HOME

TheInfoList




An endorheic basin (; also spelled endoreic basin or endorreic basin) is a
drainage basin A drainage basin is any area of land where precipitation In meteorology Meteorology is a branch of the atmospheric sciences Atmospheric science is the study of the Earth's atmosphere File:Atmosphere gas proportions.svg, Compos ...

drainage basin
that normally retains water and allows no outflow to other external bodies of water, such as
river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases, a river flows into the ground and becomes dry at the end of its course without reaching another body of wate ...

river
s or
ocean The ocean (also the sea The sea, connected as the world ocean or simply the ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of salt water which covers approximately 71% of the surface of the Earth.
s, but drainage converges instead into lakes or swamps, permanent or seasonal, that equilibrate through evaporation. They are also called closed or terminal basins or internal drainage systems or basins. Endorheic regions contrast with
exorheicOpen and closed lakes refer to the major subdivisions of lakes – bodies of water surrounded by land. Exorheic, or open lakes drain into a river, or other body of water that ultimately drains into the ocean. Endorheic basins fall into the cat ...
regions. Endorheic water bodies include some of the largest lakes in the world, such as the
Caspian Sea The Caspian Sea (also known as Mazandaran Sea, Hyrcanian Ocean, or Khazar Sea), tk, Hazar deňzi, az, Xəzər Dənizi, russian: Каспийское море, script=Latn, fa, دریای مازندران، دریای خزر, script=Latn, tly, ...

Caspian Sea
, the world's largest inland body of water. Basins with subsurface outflows which eventually lead to the ocean are generally not considered endorheic; they are cryptorheic. Endorheic basins constitute local
base level In geology Geology (from the Ancient Greek γῆ, ''gē'' ("earth") and -λoγία, ''-logia'', ("study of", "discourse")) is an Earth science concerned with the solid Earth, the rock (geology), rocks of which it is composed, and the processe ...
s, defining a limit of
erosion In earth science Earth science or geoscience includes all fields of natural science Natural science is a branch of science Science (from the Latin word ''scientia'', meaning "knowledge") is a systematic enterprise that Scientific ...

erosion
and deposition processes of nearby areas.


Etymology

The term was borrowed from French ''endor(rh)éisme'', coined from the combining form ''endo-'' (from grc, ἔνδον ''éndon'' 'within') and ''rheîn'' 'to flow'.


Endorheic lakes

Endorheic lakes (also called terminal lakes) are bodies of water that do not flow into the sea. Most of the water falling on Earth finds its way to the oceans through a network of rivers, lakes and wetlands. However, there is a class of water bodies that are located in closed or endorheic watersheds where the topography prevents their drainage to the oceans. These endorheic watersheds (containing water in rivers or lakes that form a balance of surface inflows, evaporation and seepage) are often called sinks. Endorheic lakes are usually in the interior of a landmass, far from an ocean in areas of relatively low rainfall. Their watersheds are often confined by natural geologic land formations such as a mountain range, cutting off water egress to the ocean. The inland water flows into dry watersheds where the water evaporates, leaving a high concentration of minerals and other inflow erosion products. Over time this input of erosion products can cause the endorheic lake to become relatively saline (a "
salt lake A salt lake or saline lake is a landlocked body of water (Lysefjord) in Norway Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway,Names in the official and recognised languages: Bokmål Bokmål (, ; literally "book tongue") is an official wr ...

salt lake
"). Since the main outflow pathways of these lakes are chiefly through evaporation and seepage, endorheic lakes are usually more sensitive to environmental pollutant inputs than water bodies that have access to oceans, as pollution can be trapped in them and accumulate over time.


Occurrence

Endorheic regions can occur in any climate but are most commonly found in
desert A desert is a barren area of landscape where little precipitation occurs and, consequently, living conditions are hostile for plant and animal life. The lack of vegetation exposes the unprotected surface of the ground to the processes of ...

desert
locations. This reflects the balance between
tectonic subsidence Tectonic subsidence is the sinking of the Earth's crust on a large scale, relative to crustal-scale features or the geoid The geoid () is the shape that the ocean The ocean (also the sea The sea, connected as the world ocean or ...
and rates of evaporation and sedimentation. Where the basin floor is dropping more rapidly than water and sediments can accumulate, any lake in the basin will remain below the sill level (the level at which water can find a path out of the basin). Low rainfall or rapid evaporation in the watershed favor this case. In areas where rainfall is higher,
riparian A riparian zone or riparian area is the interface between land and a river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases, a river flows into the grou ...
erosion will generally carve drainage channels (particularly in times of flood), or cause the water level in the terminal lake to rise until it finds an outlet, breaking the enclosed endorheic
hydrological Hydrology (from Greek: ὕδωρ, "hýdōr" meaning "water" and λόγος, "lógos" meaning "study") is the scientific study of the movement, distribution, and management of water on Earth and other planets, including the water cycle, water re ...
system's geographical barrier and opening it to the surrounding terrain. The
Black Sea , with the skyline of Batumi Batumi (; ka, ბათუმი ) is the second largest city of Georgia Georgia usually refers to: * Georgia (country) Georgia ( ka, საქართველო; ''Sakartvelo''; ) is a country locat ...

Black Sea
was likely such a lake, having once been an independent hydrological system before the
Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a connected to the , surrounded by the and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by and and , on the south by , and on the east by the . The Sea has played a central role in the . Although the Mediterrane ...
broke through the terrain separating the two.
Lake Bonneville Lake Bonneville was the largest Late Pleistocene The Pleistocene ( , often referred to as the ''Ice Age'') is the geological Epoch (geology), epoch that lasted from about 2,580,000 to 11,700 years ago, spanning the earth’s most recent per ...
was another such lake, overflowing its basin in the Bonneville flood. The Malheur/
Harney lake Harney Lake is a shallow alkali In chemistry Chemistry is the study of the properties and behavior of . It is a that covers the that make up matter to the composed of s, s and s: their composition, structure, properties, behavi ...

Harney lake
system in Oregon is normally cut off from drainage to the ocean, but has an outflow channel to the Malheur River. This is presently dry, but may have flowed as recently as 1000 years ago. Examples of relatively humid regions in endorheic basins often exist at high elevation. These regions tend to be marshy and are subject to substantial flooding in wet years. The area containing
Mexico City Mexico City ( es, link=no, Ciudad de México, ; abbreviated as CDMX; nah, Āltepētl Mēxihco) is the capital city, capital and largest city of Mexico, as well as the List of North American cities by population, most populous city in North Americ ...

Mexico City
is one such case, with annual precipitation of and characterized by waterlogged soils that require draining. Endorheic regions tend to be far inland with their boundaries defined by mountains or other geological features that block their access to oceans. Since the inflowing water can evacuate only through seepage or evaporation, dried minerals or other products collect in the basin, eventually making the water saline and also making the basin vulnerable to pollution. Continents vary in their concentration of endorheic regions due to conditions of geography and climate. Australia has the highest percentage of endorheic regions at 21 percent while North America has the least at five percent. Approximately 18 percent of the earth's land drains to endorheic lakes or seas, the largest of these land areas being the interior of Asia. In deserts, water inflow is low and loss to solar evaporation high, drastically reducing the formation of complete drainage systems. In the extreme case, where there is no discernible drainage system, the basin is described as arheic. Closed water flow areas often lead to the concentration of salts and other minerals in the basin. Minerals leached from the surrounding rocks are deposited in the basin, and left behind when the water evaporates. Thus endorheic basins often contain extensive salt pans (also called salt flats,
salt lake A salt lake or saline lake is a landlocked body of water (Lysefjord) in Norway Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway,Names in the official and recognised languages: Bokmål Bokmål (, ; literally "book tongue") is an official wr ...
s,
alkali flat A dry lake bed, also known as a playa, is a basin or depression that formerly contained a standing surface water body, which disappeared when evaporation processes exceeded recharge. If the floor of a dry lake is covered by deposits of alkaline ...
s,
dry lake beds A dry lake bed, also known as a playa, is a basin or depression that formerly contained a standing surface water body, which disappeared when evaporation processes exceeded recharge. If the floor of a dry lake is covered by deposits of alkaline ...
or playas). These areas tend to be large, flat hardened surfaces and are sometimes used for
aviation Aviation is the activities surrounding mechanical flight and the aircraft industry. ''Aircraft'' includes airplane, fixed-wing and helicopter, rotary-wing types, morphable wings, wing-less lifting bodies, as well as aerostat, lighter-than-air ...
runway According to the International Civil Aviation Organization The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is a specialized and funding agency of the United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organ ...

