2014-2019, Aral Sea, Kazakhstan World Water Day is yearly held on 22 March and focuses on the freshwater importance. It celebrates water’s availability and raises awareness for the 2.2 billion people that are living without proper access to clean water. Further, World Water Day focuses on the action needed to tackle the global water crisis and the urgent need to provide water and sanitation for all by 2030.
An example of very limited freshwater abundance is the Aral Sea, located between Kazakhstan in the north and Uzbekistan in the south. It once was the world’s fourth largest lake, with an area of 67,300 km². However, the lake has dramatically shrunk since the 1950s as a result of diverting the supplying rivers for former Soviet cotton irrigation projects.
Despite efforts to restore the water levels by building the Kok-Aral Dam in 2005, the PROBA-V 100 m images of 12 September 2014 (left panel) and 15 September 2019 (right panel) show that no significant restoring has been achieved, with actually a further water decrease in the lake’s northern part.
13/10/2016, Dead Sea - Israel, Jordan In this last image for 2018, PROBA-V takes a peak at the Dead Sea, on the border of Israel, Jordan and the West Bank, with the cities of Jerusalem and Bethlehem (grey) to the west.
The Sea’s high salt levels make for a harsh environment for fish and large plants to live in and makes swimming more like floating. The many health resorts and mineral extraction, as shown by the ponds in the south, demonstrate its economic value.
However, images from space show an environmental concern: the Dead Sea’s declining water level. To curb this, 2018 marked the start of the first phase in the construction of the Red Sea – Dead Sea Water Conveyance (conduit).
A clear example of international cooperation to improve the supply of drinking water to the people in these dry areas of Jordan, Israel and the nearby Palestinian territories in coming years. And, since its early days, known as a symbol for peace in the Middle East.
11/02/2018, Lake Afrera, Ethiopia Lake Afrera is a hypersaline lake located in the Danakil Depression in Northern Ethiopia, an area where three tectonic plates slide away from each other at a rate of a few centimeters per year.
The lake’s salt amount is estimated at about 290 million tons per year and has been mined until 2011, after when it became inedible due to contamination with sulfuric acid resulting from the Nabro volcano eruption.
The 100 m image of 11 February 2018 shows the lake in blue in the lower image part, surrounded by lava fields from the Erte Ale, Borawli, and Alayta volcanoes, which can be recognised by the dark-brown colours. The Nabro volcano crater is visible in the lower right part of the image.
15/06/2018, Aral Sea, Kazakhstan The Aral Sea was once a large endorheic lake between Kazachstan in the North and Uzbekistan in the South. It used to be one of the four largest lakes in the world having an area of 68,000 km².
However, the Aral Sea has dramatically shrunk since the 1950s as a result of diverting the supplying rivers for former Soviet irrigation projects. By the 2000s, the lake had shrunk to about 10% of its original size and by 2014 the Southern Lake had virtually dried up.
In 2005, the Kok-Aral Dam was completed to restore water levels in the Northern Lake. In addition, a sluice is periodically opened to replenish the Southern Lake.
05/01/2018, Lake Erie, Canada Lake Erie is the southernmost Great Lake, located on both Canadian and USA territory, and measures about 26,000 km2. It was formed during the last glacial retreat about 4,000 years ago and has its main outlet through the Niagara Falls into Lake Ontario.
Due to its relatively small water volume, it experiences the Great Lakes’ largest annual temperature amplitude. During summer, water temperatures reach 21o – 24oC, while during winter it has the largest ice coverage of all Great Lakes.
The 100 m PROBA-V image of 5 January 2018 shows Lake Erie’s western part, largely covered by ice sheets and the snow-covered surrounding land. Lake Erie is connected with and replenished by Lake Saint Claire, which is visible in the image upper part.
Detroit city, well-known for its large car manufacturing and musical legacy, is located at the southwestern shore of Lake Saint Claire.
