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Karagiye (Қарақия ойпаты)
Karagiye Mountain Trench,[1] Karagiye Depression
Karagiye Depression.JPG
View of Karagiye Depression
Karagiye is located in Kazakhstan
Karagiye within Kazakhstan
Location Mangyshlak Peninsula, Kazakhstan
Floor elevation -132 m
Long-axis length 40 km[1]
Width 10 km[1]
Type Karst
Coordinates 43°24′0″N 51°47′24″E / 43.40000°N 51.79000°E / 43.40000; 51.79000Coordinates: 43°24′0″N 51°47′24″E / 43.40000°N 51.79000°E / 43.40000; 51.79000

Karagiye (Kazakh: Қарақия ойпаты, Karagiye means Black Jaw in Turkic[1]) is a 40 kilometres (25 mi) long karst trench close to the Caspian Sea. At approximately 132 metres (433 ft) below sea level it is the lowest point in Central Asia, Kazakhstan, and the former Soviet Union. It is also known as the "Karagiye Depression" and "Karagiye Mountain Trench".[1]

The trench was formed as soluble limestone, dolomite and gypsum dissolved forming potholes, funnels and caves that eventually collapsed. Today the trench features many scarps and offsets and generates long rain clouds caused by the air rising above it.[1] There is a vernal lake in the south-west of the trench and a stream rising from a drilled well that disappears back into the ground within the trench.[1]

The trench is inhabited by mouflon, corsac, snakes, hares and vultures. It is the only place within the Mangyshlak Peninsula that mushrooms grow and these are collected by locals.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h KAZAKHSTAN THE LAND OF WONDERS. Almaty: BW-KZ. 2009.