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Asia Landforms
ASIA LAKES:

Dozens of significant lakes are found in Asia. Here we highlight a few on the map and (briefly) describe the three most significant including the Caspian Sea, Lake Baikal and the Aral Sea.

Caspian Sea
The Caspian Sea, located in western Asia on the eastern edges of Europe, is the largest lake on the planet. History records that it's called a sea because the Romans found it salty, especially in the southern reaches, and the name stuck. Oil and natural gas production platforms are replete along the edges of the sea. In addition, large quantities of sturgeon live in its waters, and the caviar produced from their eggs is a valuable commodity. Fresh water flows into the sea via the Volga River and Ural River in the north, however, the sea remains somewhat salty, central and southThe measured surface area is 371,000 sq km (143,244 sq mi), and the maximum depth is at 1025 m (3,363 ft). Additional details and map.

Lake Baikal
Lake Baikal is positioned in southeastern (Siberia) Russia, directly to the north of Mongolia. Recognized as the oldest (still existing) freshwater lake on the planet, it is also measured as the deepest continental body of water at 5,315 feet (1,620 m). In addition, it is the largest freshwater lake by volume, containing an astounding 20% of the planet's fresh water. With a maximum width of 60 miles (96 km), Lake Baikal is about 389 miles (626 km) in length. Completely surrounded by mountains, over 300 rivers and streams drain into this massive lake. Detailed map.

Aral Sea
Positioned in far-western Asia, just to the east of the Caspian Sea, the Aral Sea is located in the countries of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. The Aral Sea is disappearing (evaporating) and is today almost totally polluted by fertilizer runoff, weapon testing residue left here by the former Soviet Union and careless industrial projects. The mismanagement of its valuable waters is consider by many experts to be one of the world's worst environmental disasters. Diversion of the Amu Darya and Syr Darya rivers for irrigation began in 1918, and that action, along with other factors have now shrunk the Aral Sea to almost 60% of its former size. Over the last few years the outlook for the northern reaches of the sea have brightened some, but the lower half is basically abandoned and the remaining western waters are now predicted to be gone within a decade. Additional details and map.


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