01/12/2016, Lake Ozero, Russia With this winter scene of Russia’s Lake Ozero (озеро Чаны), that links to a compilation of all our special images from 2017, the PROBA-V team is happy to wish all the best to you and your family for the upcoming holidays and the New Year!
The lake itself is one of the largest in Russia and located just north of the border with the Republic of Kazakhstan. It is a shallow, freshwater lake surrounded by wetlands, salt marshes and birch and aspen forests, making it an important stop for birds migrating southward from colder Siberia.
And of course, it makes us here in Europe dream of the fairy tale white Christmas…
05/04/2017, Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia Salar de Uyuni is the world’s largest salt plain with an area of about 10,500 km2.
It is located in southwestern Bolivia at an altitude of 3,650 m and is extremely flat, with average elevation variations within 1 meter over the entire plains area.
The salt plains were formed 42,000 – 30,000 years ago as a result of transformations between several prehistoric lakes. The crusty top layer, which is up to several meters thick, overlays a brine rich in lithium (containing 50 – 70% of the world’s reserves), potassium, and magnesium.
The 100 m false-colour PROBA-V image of 5 April 2017 shows the salt plains of Salar de Uyuni as white taints.
On the plains' western side, some wavy patterns are visible, while the blue colours on the northern and eastern edges indicate flooded areas.
The small rectangular patches in the plains south indicate a large lithium mining area.
09/02/2017, Lake Neale, Australia In the land of the aboriginals, down under, a 500 km long chain of salt lakes stretches from Lake Hopkins to the Finke River amidst the central Australian desert. Two of those lakes, Lake Amadeus (east) and Lake Neale, shown in this image, are dry salt pans for most of the year. With over 1,000 square kilometres of surface area, Lake Amadeus is the largest salt lake in the Northern Territories.
Following the storms and heavy rains in December and January, that shattered for instance the 27-year old monthly rainfall record for nearby Watarrka (further to the northeast), PROBA-V caught its eye on the well-filled lakes in this false-coloured image of February 9th. The lakes clearly stand out against the vast desert surrounding (yellowish) and Uluru-Kata Tjuta national park (dark green, southwest). Uluru is more commonly known as Ayers Rock.
11/02/2017, Hongze Lake, China The 100 m false-colour image of 11 February 2017 shows us Hung-Tse. A large lake in the Huai River valley, on the border between Jiangsu and Anhui provinces, eastern China.
The lake is shallow, and in the course of centuries, its bottom silted up. Together with the comprehensive water conservancy project for the Huai River valley, it has reduced flooding. The lake surface is only some 15 meters above sea level, however, and drainage remains a problem. Most of the lake is too shallow for any but small boats.
15/02/2017, Lewis and Clarke Lake, USA The 100 m false-colour image of 21 May 2017 shows us the Lewis and Clark Lake, USA. Lewis and Clark Lake is an impoundment on the Missouri River near Yankton, South Dakota. It is located on the border of South Dakota and Nebraska. The reservoir is approximately 40 km long, with a surface area of 130 km²; it has a maximum depth of 14 m. It is the smallest of the Pick-Sloan Plan impoundments.
11/02/2017, Poyang Lake, China The 100 m false-colour image of 21 May 2017 shows us Poyang Lake, located in Jiangxi Province and the largest freshwater lake in China. The lake is fed by the Gan, Xin, and Xiu rivers, which connect to the Yangtze through a channel.
The area of Poyang Lake fluctuates dramatically between the wet and dry seasons, but in recent years the size of the lake has been decreasing overall. In a normal year the area of the is ~3,500 km². In early 2012, due to drought, sand quarrying, and the practice of storing water at the Three Gorges Dam the area of the lake reached a low of about 200 km². The lake provides a habitat for half a million migratory birds and is a favorite destination for birding.
