Lake Merzbacher after outburst
|Lake type||Glacier lake|
|Primary outflows||Engilchek River|
|Surface elevation||3,304 metres (10,840 ft)|
Lake Merzbacher is a moraine glacier lake located in east Kyrgyzstan between the north and south Engilchek Glaciers in the Tien Shan Mountains. It is often called the "Disappearing Lake" because it drains every year as the ice melts, often causing a glacial lake outburst flood. The lake was named after a German explorer, Gottfried Merzbacher, who led an expedition in the area in 1903. An ice dam prevents the lake from draining through the majority of the year however when a hole finally melts through the dam the lake drains within three days. When this happens, the lake's discharge can be up to 1000 m3 a second which causes destruction of infrastructure and creates major flooding downstream. It goes through this cycle of appearing, expanding and then draining annually.
- Bormudoi, A; Shabunin, A; Hazarika, M; Zaginaev, V; Samarakoon, L. "Studying the outburst of the Merzbacher lake of Inylchek glacier, Kyrgyzstan with Remote Sensing and field data". Retrieved 20 June 2015. Cite journal requires
- "The Merzbacher Lake". Tourist Information Center. Retrieved 20 June 2015.
- Curwood, Steve. "Almanac/Merzbacher Lake". Living on Earth. Retrieved 20 June 2015.
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