Thursday, January 21, 2010
Lake Urmia is a salt lake in northwestern South Azerbaijan (Iran) - the largest in the Middle East - known for its glittering turquoise waters and dozens of small, rocky islands.
The lake is cherished by man and beast alike: People ascribe healing properties to the lake’s many minerals and birds like flamingos, pelicans, storks, ibises and many others appreciate it as a food stop on their migration routes.
The lake serves as a natural divider between the provinces of East and West Azerbaijan and their main cities, Tabriz and Urmia, respectively.
The latter was named “city of water”, referring to the lake that was named after it. Lake Urmia is 1,275 m (4,183 ft) above sea level, at the bottom of Azerbaijan’s large central depression.
Lake Urmia is the world’s second largest salt lake. Fed by mountain streams, it has no other outlet than evaporation.
Salts and minerals can therefore build in the lake whose high salinity allows only one fish species to survive.