File:Aral sea 2000-2009-gif-source-file.xcf

From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository
Jump to: navigation, search
Original file(720 × 720 pixels, file size: 14.93 MB, MIME type: image/x-xcf)
Description
English: In the 1960s, the Soviet Union undertook a major water diversion project on the arid plains of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan. The region’s two major rivers, fed from snowmelt and precipitation in far-away mountains, were used to transform the desert into fields for cotton and other crops. Before the project, the two rivers left the mountains, cut northwest through the Kyzylkum Desert—the Syrdar’ya to the north and the Amudar’ya in parallel to the south—and finally pooled together in the lowest part of the desert basin. The lake they made, the Aral Sea, was once the fourth largest lake in the world.

Although irrigation made the desert bloom, it devastated the Aral Sea. This series of images from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite documents the changes in the the Aral Sea throughout the past decade. At the start of the series in 2000, the lake was already a fraction of its 1960 extent (black line). The Northern Aral Sea (sometimes called the Small Aral Sea) had separated from the Southern (Large) Aral Sea. The Southern Aral Sea had split into an eastern and a western lobe that remained tenuously connected at both ends.

By 2001, the southern connection had been severed, and the shallower eastern part retreated rapidly over the next several years. Especially large retreats in the eastern lobe of the Southern Sea appear to have occurred between 2005 and 2006, and again between 2007 and 2008. The final image in the series is from the summer of 2009. Blowing dust (salt-laden sediments) covers a large part of the sea.

As the lake dried up, fisheries and the communities that depended on them collapsed. The increasingly salty water became polluted with fertilizer and pesticides. The blowing dust from the exposed lakebed, contaminated with agricultural chemicals, became a public health hazard. The salty dust blew off the lakebed and settled onto fields, degrading the soil. Croplands had to be flushed with larger and larger volumes of river water. The loss of the moderating influence of such a large body of water made winters colder and summers hotter and drier.

In a last-ditch effort to save some of the lake, Kazakhstan built a dam between the northern and southern parts of the Aral Sea. Completed in 2005, the dam was basically a death sentence for the southern Aral Sea, which was judged to be beyond saving. All of the water flowing into the desert basin from the Syrdar’ya now stays in the Northern Aral Sea. Between 2005 and 2006, the water levels in that part of the lake rebounded significantly and very small increases are visible throughout the rest of the time period. The differences in water color are due to changes in sediment.
The GIMP icon - gnome.svg
This graphic was created with GIMP.
Date between 2000 and 2009 for the photos
Source Evaporation of the Aral Sea
Author NASA Earth Observatory for the photos. ComputerHotline for the animation.
This photo was taken by Thomas Bresson.

Please credit this with : Photo : Thomas Bresson in the immediate vicinity of the image.

If you use one of my photos, please email me (account needed) or leave me a short message on my discussion page.
It would be greatly appreciated.
Do not copy this image illegally by ignoring the terms of the license below, as it is not in the public domain.
If you would like special permission to use, license, or purchase the image please contact me to negotiate terms.
No Facebook.svg This file is copyrighted and has been released under a license which is incompatible with Facebook's licensing terms. It is not permitted to upload this file at Facebook. English | français | Nederlands | +/−

Permission
(Reusing this file)
Public domain This file is in the public domain in the United States because it was solely created by NASA. NASA copyright policy states that "NASA material is not protected by copyright unless noted". (See Template:PD-USGov, NASA copyright policy page or JPL Image Use Policy.)
NASA logo.svg
Dialog-warning.svg
Warnings:
Other versions
animation
update
The GIMP icon - gnome.svg
This graphic was created with GIMP.
Warning sign Warning:

Improved XCF rendering was developed in T37622, but is waiting on renderer software being upgraded (see T65899). Thumbnails may contain errors.
In particular, indexed images are not supported and must be converted to true-colour or greyscale in order to be displayed. Additionally, correct rendering can be obtained for some images by flattening the image (e.g. in GIMP) and reuploading. Keep in mind that this technique dissipates the advantages of XCF (e.g. Layers).

File history

Click on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time.

Date/TimeThumbnailDimensionsUserComment
current10:04, 13 February 2010Thumbnail for version as of 10:04, 13 February 2010720 × 720 (14.93 MB)ComputerHotline (talk | contribs)
  • You cannot overwrite this file.

The following page links to this file: