Lake balkhash


Балхаш занимает тринадцатое место среди всех озер на планете и является самым крупным водоемом республики – его площадь более 17 тысяч квадратных километров. Средняя глубина озера – 6 метров, а самое глубокое место — 26 метров. Путешественники, проезжающие рядом на машине признаются, что озеру нет ни конца, ни края, потому что оно расстилается по степи на 600 километров. Балхаш по форме напоминает полумесяц, но около середины сужается в небольшой пролив шириной около трех километров. Этот пролив соединяет две разные части озера – пресную и соленую, которые никогда не смешиваются друг с другом. Благодаря этой особенности Балхаш признан единственным на планете озером, в котором есть два вида воды. Ученые так и не смогли объяснить этот феномен, как и то, что непонятно откуда посреди степи, где выпадает мало осадков, возникло такое большое озеро.

Lake balkhash
Местные казахи с древности передают из поколения в поколение старинную легенду об озере.


льный и могущественный хан Балхаш, у которого не было своих детей взял на воспитание маленькую девочку и назвал ее Или. Дочка выросла и стала первой красавицей в ауле, только не рада она была красоте: полюбила ханская дочка бедняка Каратала, а отец не позволил голодранцу стать зятем самого хана. Приехали со всех сторон женихи просить руки Или, чтобы выбрать достойного мужа для своей дочки устроил хан байгу – состязание на лошадях, которое длилась несколько дней и ночей. И победил в ней бедняк Каратал, но хан все равно был против их любви и замыслил обратиться к черным чарам. Узнали об этом Или и Каратал и решили сбежать от злого хана. Поскакали они на одной лошади по степи, а Балхаш погнался за ними. Долго продолжалась погоня, пока хитрый хан не понял, что сила влюбленных в их единстве, тогда обернулся он озером и водой разделил Или и Каратала, превратил их в две реки, с разных сторон впадающих в озеро Балхаш. Слезы Или текут в меньшую половину озера, оттого она такая соленая. Река Или на самом деле течет в Балхаш с гор Тянь-Шаня, а Каратал впадает в озеро с противоположной восточной стороны.

Lake balkhash
Погода на озере Балхаш соответствует резко континентальному климату – летом здесь очень жарко, а зимой стоят морозы. Озеро покрывается толстым слоем льда и оттаивает только в середине апреля. Зато летом на Балхаше можно смело купаться, потому что вода у берега прогревается до 28 градусов.


круг озера в основном голый степной пейзаж, зато на самом озере находится около 60 видов редких растений, приспособившихся к жизни в воде и не имеющих корней. В водах Балхаша водится более 20 разных видов рыб, поэтому отправляясь на озеро, не забудьте взять удочку. Большинство рыбы водится в северной пресной части озера, однако и соленая половина приятно удивит рыбаков. Благодаря обилию рыбы, здесь водится множество красивых птиц, которые ей питаются: утки, гуси, розовые и кудрявые пеликаны, орлан-белохвост, лебедь, колпица, чомга и другие. В последнее время особенную популярность приобретает подводная охота в специальном снаряжении с подводным ружьем. А традиционный на морях и озерах отдых здесь вообще обычное дело. В специальных центрах на пляжах Балхаша можно взять на прокат катамараны, лодки, байдарки и другое снаряжение для плавания. Для туристов, приехавших на озеро зимой, организуется катание на лыжах, коньках, снегоходах.

Lake balkhash
На северном берегу озера расположился небольшой город Балхаш, в нем путешественники могут остановиться во время отдыха. В городе и в окрестных поселках есть множество частных домов и небольших гостиниц, можно поселиться в настоящей юрте, хотя самые рискованные туристы останавливаются с палатками прямо на берегу озера. В городе так же можно записаться на экскурсию по озеру и его окрестностям: съездить в живописное урочище Бектау-Ата, посмотреть на древние курганы и стоянки кочевников возле озера, посетить краеведческий музей города Балхаш. А для самых богатых и экстремальных туристов организуются вертолетные экскурсии над озером.

Источник: SnovaDoma.ru

Lake Balkhash Stats



Lake Name Lake Balkhash
Country Kazakhstan
Surface area 16400.000
Maximum depth 26.0
Average depth 6.0
Lake type Endorheic, saline
Length 605.000
Width 74.000
Catchment area 45000.00
Altitude 341.0
Volume 440.000
Inflows Ili, Karatal, Aksu, Lepsy, Byan, Kapal, Koksu
Outflows Evaporation
Shore length 3061.00
Mixing type Polymictic and dimictic
Frozen November to April
Origin Tectonic

Geography and Surroundings

The lake is situated in the South-Eastern part of the country, and it belongs to an endorheic basin which is shared by Kazakhstan, China, with a small part belonging to Kyrgyzstan. It is the second largest lake in Central Asia and the 13th largest continental lake in the World.


Lake Balkash lies in the deepest part of the vast Balkhash-Alakol depression, bordered by semi-arid Kazak Uplands on the North, and the Saryesik-Atryan Desert on the South. It is also surrounded by Kazak hills in the North, the Beptak Dala on the West, the Chu-Ili Mountains, and the Taukum Sands on the South. This basin belongs to the larger, Dzungarian Alatau basin, which also contains Sassykkol, Alakol and Aibi lakes. Because of the rapid erosion of the Tian San Mountains, the depression is filled with various river and sand sediments.

Balkash is a lake with unique features, which have puzzled scientists and researchers for hundreds of years. Its rarity lies in the fact that its Western and Northern parts are nothing like each other. The Western area is a shallow and quiet expanse, filled with fresh water, containing 46% of the lake’s total volume. Its Eastern part is much deeper and considerably saltier. These two different sides are separated in the middle by the Saryesik Peninsula and the Uzynaral Strait.

The coastline also varies in different parts of the lake. The Western bank is higher (20-30 meters), and rocky, composed mainly of tuff, granite and limestone. The Southern shoreline is lower (only 1-2 meters high), and sandy. The whole shoreline is lumpy, with many bays: Guzkol, Kukuna, Karashigan on the East and Saryshagan, Kashkanteniz and Karakamys on the West. The Eastern shores are also rich with peninsulas: the Baygabyl, Balay and Shaukar peninsulas are all situated here. The Southern area is also low-lying, periodically flooded by the waters of Balkhash.

There are a total of 43 islands on Lake Balkhash, occupying 66 km2. These days, with the decrease of water levels, new islands have appeared on the lake. Basaral, Tasaral, Ortaaral, Ozynaral and Algazy lakes are some of the most important and largest islands of Balkhash.


Hydrology

The lake has seven main inflows, of which the larges is the Ili River, fed mainly by snowmelt and precipitation in the Chinese mountains in Xinjiang Province. The river forms a delta covering a surface area of 8,000 km2, giving home to rich plant and animal life. It is the largest natural delta in Central Asia, situated on an inland lake. It supports 10 inland wetland types, including streams, creeks, rivers, freshwater lakes, and the inland delta.

The Karatal, Aksu, and Lepsa rivers, as well as some underwater streams flow into the lake from the Eastern part. The lake’s surface area and volume vary because of the fluctuations of the water level. Balkhash has already shrunk 2,000 km2 since the beginning of the 20th century until the late ‘30s.
Water levels face a strong increase in the months of June and July, when melted snow comes in through the lake’s main inflows.

The semi-saline lake’s Western, fresh part is suitable for drinking and industrial purposes, whilst its Eastern waters have a high salinity of 3.5 g/L. The Western waters have a yellow-ish, gray tint color, while on the East the water is blue-ish towards emerald blue color.

The lake has no outlet, its water mainly evaporates.

Climate


Just like the lake’s shoreline and its waters, the climate of the area is also full of contrasts, with dry, hot summers and cold winters. The average annual precipitation is 430 mm. The average summer temperature is 30OC in July, while temperatures drop to -14OC in January. The relative humidity is around 60% and there are around 110-130 sunny days yearly. The lake is usually frozen between the months of November and April. The annual average temperature on the Western shore is 10OC, and 9OC on the Eastern precinct.

Wildlife

The lake’s coastline is made up mainly of individual willow trees and riparian forests. Among the most frequent plants one can encounter the common reed as well as several species of cane.

In the waters the Pytoplankyon are mainly represented by Algae. Until the 1970s the lake was very rich in biodiversity, being home to an abundance of shellfish and zooplankton, 20 different species of fish, more than 340 species of vertebrates and 120 bird species.

Of the many types of fish, there are 6 native, like the Balkhash Schizothorax and the Balkhash Perch. Carp, perch, asp, bream are also among popular, but non-native fish, whilst Sazan and Pike were frequently caught by fishermen.


Out of the 342 existing vertebrates in the lake area, 22 are considered endangered. There are also more than 120 species of birds living, breeding and nesting around Balkhash, among which we can enumerate the Cormorants, Marbled Teals, Pheasants, Golden Eagles and Great Egrets. The Dalmatian Pelican, the Great White Pelican and the Whooper Swan are three of 12 endangered bird species.

