Lake Van (Turkey) and Lake Urmia (Iran)

Lake Van (Turkey) and Lake Urmia (Iran)
  • Credit:

    Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

Turkey’s largest lake and Iran’s largest lake are both featured in this true-color image, acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite on September 9, 2003. The deep blue lake on the left is Turkey’ Lake Van. The lake is 120 kilometers long and 80 kilometers wide. It is fed by mountain streams, but has no outlet except evaporation. This has allowed salts and minerals to build in the lake to the point that only one species of fish can survive in its waters.

To the right of Lake Van is Iran’s Lake Urmia. Like Lake Van, Lake Urmia receives water from the surrounding mountains, but has no outlet. Lake Urmia is shallow, and sediment colors its waters turquoise compared to the deep black of Lake Van. North of both lakes is Armenia’s Lake Sevana.

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  • Data Date:

    September 9, 2003
  • Visualization Date:

    October 18, 2003
  • Sensor(s):

    Terra - MODIS


NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration