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Payvand Iran News ...
08/08/11 Bookmark and Share
Photos: Travelers Enjoying Lake Oroumieh
Photos by Esfandiar Asgharkhani, Mehr News Agency

These days lake Oroumieh is going through tough times with experts warning that natural factors, coupled with human activity, would cause Lake Oroumiehto dry up in the near future if nothing is done. However, summer travelers and some local people still prefer to spend their leisure time by the lake.


 
Lake Urmia (Oroumieh) is a salt lake in northwestern Iran near Turkey. The lake is between the provinces of East Azarbaijan and West Azarbaijan, west of the southern portion of the similarly shaped Caspian Sea. It is the largest lake inside Iran, and the third salt water lake on earth, with a surface area of approximately 5,200 km square (2,000 mile square).




















Lake Urmia (Oroumieh) is a salt lake located in northwestern Iran, between the provinces of East Azarbaijan and West Azarbaijan. The Lake has a surface area of approximately 5,200 square kilometers and it has 102 islands, the second largest island, Kaboudi, is the burial place of Hulagu Khan, the grandson of Genghis Khan. UNESCO has registered Lake Urmia as a Biosphere Reserve, and it is listed as a wetland of international importance under the 1971 Ramsar Convention. It is one of the largest natural habitats for the tiny Artemia, which is a genus of aquatic crustacean that serves as a food source for flamingos and other migratory birds.

The lake is named after the provincial capital city of Urmia, originally a Syriac name meaning city of water.

The lake is a major barrier between two of the most important cities in West Azerbaijan and East Azerbaijan provinces, Urmia and Tabriz. Experts have warned that the construction of a bridge across the lake, together with a series of ecological factors, will eventually lead to the drying up of the lake, turning it into a salt marsh which will directly affect the climate of the region. Lake Urmia has been shrinking for a long time, with an annual evaporation rate of 0.6m to 1m (24 to 39 inches). Although measures are now being taken to reverse the trend the lake has shrunken by 60 percent and could disappear entirely. The lake's salts are considered to have medical effects, especially as a cure for rheumatism. Lake Urmia is a UNESCOBiosphere Reserve and a Ramsar site.

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