STS41G-037-0079 Lake Van, Turkey October 1984
This low-oblique, southwest-looking photograph shows Lake Van, the largest lake in Turkey. This saline lake, located in eastern Turkey at 5640 feet (1719 meters) above sea level, has no outlet, a maximum length of 75 miles (120 kilometers), a maximum width of 50 miles (80 kilometers), and an area of 1450 square miles (3755 square kilometers). Its waters are unusually rich in sodium carbonate and other salts that are extracted by evaporation and used as detergents. Darekh, a species of herring caught during the spring floods, spawns near the mouths of streams feeding the lake and is the only fish that can survive Lake Van's brackish waters. The lake is surrounded by fruit- and grain-growing agricultural areas. Visible in this photograph, viewing clockwise from south to east of the lake, are the rugged Satak Mountains; Nemrut Lake, the crater lake of an active volcano that last erupted in 1440; and Lake Ercek, a small blue lake.

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