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Van lake
Other form: Lake Van

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Van Lake

Satellite photo of Van lake, Turkey. Photo: NASA
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Satellite photo of Van lake, Turkey. Photo: NASA

Largest lake of Turkey, 3,755 km². It lies 1,640 metres above sea level, the deepest point is 451 metres. At its widest, the lake is 119 km.
The lake has a high salt level, having no outlets. The lake water is strongly alkaline (pH 9.79.8) and rich in sodium carbonate and other salts, which are extracted by evaporation and used as detergents. There is only one fish that lives in the lake, the pearl mullet. The shore around the lake has agriculture of fruit and grain.
The geological history of the lake is dramatic, largely being formed by volcanic activity. Over the last 20,000 years, there have been 15 eruptions affecting the lake. Over recent years, the level of the lake has risen several metres, flooding agricultural land and villages.
The sediments in the lake is considered among the best sources to determine climate history by scientists.

By Tore Kjeilen