on November 6 as it passed over the region.
In the north, between the Black Sea (west) and Caspian Sea (east) snow blankets the peaks of the Caucasus Mountains, as well as the higher elevations in Turkey, Iran and Iraq. Near the center of the image three lakes can be seen. The “top of the triangle” of lakes is Sevan Lake, in Armenia, a large freshwater lake which sits at about 1,900 m (6,200 ft) above sea level and is ringed with fresh snow. To the southwest is Lake Van, Turkey. It is also a high mountain lake, lying at about 1600 m (5380 ft) but it does not freeze in the cold winters, because it is a saline lake. Greenish waters mark Lake Urmia in Iran. Just two decades ago Lake Urmia was the largest saltwater lake in the Middle East and was home to a wide variety of species, such as pelicans and flamingos. Today the lake has shrunk markedly, and is little more than large salt flat.