16/02/2017, Dabuxun Lake, China The 100 m false-colour image of 16 February 2017 shows us Dabuxun Lake in China, a strangely eye-catching mine, where water evaporates to leave behind thick layers of mineral salts. While humans are exploiting it now as a natural resource, the lake may be the final remnant of an ancient salt lake lingering in the area for the last two million years.
Dabuxun is part of Lake Qarhan, the largest salt lake in China. Qarhan is a 2,261 square mile basin that only intermittently fills with water. The playa includes nine smaller lakes, where Dabuxun is the largest. Water dissolves nearby rocks, concentrating minerals in a solution. The brine then evaporates from the lakes, leaving behind mineral salts like sodium chloride (rock salt), potassium (potash), bromine, halite, gypsum, and magnesium chloride. Humans help this natural process along by building square evaporation ponds. The extracted minerals are used in industry. Sodium chloride is purified into table salt, while potassium is a key ingredient in fertilizer.
16/02/2017, West Nai'er Lake, China The 100 m false-colour image of 16 February 2017 shows us West Nai’er Lake in eastern China. It’s a freshwater lake in Hangzhou and is divided into five sections by three causeways. There are numerous temples, pagodas, gardens, and artificial islands within the lake.
06/03/2017, Lake of the Woods, Canada The 100 m false-colour image of 6 March 2017 shows us Lake of the Woods covered with ice. The lake is part of the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Manitoba and the U.S. state of Minnesota.
Lake of the Woods is over 110 km long and wide, and contains more than 14,552 islands and 105,000 km of shoreline. It would amount to the longest coastline of any Canadian lake, except that the lake is not entirely within Canada.
21/05/2017, Makgadikgadi pan, Botswana The 100 m false-colour image of 21 May 2017 shows us Makgadikgadi Pan, a salt pan situated in the middle of the dry savanna of north-eastern Botswana. One of the largest salt flats in the world. The pan is all that remains of the formerly enormous Lake Makgadikgadi, which once covered an area larger than Switzerland, but dried up several thousand years ago.
06/04/2017, Red Lakes, USA The 100 m false-colour image of 21 May 2017 shows us Upper Red Lake and Lower Red Lake in northern Minnesota. The lake is separated into two sections by a peninsula on the eastern side that almost bisects it in the middle. Total size is ~1,139 km², with a depth of ~25 meter.
Lower Red Lake lies entirely within the Red Lake Indian Reservation. Home to the federally recognized Red Lake Band of Chippewa, it is unique as the only "closed reservation" in Minnesota. In a closed reservation, all land is held in common by the tribe and there is no private property. The tribe claims the land by right of conquest and aboriginal title; they were not reassigned to it by the United States government.
17/05/2017, Canadian Lakes This year, Canada celebrates the 150th birthday of its independence and cultural heritage, which reaches a climax at the end of June. Earlier in the same month, on June 5, Canada proudly hosts World Environment Day, proclaimed by United Nations Environment (UNEP) as the day our planet celebrates our love of and reliance on nature.
To this occasion, and following our visit to Great Slave Lake in January, PROBA-V puts its spotlight once more to Canada’s beautiful nature and lakes with a picture of Lake Claire (west) and a partially snow-covered Lake Athabasca (east).
Lake Claire is part of Wood Buffalo national park, that is protected as world heritage and recognized as the world’s largest Dark-Sky preserve against light pollution. To the southwest of Lake Claire, we find the world’s largest beaver dam (850 m long), that was initially discovered by satellite.
21/01/2017, Lake Balaton, Hungary Lake Balaton, the largest freshwater lake in central Europe, was completely frozen in the beginning of 2017! PROBA-V spotted the 90 km of 20-30 cm ice on the 21st of January. A unique image as it was already more than 10 years ago the lake completely froze over. Lake Balaton is one of Hungary’s foremost tourist destinations.
