Azerbaijan is home to around 450 lakes with most of them being small in size. Most of these lakes are freshwater but a few are saltwater in nature. The lakes of Azerbaijan have various origins. There are tectonic lakes, oxbow lakes, lagoons, alluvial set lakes, etc. Below is a list of the country’s largest lakes.
The Five Biggest Lakes In Azerbaijan
1. Caspian Sea
The Caspian Sea is the biggest inland water body in the world. Although it has "sea" in its name, it is also regarded as a lake. The Caspian Sea is shared by several countries including Azerbaijan. The salinity of the sea is about one-third of that of seawater. It has an area of around 371,000 square km. The Caspian Sea is home to a wide range of species. However, pollution and human disturbance threaten the lives of many species living in its waters. The Caspian Sea region is famous for its thriving oil industry and caviar.
2. Mingachevir Reservoir
The Mingachevir Reservoir is the biggest lake in Azerbaijan. It is also the largest reservoir in the Caucasus region. It has an area of 605 square km and a maximum depth of 75 m. The reservoir was created by the construction of a dam on the Kura River. The country’s largest hydroelectric power plant, the Mingachevir Hydro Power Plant, is located on the reservoir.
3. The Shamkir Reservoir
The second largest lake in the country is also an artificial reservoir. It has a surface area of 116 square km. It is located in the Shamkir Rayon in the northwestern part of the country. It is also located on the Kura River and acts as a source of irrigation water of nearby settlements. A hydroelectric power station is also part of the reservoir complex.
4. Lake Sarysu
With an area of 65.7 square km, Lake Sarysu is Azerbaijan’s largest natural lake that is entirely within the country’s territory. It is located in the Kur-Araz Lowland of the country. The freshwater lake extends for about 22 km from the Imishli Rayon to the Sabirabad Rayon. Lake Ağgöl is the primary inflow of Lake Sarysu. A canal from the former leads to the latter. The canal also receives water from rain and groundwater. Large tracts of swamps and other wetlands are found along the shores of the lake. Sarysu has an average depth of only 0.5 m and a maximum depth of 6.05 m. The lake is inhabited by many fish species and is rich with vobla and common carp. Hundreds of migratory bird species also visit Lake Sarysu.
5. Lake Ağgöl
Lake Ağgöl is the second biggest lake in Azerbaijan. It has an area of 56.2 square km. It is a shallow endorheic lake with a maximum depth of 2.5 m. It is also located in the Kur-Araz Lowland and extends from the Imishli Rayon to the Agjabadi Rayon. Lake Ağgöl’s is fed by underground waters from rivers like Araz, Ajinohur. The lake and its surrounding environs provide a home to many species of wildlife. The Ağgöl National Park protects the wetland habitat of the lake. Many species of migrating birds including several threatened species visit this lake. It is believed that this lake was formed as a result of a massive earthquake in 1139.