Although Lake Balkhash is a haven for various plant and animal species, the decrease in the water levels, local land development, the use of pesticides, deforestation and overgrazing have resulted in an unfortunate decline in biodiversity.

Humans, Cities, Energy

The largest city in the lake area is Balkhash, with a population of nearly 67,000. Amidst the lake basin, the major industrial activities are mining, ore processing and fishing. In the Northern precinct, a large copper deposit is under development, serving as another potential risk factor for the already troubled lake. The Western shores host military installations that have remained from the Soviet era. The Southern area is scarcely populated, with only a few villages breaking the pristine coastline.

The local economy in the 40’s and 50’s was mainly based on fishing, with 30 thousands of tons of fish being caught yearly in the 60’s, which was the peak. The numbers declined since then, mostly because of poaching, the interruption of reproduction programs, the decrease of water levels and quality.


The industrial developments along the lakeshores have further increased the pollution of Balkhash, by building Kapchagay Hydroelectric Plant on Ili River, which is also extensively used upstream, in China, for irrigation of the cotton cultivations. The increase in Xinjiang region’s population, the growth of its economy increased the demand for water in the area. The Balkhash Power Plant, although it provides electricity to a large number of inhabitants, it also has its downside by polluting the lake waters.

Navigation is also possible on Balkhash Lake, with regular ships navigating from one coastline to another; the main piers are Burlitobe and Burybaytal. The ships are mainly light, used primarily for fishing and transportation purposes. The yearly navigational period is 210 days on a waterway of 978 kms. Ships principally transport passengers, fish, livestock or diverse construction materials.

History

The lake’s current name is of Tatar, Kazakh and Southern Altai origins, meaning “tussocks in a swamp”. In the 8th century Balkhash was known as the place of the “Seven Rivers”, and as the place where nomadic groups such as Mongols and Turks intertwined with locals.

During China’s Qing dynasty, between 1644 and 1911, the lake formed the North-Westernmost border of the Chinese Empire. In 1864 the lake was handed over to the Russian Empire, and after the fall of the Soviet Union, it became part of Kazakhstan.

Environmental Issues


Starting from the 1970’s, there has been a considerable decrease in the lakes water levels. This process was mostly visible in the Western part, with the small lake Alakol vanishing between 1972 and 2001. The Southern part also lost nearly 150 km2 of water surface.

Out of the total 16 lake systems that could be found in the lake basin, only 5 exist today. Desertification in the area, in addition to the development of the industry, is also a serious issue, causing violent dust storms and increasing the salinity in the soil and the water.

The lake’s main inflows also bring in plenty of contaminated waters from China. In 2007 the Kazak government came in aid to this issue, trying to offer china price reduction for Kazak sales, in exchange for less water consumption on their side. Unfortunately, China declined the offer.

Tourism

From a touristic point of view, the lake is pretty underdeveloped. There are, however, some lakeside resorts, since the place is popular among Kazakh and Russian holidaymakers.

Источник: www.lakepedia.com

Balkhash — natural phenomenon

Balkhash lake at sunset, KazakhstanOn Kazakhstan territory there is one of the world’s largest inland drainless water bodies — Lake Balkhash. The lake is 614 km long; its width varies from 3.5 to 44 km, while its maximum depth comes to 26 meters. The geologists and geomorphologists found that its age is over 35,000 years.

The lake is really unique — its western and eastern parts are very different in degree of mineralization, in western basin, the waters are fresh, while in eastern one — salty. The phenomenon of the lake location in the desert, without runoffs, in a dry continental climate and with very little rainfall still amazes the scientists.

The flora and fauna of Lake Balkhash are surprisingly diverse. The lake harbors almost 20 species of fishes! No wonder, that the ancient Kazakhs called the lake – “Balik As” (fish-food). It can also boast 120 species of birds, 12 of which are listed in the Red Book as endangered. The flora consists of up to 60 species of plants that grow on land and in water. The Balkhash territory has a lot of plants and animals, which are of particular interest to botanists and zoologists because of their rare and unique character.

The Bektau -Ata mountain range, bordering the lake territory, is one of the most beautiful places in the North Balkhash. In clear weather, the visibility of the picturesque landscape with majestic cliffs and canyons ranges for hundreds of kilometers.

Though the tourism infrastructure here is practically underdeveloped, Lake Balkhash is still a popular place for a beach-related holiday, mainly among Kazakhs and Russians holiday makers.

However, because of the irrational use of water of the lake by two republics — Kazakhstan and China. The Balkhash is getting shallow, the odds are that it will have a horrid fate that came to the Aral Sea in due time.

Источник: www.advantour.com


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