15/05/2016, Great Slave Lake, Canada In this new year, PROBA-V’s eye is caught on the 10th largest lake in the world and, with a depth of 614 m the deepest lake of North America: the Great Slave Lake, located in the Northwest Territories of Canada. Along with the larger Great Bear Lake (to the northwest) and Lake Athabaska (to the southeast), it is a remnant of the glacial lake McConnell.
The name of the lake refers to the Slavey or Dene Indians, original inhabitants of the area. They were not all enslaved by colonial forces, but rather received their name, with some disdain, from fur traders of the rivalling Cree.
The deepest part of the lake is not the largest water body on the west, where most trade and mining settlements were established, but rather the arch-shaped McLeod and Christie Bays in the east of the image.
04/06/2016, Salt Lake, Utah In the eastern parts of the arid Great Basin region, that is located between the Rocky Mountains, the Cascade Range and Sierra Nevada mountains of western USA, we find the Great Salt Lake, the largest salt lake in the Western Hemisphere.
The shallow lake is divided into two parts by a causeway that was constructed in the 1950s and supports a railroad. As the northwestern part has less intake of freshwater, it is substantially more saline.his results in the distinct colours in the PROBA-V 100 m image, captured last June. In the northeastern part, close to a bird refuge, we spot solar evaporation ponds (blue) used to extract valuable minerals.
To the southeast of the lake, we find the capital of the state of Utah, Salt Lake City, in between two mountain ranges and the largest manmade excavation in the world, the Bingham Canyon Mine.
21/04/2015, Lake Gairdner, Australia In bright shades of blue, this false-colour image, acquired in April 2015, shows Lake Gairdner and nearby smaller lakes and lagoons such as lakes Everard (west), Macfarlane (southeast), Hart and Hanson (northeast) and Island Lagoon (east). Lake Gairdner is the third largest salt lake in Australia and part of a closed drainage basin that is located to the north of the Eyre peninsula and the stony hills of the Gawler Ranges in South Australia.
Together with Lakes Everard and Harris (northwest) and surrounds, Lake Gairdner forms a protected national park that is well preserved. While very hot and devoid of surface water in summertime, the park shelters many species of plants and birds, feral camels, emus and kangaroos in Spring.
For race fans, the salt flats are a site of annual attempts to improve various land speed records.
08-09/2015, Lake Badwater, USA This 100 m composit shows us a comparison between Lake Badwater, in Death Valley, California in August 2015 and November 2015. At Badwater Basin, significant rainstorms flood the valley bottom periodically, covering the salt pan with a thin sheet of standing water. Newly formed lakes do not last long though, because the 48 mm of average rainfall is overwhelmed by 3,800 mm annual evaporation rate. This lake is also the lowest point in North America, 282 feet below sea level.
11/04/2014, Dead Sea, Israël The 100 m false-colour image of 11 April 2014 shows us the Dead Sea, also called Salt Sea, bordered by Jordan to the east and Israel and Palestine to the west. The Dead Sea is 304 m deep, the deepest hypersaline lake in the world. With ~ 34 % salinity , it is ~10 times as salty as the ocean, and one of the world's saltiest bodies of water. This salinity makes for a harsh environment in which plants and animals cannot flourish, hence its name.
The sandy part in between the evaporation pans south of the Dead Sea divides Jordan from Israel but is also physically separated due to the shrinking level of the Dead Sea.
26/04/2014, Qaidam Basin, China The 100 m image of 26 April 2014 shows us Qaidam Basin, an hyperarid basin with an area of approximately 120,000 km², one fourth of which is covered by saline lakes and playas. By one count, there are 27 such lakes in the basin. In this PROBA-V image we see the West and East Taiji Nai'r Laken at the left side, in the middle Senie Lake and at the right Dabuxun Lake. After zooming in, you can see the infrastructures built for the reclamation of salt and other minerals.
