Song Kol Lake
Northern shore of the Song-Köl
|Surface area||270 km2 (100 sq mi)|
|Max. depth||13 m (43 ft)|
|Water volume||2.64 km3 (2,140,000 acre·ft)|
|Surface elevation||3,016 m (9,895 ft)|
Song Köl (also Son Kul, Songköl, Song-Köl; Kyrgyz: Соңкөл, IPA: [sóɴkœl], literally "following lake") is an alpine lake in northern Naryn Province, Kyrgyzstan. It lies at an altitude of 3016 m, and has an area of about 270 km2 and volume of 2.64 km3. Lake's maximum length is 29 km, breadth about 18 km, and extreme depth f 13.2 m. It is the second largest lake after Issyk Kul Lake, and the largest fresh water lake in Kyrgyzstan. Its name, meaning "following lake", is popularly considered to refer to this relation. It is surrounded by a broad summer pasture and then mountains. Its beauty is greatly praised, but it is rather inaccessible. The best approach seems to be the 85 km road from Sary-Bulak on the main north-south highway.[original research?] Other routes require 4x4s. There are no facilities on the lake, but local herders will provide supplies and rent yurts. The area is inhabited and safely accessible only from June to September.
High altitude Song Köl belongs to Naryn River basin. The lake sits in the central part of Song Köl Valley surrounded by Songköl Too ridge from the north, and Borbor Alabas and Moldo Too mountains from the south. Hydrologically, Song Köl basin is characterized by poorly developed surface stream flows, and substantial subsurface flow. Four perennial rivers - Kum-Bel', Ak-Tash, Tash-Dobo, and Kara-Keche - disgorge themselves into the lake. In the south-east, the structural high is cut through by Song Köl river that flows into Naryn River.
The mean temperature in the lake basin is −3.5 °C (25.7 °F) with mean temperature of −20 °C (−4 °F) in January, and 11 °C (52 °F) in July. Annual precipitation averages 300–400 mm from April to October, and 100–150 mm from November to March. Snow cover in the lake basin persists for 180 to 200 days a year. In winter the lake surface freezes, the ice becoming as much as 1-1.2 m thick. The ice on the Song Köl begins to thaw in the middle or at the end of April, and completely disappears by late May.
- Атлас Кыргызской Республики [Atlas of Kyrgyz Republic] (in Russian). Bishkek: Academy of Sciences of Kyrgyz SSR. 1987. p. 156.
- Information Sheet on Ramsar Wetlands (RIS), retrieved October 30, 2012
- Иссык-Куль. Нарын:Энциклопедия [Encyclopedia of Issyk-Kul and Naryn Oblasts] (in Russian). Bishkek: Chief Editorial Board of Kyrgyz Soviet Encyclopedia. 1994. p. 512. ISBN 5-89750-009-6.
- "Kyrgyz Republic names high altitude lake". Retrieved October 28, 2012.
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