Sarygamysh Lake

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Sarygamysh Lake
Lago Sariqamish.jpg
December 2001
Coordinates 42°00′N 57°20′E / 42.000°N 57.333°E / 42.000; 57.333Coordinates: 42°00′N 57°20′E / 42.000°N 57.333°E / 42.000; 57.333
Basin countries Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan
Max. length 125 km (78 mi)
Max. width 90 km (56 mi)
Surface area 3,955 km2 (1,527 sq mi)[1]
Average depth 8 m (26 ft)
Max. depth 40 m (130 ft)
Water volume 68.56 km3 (55,580,000 acre·ft)[1]
Surface elevation 5 m (16 ft)

The Sarygamysh Lake, also Sarykamysh or Sary-Kamysh (Turkmen: Sarygamyş köli, Uzbek: 'Sariqamish ko‘li', Russian: Сарыкамы́шское озеро), is a lake situated in Central Asia. It is geographically located approximately midway between the Caspian Sea and the Aral Sea. The northern quarter of the lake belongs to the country of Uzbekistan, while the rest belongs to Turkmenistan.

Sarykamysh Lake at lower left, Oxus delta and what is left of the Aral Sea
Sarygamysh Lake, from Uzbekistan
Sunset at Sarygamysh Lake

Up until the 17th century, Lake Sarygamysh was fed by the Uzboy River, a distributary of the Amu Darya River, which continued on to the Caspian Sea. Today, it is largely fed by the runoff water from surrounding irrigated lands, containing high levels of pesticides, herbicides and heavy metals.

The name of the lake comes from Turkmen sarykamysh 'yellow reed'.[2]

The Turkmen section of the lake and the land around it is protected by the Sarygamyş Sanctuary.


  1. ^ a b Orlovsky, Leah; Matsrafi, Offir; Orlovsky, Nikolai; Kouznetsov, Michael (2014). "Sarykamysh Lake: Collector of Drainage Water – The Past, the Present, and the Future". The Turkmen Lake Altyn Asyr and Water Resources in Turkmenistan. Berlin/Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag. doi:10.1007/698_2012_191. 
  2. ^ E.M. Pospelov, Geograficheskiye nazvaniya mira (Moscow, 1998), p. 369.