13/07/2014, Caspian sea, Kazakhstan The 100 m false-colour image of 23 November 2013 shows us the Caspian Sea, the largest enclosed inland body of water on Earth by area, variously classed as the world's largest lake or a full-fledged sea. It is in an endorheic basin (it has no outflows) located between Europe and Asia. It is bounded to the northeast by Kazakhstan, to the northwest by Russia, to the west by Azerbaijan, to the south by Iran, and to the southeast by Turkmenistan.
23/11/2014, Different lake flavours, China The 100 m false-colour image of 23 November 2013 shows us a varity of lakes: Aksai Chin Lake (upper - left), Guozha Lake (upper - right), Lungmu Co (below - centre), Orba Co (below, right) and Surigh Yilganing Kol (below - left) with a nice view on Tian Shan with several gletsjers. Tian Shan is a large system of mountain ranges located in Central Asia. The highest peak in the Tian Shan is Jengish Chokusu with 7 439 m.
Guozha Lake Lungmu Co also known as Lake Lighten is a glacial lake;
Aksai Chin Lake is an endorheic lake on the Aksai Chin Plateau;
Orba Co also known as Wo Erba or Wo Erbacuo has four major islands which are the islands with the highest altitude on earth;
Lungmu Co also known as Longmu Co or Longmucuo, is a glacial lake;
Surigh Yilganing Kol is an soda lake or alkaline lake.
25/10/2015, Aral Sea, Kazakhstan The 100 m false-colour image of 25 October 2015 shows us the Aral Sea, an endorheic lake lying between Kazakhstan (Aktobe and Kyzylorda Regions) in the south and Uzbekistan (Karakalpakstan autonomous region) in the north. Formerly one of the four largest lakes in the world with an area of 68,000 km², the Aral Sea has been steadily shrinking since the 1960s. By 2007, it had declined to 10% of its original size, splitting into four lakes – the North Aral Sea, the eastern and western basins of the once far larger South Aral Sea, and one smaller lake between the North and South Aral Seas. By 2009, the southeastern lake had disappeared and the southwestern lake had retreated to a thin strip at the western edge of the former southern sea; in subsequent years, occasional water flows have led to the southeastern lake sometimes being replenished to a small degree. In an ongoing effort in Kazakhstan to save and replenish the North Aral Sea, a dam project was completed in 2005; in 2008, the water level in this lake had risen by 12 m compared to 2003. Salinity has dropped, and fish are again found in sufficient numbers for some fishing to be viable.
24/02/2016, Barrier Islands, Texas The 100 m false-colour image of 24 February 2016 shows us several barrier islands, near the Texan coast: from the bottom to the top: Padre island, Mustang Island, San Jose Island and Matagorda Island. Padre Island is the largest of the Texas barrier islands and is the world's longest barrier island. It is part of the U.S. state of Texas. The island is located along Texas' southern coast of the Gulf of Mexico and is noted for its white sandy beaches at the south end.
28/02/2016, Laguna Llancanelo, Argentina The 100 m false-colour image of 28 February 2016 shows us Laguna Llancanelo, Argentina within the arid region near the Andes in the limit between the regions of Cuyo and Patagonia. Llancanelo Lake is a provincial nature reserve. It hosts a variety of bird species, including flamingos, black-necked swans, herons and ducks. In the top right, one can notice the Atuel river, which flows along a plain, becoming wider and meandering until reaching the Desaguado River.
06/03/2016, Chardara reservoir & Aydar Lake The 100 m false-colour image of 6 March 2016 shows us (at left) Lake Aydarkul, part of the man-made Aydar-Arnasay system of lakes, which covers an area of 4,000 square kilometres. This system includes 3 brackish water lakes (Aydar Kul, Arnasay and Tuzkan) located in the saline depressions of the south-eastern Kyzyl Kum (now in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan). In the early sixties the Syr Darya was dammed up. Simultaneously the Chardarya irrigation dam was constructed (light spot in the middle). Floodgates were provided in the dam for flood control, and when in 1969 a raging flood occurred, these were opened as the dam's capacity was inadequate to cope with the flow. Between February 1969 and February 1970 almost 60% of the Syr Darya's average annual water flow (21 km³) was drained from the Chardarya Reservoir (lake in middle of the image) into the Arnasay lowland. In such a way new lakes were unintentionally created. Since 1969 the Aydar Lake has regularly received the waters of the Syr Darya River when they overflow the capacity of the Chardarya Reservoir. This has gradually filled up the natural cavity of Arnasay lowland to create the second largest lake in the region (after the remains of the Aral Sea).
