square kilometres (26,000 sq mi), the Aral Sea has been steadily
shrinking since the 1960s after the rivers that fed it were diverted
by Soviet Union irrigation projects.
The maximum depth of the North Aral Sea is
42 metres (138 ft) (as of 2008).
However, the outlook for the remnants of the South Aral Sea remains
bleak. It has been called "one of the planet's worst environmental
Aral Sea was once only slightly saline. Mentioned in Arab writings of
the 10th cent., it was called the Khwarazm (or Khorezm) Sea by later
4 North Aral Sea restoration work
Owing to the Aral Sea basin not being connected to
other bodies of water, the vessels had to be disassembled in Orenburg
on the Ural River, shipped overland to Aralsk
The Aral Sea is a saltwater lake straddling the boundary between
Uzbekistan to the south and west and Kazakhstan to the north and east.
The depression which became the Aral Sea was formed during the early
Pleistocene Epoch, and filled with water from the Syr Darya River.
The Aral Sea, in 2003, had shrunk to well under half of the area it had covered 50 years before.
Aral Sea's surface area has now shrunk by approximately 60%, and its
volume by almost 80%.
The land around the Aral Sea is also heavily polluted, and the people
living in the area are suffering from a lack of fresh water, as well
as from a number
Aral Sea now shows high rates of certain forms of cancer and lung
diseases, as well as other diseases.
The Aral Sea is actually not a sea at all.
recently as 1965, the Aral Sea received about 50 cubic kilometers of
fresh water per year—a number that fell to zero by the early 1980s.
The Aral Sea supported a thriving commercial fishing industry
employing roughly 60,000 people in the early 1960s.
Aral Sea Region
Kyzylorda Oblast, Kazakhstan
Environment: The Aral Sea was once the fourth biggest inland sea in
The Aral Sea Region in Kazakhtsani part
includes two rayons, or sub-regions: Kazalinsk rayon and Aralsk rayon.
These rayons are two of 8 rayons of the Kyzylorad oblast.
Agriculture: The Aral Sea region is an agricultural area. The climate
is strongly continental and the landscape is a typical semi-desert.
Annual precipitation is about 200 mm.
rivers and move enough south to refill the Aral Sea in about 25-50
And the draining of the Aral Sea has adversely affected
weather and land quality throughout Central Asia – the Aral basin
encompasses seven nations and well over two million square kilometers!
The draining of the Aral Sea once was the poster child for
environmental destruction, now it is nearly forgotten.
The Aral Sea Basin is part of / comprises: · Asia & Pacific · Central
Asia · Eastern Asia · Europe & CIS · Southern Asia ·
The Aral Sea basin, located in Central Asia, has undergone many
changes in the recent past.
Water Availability in the Aral Sea Basin (Source: ENVSEC) Water
Availability in the Aral Sea Basin (Source: ENVSEC)
Higher Temperatures, More Rainfall, Increased Flood Risk
The Aral Sea is one of less than 20 ancient lakes in the world, and is
estimated to be more than 5 million years old.
the Aral Sea has become synonymous with environmental
The Aral Sea was the fourth
largest lake in the world; it has now lost 90% of its source waters
and two thirds of its surface area.
Aral Sea - Definition
The Aral Sea has now shriveled to well under half of the area it covered fifty years ago.
The Aral Sea is an endorheic inland sea in Central Asia; it lies
between Kazakhstan in the north and Karakalpakstan, an autonomous
region of Uzbekistan, in the south.
Since the 1960s, the Aral Sea has
been shrinking, as the rivers that feed it were diverted by the USSR
The Aral Sea basin
Human driving forces
Social and economic changes
Societal recognition of
The Aral Sea basin trajectory
Saving the Aral Sea
situation in the Aral Sea basin is one of the most
complex in Central Asia.
The Aral Sea, located in Uzbekistan and Kazakstan (both countries were
part of the former Soviet Union), is historically a saline lake.
The Aral Sea is a prime
example of an dynamic environment.
article on the Aral Sea that can be found in the February 1990 issue
of National Geographic.
The Aral Sea is a land lock sea located in Central Asia that is
losing its volume by diversions of its river sources for
run into the Aral Sea have been used for irrigation, slowing down
the remaining flow that reaches the sea.
* Aral Sea in 1989 and 2003 Aral Sea in 1989 and 2003
* Aral Sea Map Aral Sea Map
* Area once covered by the Aral Sea in Kazakhstan.
once covered by the Aral Sea in Kazakhstan.
Aspects of the topic Aral Sea are discussed in the following
additional content sources.
The Aral Sea depression was formed toward the end of the Neogene
Period (which lasted from about 23 to 2.6 million years ago).
Aral Sea Loss and Cotton (ARAL Case)
CASE NUMBER: 185
CASE NAME: Aral Sea Loss and Cotton
of the Aral Sea ecosystem has been sudden and
The Aral Sea used to be an endless expanse of bountiful waters. Now
only burning sands remain, and graveyards of ghost ships.
Drying up the Aral Sea is considered by many environmentalists to be
the biggest environmental disaster of all time, a disaster that might
only be eclipsed by the total meltdown
killed the Aral Sea, canals built by Soviet engineers with the eager
assistance of local farmers, to increase agricultural production in
their Central Asian republics.
Previously the world's fourth largest lake, the mighty Aral Sea is now
in it's death throws.
diversion, the shrinking Aral sea divided in two and it's salinity
increased from 10 grams/litre to 45.
dyke between the north and the south Aral sea was successful for 9 and
12 months until they were both breached by the weight of the water,
and the fact that only enough money
the Aral Sea has been steadily shrinking since the 1960s, after the
rivers Amu Darya and Syr Darya that fed it were diverted by Soviet
Union irrigation projects.
The Aral Sea is also heavily polluted, largely as the result of
weapons testing, industrial projects, pesticides and fertilizer runoff.
The plight of the Aral Sea is frequently described as an environmental
* Aral Sea: meaning and definitions - Aral Sea: Definition and
* Suggestions for spelling of encyclopedia/aral sea - The Infoplease
Aral Sea (Journal of Climate)
High and dry: big government causes big problems, and in Central Asia,
Soviet-style big government destroyed the Aral Sea.
Shrinking of Aral Sea Causes Regional Health Crisis (The Washington
Report on Middle East Affairs)
No more caviar: Uzbekistan.
The Aral Sea is located in the Central Asian Republics of Uzbekistan
and Kazakhstan, with the southern section located in the Autonomous
Republic of Karapakalstan.
Aral Sea in NW Uzbekistan. The waters of the river are used for
irrigation in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
The Aral Sea Basin is rich with natural resources:
iron ore, non-ferrous metals, oil and gas, large deposits of coal,
copper, lead, tin, tungsten, molybdenum, fluorite, lithium, gold,
was the Aral Sea, the fourth largest inland body of water in the
The Aral is an inland salt-water sea with no outlet.
Over the next 30 years, the Aral Sea experienced a severe drop in
water level, its shoreline receded, and its salt content increased.
water left in the riverbed to flow to the Aral Sea, hundreds of
kilometers away. To the surprise of the inhabitants of Muynak, the
Aral Sea began to shrink.
Dessication of the Aral Sea: A water management disaster in the Soviet
Union. Science 241: 1170-76.
The Aral Sea in the Soviet Union, formerly the world's fourth largest
lake in area, is disappearing.
The Aral Sea is a huge, shallow, saline body of water located in the
deserts of the south-central Soviet Union (Figs. 1 and 2).
and harbour city on the banks of the Aral Sea, and was a major
supplier of fish to the neighboring region.
northern remnant of the Aral Sea, though this is less than the 100 km
distance observed before the completion of a dam in 2005.
The Aral Sea is located in the lowlands of Turan occupying land in
the Republics of Kazakstan and Uzbekistan.
of the Aral Sea Basin’s former biological life has been compared
Perhaps the most significant factor of the Aral Sea crisis is the
health of the people. Hospitalisation rates increased from 20 to
25 per 100 persons between 1980 and 1987.
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.
Aral Sea) had separated from the Southern (Large) Aral Sea.
Once the world's fourth largest lake, the mighty Aral Sea is now in
it's death throes.
met near the south end of the North Aral Sea for a celebration. They
brought goats, sheep, and fish—pike, perch, and carp—as well as
apples, a special treat in the Central Asian steppe.
written off the Aral Sea,” says University of Michigan geographer
Philip Micklin, a National Geographic grantee who has been studying
the sea since the 1980s and still visits every few
The Aral Sea basin has been classified as an Operational HELP basin.
The Aral Sea basin comprises the drainage areas of the two largest
rivers of Central Asia, the Amudarya and the Syrdarya.
the problems of the Aral Sea, strict maintenance of minimum in-stream
flow requirements, particularly during droughts, facilitation of open
information exchange and joint scientific-technical research.
(optimization-based ) for use in the Aral Sea Basin of Central Asia.
(Web site with data on the Aral Sea basin hydrology, climatology,
and water quality)
* Devil and the Disappearing Sea
(modeling software for the Aral Sea basin with documentation and
Research Reports, Publications and Software:
* The Aral Sea has been steadily shrinking, especially since the
1960's due to the diversion of the rivers that flow into it by the
The Aral Sea at sunrise, somewhere near the Kazakhstan border.
Seashells scattered about near the current shoreline.
The environmental problems of the Aral Sea basin are among the worst
in the world.
Development of the Aral Sea Region was signed by the same five
riparians on March 26, 1993.
the International Fund for the Aral Sea (IFAS) was
A long term "Concept" and a short-term "Program" for the Aral Sea was
adopted at a meeting of the Heads of Central Asian
The Aral Sea is a landlocked endorheic basin in Central Asia; it lies
between Kazakhstan in the north and Karakalpakstan, an autonomous
region of Uzbekistan, in the south.