01/04/2016, Tuz Gölü, Turkey The 100 m false-colour image of 1 April 2016 shows us Lake Tuz, the second largest lake in Turkey with its 1,665 km² surface area and one of the largest hypersaline lakes in the world. The lake, occupying a tectonic depression in the central plateau of Turkey, is fed by two major streams, groundwater, and surface water, but has no outlet. Brackish marshes have formed where channels and streams enter the lake. Arable fields surround the lake, except in the south and southwest where extensive seasonally flooded salt-steppe occurs.
25/04/2014, Suqian Lake, China The 100 m false-colour image of 25 April 2014 shows us Suqian Lake in Aksai Kazakh, an Autonomous County of Jiuquan in the province of Gansu in the People's Republic of China. It lies between the Tibetan and Huangtu plateaus, and borders Mongolia, Inner Mongolia, and Ningxia to the north, Xinjiang and Qinghai to the west, Sichuan to the south, and Shaanxi to the east. The Yellow River passes through the southern part of the province.
30/04/2015, Lake Eyre, Australia The 100 m false-colour image of 4 April 2015 shows us Lake Eyre, officially known as Kati Thanda–Lake Eyre. Kati Thanda–Lake Eyre is located in the deserts of central Australia, in northern South Australia. The Lake Eyre Basin is a large endorheic system surrounding the lakebed, the lowest part of which is filled with the characteristic salt pan caused by the seasonal expansion and subsequent evaporation of the trapped waters. Even in the dry season there is usually some water remaining in Kati Thanda–Lake Eyre, normally collecting in over 200 smaller sub-lakes within its margins. The lake was formed by aeolian processes after tectonic upwarping occurred to the south subsequent to the end of the Pleistocene epoch.
19/05/2015, Lake Torrens, Australia The 100 m false-colour image of 19 May 2015 shows us Lake Torrens, an ephemeral salt lake in central South Australia. It lies between the Arcoona Plateau to the west and the Flinders Ranges to the east about 345 kilometres north of the Adelaide city centre. The lake is approximately 30 metres above sea level. It is located within the boundaries of Lake Torrens National Park. The Lake Torrens catchment is an endorheic basin, having no outflow of water to the ocean. The lake filled in 1897 and again in April 1989. It has a thin salt crust with red-brown clays beneath, which are soft and boggy. The area around the lake is sparsely vegetated with samphire, saltbush and bluebush.
06/06/2015, Lake Eyre South, Australia The 100 m false-colour image of 6 June 2015 shows us the southern part of Lake Eyre, officially known as Kati Thanda–Lake Eyre. Lake Eyre is called after explorer Edward John Eyre, the first European to see it in 1840. The lakes experience small floods every three years, large floods every ten years and fill on average only four times each century. The lake is also the lowest point below sea level on the Australian mainland (-15.2m below sea level).
16/06/2015, Lake Moore, Australia The 100 m false-colour image of 16 June 2015 shows us Lake Moore, an endorheic salt lake in the west of the Australian state of Western Australia which is dry most of the year.
On this PROBA-V image one can clearly see the distinction between the untouched Karroun Hill Nature reserve in the northern areas versus the man-made agricultural fields in the southern areas. The reserve is identified as an Important Bird Area as it support populations of the vulnerable malleefowl, regent parrots, rufous treecreepers and western yellow robins.
24/06/2015, Lake Macleod, Australia The 100 m false-colour image of 24 June 2015 shows us Lake Macleod, the westernmost lake in Australia. The lake lies in the Gascoyne region of Western Australia, north of the small coastal city of Carnarvon. Climatically, this part of Western Australia is greatly influenced by the north-flowing Western Australian Current that brings cool water northward from Antarctica, which is not conducive to producing inland precipitation. This cool offshore current, coupled with a very flat coastal plain, contributes to the near-desert-like conditions along the coastal region as evidenced by the brown landscape around the lake and the highly reflective salt beds within the lake. The low point in the lake appears to be near the northern end where the light blues indicate some standing water.
03/07/2016, Lake Eyre, Australia Lake Eyre is Australia’s largest lake, located in the continent’s centre and being Australia’s lowest natural point at 15 m below sea level. Due to strong evaporation during the summer season, large areas of salt crusts are formed, with thicknesses up to 50 cm.
The image shows the lake surrounded by the desert, the salt plains are visible by the greenish areas, while water areas are recognizable as dark blue areas.
03/2014->2016, Lake Chad, Africa Lake Chad, once one of the largest lakes in the world, is a shallow remnant of an inland sea in ancient times, with many small islands, reedbeds, mud banks and a shoreline composed of marshes. Near the Sahara Desert, the water from its closed basin is of vital importance for the economy and livelihood of millions of people, in particular in the four surrounding countries of Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria.
As it has shrunk dramatically in size over recent decades, with recent signs of recovery, it is extensively monitored and studied internationally and is carefully managed by the inter-governmental Lake Chad Bassin Commission.
The above series of PROBA-V images, taken in March-April of 2014, 2015 and 2016, hence before the onset of the wet season, show a nearly constant size of the main, southern half of the lake.
22/01/2016, Poopó Lake, Bolivia December 2015, Bolivia's second largest lake, Lake Poopó was officially declared evaporated. Lake Poopó is located in the Bolivian altiplano at an altitude of 3,700 metres in the western department of Oruro. The absence of the vital saltwater environment forces local fishermen and wildlife to move elsewhere.
16/03/2015, Lake Machattie, Queensland, Australia The Lake Machattie area is located in the southwestern part of Queensland and covers about 900 km2. The area is on average replenished with water from the Georgina River every 3 years and contains three lakes: Lake Machattie, Lake Mipia, and Lake Koolivoo. These lakes become gradually more saline during the dry summer period. The region is a designated Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) and harbours among others the Australian Pelican, Straw-necked Ibis, and the Sharp-tailed Sandpiper. The 100 m image shows the lake during the dry season. The red areas indicate the various branches of the Georgina River, while the light-blue areas denote salt planes.
12/08/2015, Lake Issyk Kul, Kyrgyzstan The 100 m false-colour image of 12 August 2015 shows the lake surrounded by snow-covered Tian Shan mountains. The southern shore contains the highest summits, with Karakol Peak (5,216 m) located south-east of the lake. The small lake south-west of Issyk Kul is Song-Kul.
29/06/2014, Chad, Lake Chad Lake Chad is a shallow fresh water lake (only about 10 m at its deepest) at the border of Chad, Nigeria, Niger, and Cameroon. The lake is a remnant of a former inland sea. Since the 1960s, the lake has shrunk from its original area of 26,000 km² to about 1,500 km² in 2000. Overgrazing, increased human water use, and shifting climate patterns are considered as being the cause of the decrease in extent. Less than half of the lake's area is water-covered throughout the entire year, with the remaining area consisting of wetlands.
06/06/2014, Peru Bolivia, Lake Titicaca Titicaca is a lake at the Peruvian/Bolivian border and is the largest lake in South America by volume. It is also one of the highest located lakes in the world, with an average water surface at 3,812 m above mean sea level. The water levels have been gradually declining since 2000 as a result of less precipitation and the melting of glaciers that feed the lake’s tributaries. The lake’s climate is alpine, with cool to cold temperatures throughout the year and an average precipitation of ~610 mm.