The two side-by-side images here demonstrate how the Aral Sea has
changed in the last few years.
Tags: Algal Bloom Amu Darya River Aral Basin Aral Sea Endorheic Basin
Endorheic Lake Karakalpakstan Kazakhstan North Aral Sea Pollution Salt
Lake Sediments South Aral Sea Syr Darya River Uzbekistan |
— filed under: Aral Karakum Desert, Aral Sea, Army Corps of Engineers,
desertification, geo-engineering, Great Salt Lake, health, Kazakhstan,
Lake Huron, lakes, Utah, Uzbekistan, water
Grok Image: The Aral Sea – Geo-Engineering
The Aral Sea is
one such cautionary geo-engineering tale.
In its prime the Aral Sea spanned some 26,000 square miles of desert
basin in the eastern provinces of the former Soviet Union with a
salinity of about 10 grams per liter — about one-third of
The development of irrigation in the Soviet part of the Aral Sea basin
was spectacular: from about 4.5 million hectares in 1960, it rose to
almost 7 million in 1980.
An effect of the reduction in the Aral Seas size is the exposure of
the lake bed.
go from Aral Sea back to Desertification
footer for Aral Sea page
The Aral Sea, on the border of Kazakhstan (above) and Uzbekistan
(below), has been shrinking since the 1960s.
Aral Sea (upper right quadrant) in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, Central
Asia. It extends roughly 200,000 km², with an average elevation of 150
meters, and consists primarily of stony desert.
projects, the Aral Sea has shrunken rapidly.
In the late 1950s, the Aral Sea was the Earth's fourth-largest inland
body of water with respect to surface area.
Aral Sea, under conditions of increasing diversions from the two major
sources of Aral Sea water, was more or less known in the absence of
any intervention to stop
Aral Sea is of little intrinsic value to society. Thus, regardless of
paying verbal homage to saving it, they do not care about its ultimate
International Aral Sea Rehabilitation Fund
"Having realized the necessity of pioneering and developing of new
countries in conformity with laws of nature and considering its
established the International Aral Sea Rehabilitation Fund in 1993 and
the IFIS operative body, the Executive Board, is located in the city
publishing the Aral Sea Basin Monitor, and organizing a Central Asian
NGO Conference on the Aral Sea.
The ecological disaster of Aral sea in Central Asia. Beginning in the
sixties and counting, the sea has lost around 80% of its water.
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* The Aral Sea Basin is situated between 55°00’ E and 78°20’ E and
between 33°45’ N and 51°45’ N.
* The Aral Sea was once the world’s fourth largest inland sea.
About 60% of the Aral Sea's volume had been lost,
its depth had declined by 14 metres, and its salt concentration
The Aral Sea is the world's fourth-largest lake, but because of human
influence, it has been shrinking since the 1960s at a pace that is
unique in modern
The Aral Sea is a large, shallow, saline lake hidden in the remote
deserts of the republics of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan in the
south-central region of the former
Aral Sea Information
2,298 words, approx.
The Aral Sea region has one of the worlds highest rates of malformed
or handicapped children.
maternity hospital on the edge of the Aral Sea in the port city of
Aralsk, in Kazakhstan.
Behind him, pregnant women lie on rows of hospital beds.
the Aral Sea basin, which consists of parts of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan,
Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, are the direct consequences
of man-made environmental disasters in the regionthe shrinking of the
Aral Sea Refill: Seawater Importation Macroproject
Richard Brook Cathcart
1300 West Olive Avenue
endorheic Aral Sea is offered which involves regulation of several
hydrological factors: (1) overland pipeline importation of seawater
from the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea; (2) stabilization
invasion of the Caspian Sea and renewed Aral Sea can be prevented by
thorough filtration of the pumped fluid.
The Aral Sea is a terminal lake located in Central Asia. In the 1960s
it was the fourth largest lake in the world.
The reduction in the Aral Sea in area has had a pronounced effect on
the overall local ecosystems.
Aral Sea sand has been found as far away as 500 km from its
area of origin.
Up until recently, atlases described Central Asia's Aral Sea (at
right) as the world's fourth largest lake.
How the Aral Sea was turned into an ecological disaster - and might
now be saved from still further damage, if never fully restored - is
documented in a
of the Aral Sea basin was spectacular, expanding from an area of about
4.5 million ha in 1960 to almost 7 million ha in 1980.
The Aral Sea Crisis
home | environmental impacts | impacts to life in the region | the
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The primary effect of the Aral Sea desiccation has been the
significant loss of water in the sea.
acceleration of the rate of water loss from the Aral Sea can be
explained by the positive feedback between evaporation and Sea Surface
Temperature. As the lake loses water, it becomes shallower.
The shallow Aral Sea was
formerly the world's fourth largest body of inland water.
The Aral Sea is of great interest and increasing
concern to scientists because of the remarkable shrinkage of its area
and volume that began in the second half
into the Aral Sea and are its main sources of inflowing water.