The image shows the lake in its full extension, surrounded by the Ulla Ulla Fauna Reserve in the north and the Reserva Aymara Lupaca in the south.
11/04/2014, Israel Jordan, Dead Sea The Dead Sea is a salt lake between Israel, Jordan, and Palestine. It is the Earth's lowest elevation on land, with the water surface being at 429 m below sea level. The Dead Sea owns its name to the harsh environments for animals to florish, due to the high salinity of 34% (about ten times saltier than ocean water). On the right of this 100 m image, the southern part of the Dead Sea, with evaporation pans used for potassium chloride extraction showing up, while further to the left agricultural areas with various sizes are visible.
12/02/2015, Lake Frome, Australia Lake Frome, which is one of the whitest endorheic salt lakes in the Southern Hemisphere, is shown on the right of this PROBA-V image, that shows one of the rare occasions that the lake is filled with brackish water that flowed down the usually dry creeks in the area.
01/01/2015, Poyang Lake, China Poyang Lake is located in south-eastern China and is the country’s largest freshwater lake. Its area fluctuates heavily between the dry and wet season, as is evident from the images of 1 January 2015 (left) and 22 July 2014 (right).
10/10/2014, Salt Lake, Utah The Great Salt Lake, located in the northern part of Utah, is the largest salt water lake in the Western Hemisphere, and the fourth-largest terminal lake in the world. In an average year the lake covers an area of around 5,100 km², but the lake's size fluctuates substantially due to its shallowness. The lake's salinity fluctuates between 5 and 27%, being higher than that of seawater. On this 100 m image of 10 October 2014, the lake is visible to the right, with Lake Utah to the south. South-west of the Great Salt Lake, the white salt of the Salt Lake Desert is visible.
26/09/2014, The Great Lakes, USA The Great Lakes, depicted here on a 300 m image of 26 September 2014, are a series of interconnected freshwater lakes located in northeastern North America at the Canada–United States border. They consist of Lake Superior, Lake Huron, Lake Michigan, Lake Erie, and Lake Ontario and have a total area of about 244,000 km². The Lakes connect to the Atlantic Ocean through the Saint Lawrence River. They originated from the latest glacial era and were worn off by the land ice that was covering the North-American continent.
20/09/2014, Issyk Kul, Kyrgyzstan Issyk Kul is a lake in the northern Tian Shan mountains of eastern Kyrgyzstan. It is the tenth largest lake in the world by volume (though not in surface area), and the second largest saline lake after the Caspian Sea. Although it is surrounded by snow-capped peaks, it never freezes; hence its name, which means "hot lake" in the Kyrgyz language. The lake is a Ramsar site of globally significant biodiversity and forms part of the Issyk-Kul Biosphere Reserve. It was the site of an ancient metropolis 2,500 years ago, and archaeological excavations are ongoing.
12/09/2014, Aral Sea, Uzbekistan The Aral Sea, shown here on a 300 m image of 12 September 2014, is a basin containing the remnants of a large lake located between Kazakhstan in the north and Uzbekistan in the south. Formerly one of the four largest lakes in the world with an area of 68,000 km², the Aral Sea has been steadily shrinking since the 1960s, after the rivers that flew into it were diverted for Soviet irrigation projects. By 2007, it had declined to 10% of its original size, splitting into four lakes – the North Aral Sea, the eastern and western basins of the once far larger South Aral Sea, and one smaller lake between the North and South Aral Seas.
13/05/2014, Lake Mead, Las Vegas Lake Mead is the largest artificial lake of the United States and is located at the border between Nevada and Arizona. This 100 m image of 13 May 2014 nicely shows the lake in the centre, the Grand Canyon to the right, and the Nevada Desert with the city of Las Vegas to the left.