runway
s or
land speed record The land speed record (or absolute land speed record) is the highest speed In everyday use and in kinematics, the speed (commonly referred to as ''v'') of an object is the magnitude (mathematics), magnitude of the rate of change of its P ...
attempts, because of their extensive areas of perfectly level terrain. Both permanent and seasonal endorheic lakes can form in endorheic basins. Some endorheic basins are essentially stable, climate change having reduced precipitation to the degree that a lake no longer forms. Even most permanent endorheic lakes change size and shape dramatically over time, often becoming much smaller or breaking into several smaller parts during the dry season. As humans have expanded into previously uninhabitable desert areas, the river systems that feed many endorheic lakes have been altered by the construction of dams and aqueducts. As a result, many endorheic lakes in developed or developing countries have contracted dramatically, resulting in increased salinity, higher concentrations of pollutants, and the disruption of ecosystems. Even within exorheic basins, there can be "non-contributing", low-lying areas that trap runoff and prevent it from contributing to flows downstream during years of average or below-average runoff. In flat river basins, non-contributing areas can be a large fraction of the river basin, e.g.
Lake Winnipeg Lake Winnipeg (french: Lac Winnipeg, oj, ᐑᓂᐸᑲᒥᐠᓴᑯ˙ᑯᐣ, italics=no, Weenipagamiksaguygun) is a very large, relatively shallow lake A lake is an area filled with water, localized in a basin, surrounded by land ...
's basin. A lake may be endorheic during dry years and can overflow its basin during wet years, e.g., the former
Tulare Lake Tulare Lake (Spanish: ''Laguna de Tache'', Yokuts The Yokuts (previously known as MariposasPowell, 1891:90–91.) are an ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people A people is any plurality of person A pe ...
. Because the Earth's climate has recently been through a warming and drying phase with the end of the Ice Ages, many endorheic areas such as
Death Valley Death Valley is a desert valley in Eastern California, in the northern Mojave Desert, bordering the Great Basin Desert. It is one of the hottest places on Earth, along with deserts in the Middle East and the Sahara. Death Valley's Badwater Ba ...

Death Valley
that are now dry deserts were large lakes relatively recently. During the last ice age, the Sahara may have contained lakes larger than any now existing.


Notable endorheic basins and lakes


Africa

Large endorheic regions in Africa are located in the
Sahara Desert The Sahara (, ; ar, الصحراء الكبرى, ', 'the Greatest Desert') is a desert on the . With an area of , it is the largest hot in the world and the third largest desert overall, smaller only than the deserts of and the northern . ...

Sahara Desert
, the
Kalahari Desert The Kalahari Desert is a large semi-arid sandy savannah A savanna or savannah is a mixed woodland-grassland ecosystem characterised by the trees being sufficiently widely spaced so that the Canopy (forest), canopy does not close. The ope ...
, and the
East African Rift File:East Africa Rift System GPS and stresses.png, Main rift faults, plates, plate boundaries, GPS plate velocities between adjacent blocks and minimum horizontal stress directions The East African Rift (EAR) or East African Rift System (EARS) is ...
: *
Chad Basin The Chad Basin is the largest endorheic basin An endorheic basin (; also spelled endoreic basin or endorreic basin) is a drainage basin that normally retains water and allows no outflow to other external bodies of water, such as river A ...
, in the northern centre of Africa. It covers an area of approximately 2.434 million km2. *
Qattara Depression The Qattara Depression ( ar, منخفض القطارة, Munḫafaḍ al-Qaṭṭārah) is a depression Depression may refer to: Mental health * Depression (mood), a state of low mood and aversion to activity * Mood disorders characterized by ...
, in
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identi ...

Egypt
. *
Chott Melrhir Chott Melrhir () also known as Chott Melghir or Chott Melhir is an endorheic An endorheic basin (; also spelled endoreic basin or endorreic basin) is a drainage basin that normally retains water and allows no outflow to other external bodies o ...
, in
Algeria ) , image_map = Algeria (centered orthographic projection).svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = , capital = Algiers , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , religion = , official_languages = , languages_type = Oth ...

Algeria
. *
Chott el Djerid Chott el Djerid ( ar, شط الجريد ') also spelled ''Sciott Gerid'' and ''Shott el Jerid'', is a large endorheic An endorheic basin (; also spelled endoreic basin or endorreic basin) is a drainage basin A drainage basin is any area ...
, in
Tunisia ) , image_map = Tunisia location (orthographic projection).svg , map_caption = Location of Tunisia in northern Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous , after in both cases. At about 30.3 million km2 (11. ...

Tunisia
. * The
Okavango River The Okavango River (formerly spelled Okovango or Okovanggo) is a river in southwest Africa. It is the fourth-longest river system in southern Africa, running southeastward for . It begins at an elevation of in the sandy highlands of Angola, wh ...

Okavango River
, in the Kalahari Desert, is part of an endorheic basin region, the
Okavango Basin The Kalahari Basin, also known as the Kalahari Depression or the Okavango Basin, is an endorheic basin and large lowland area covering over 2.5 million km2 covering most of Botswana and Namibia, as well as parts of Angola, South Africa, Zambia, a ...
, that also includes the
Okavango Delta The Okavango Delta (or Okavango Grassland) (formerly spelled "Okovango" or "Okovanggo") in Botswana Botswana (, also ), officially the Republic of Botswana ( tn, Lefatshe la Botswana, label=Setswana The Tswana language () is a Ban ...

Okavango Delta
,
Lake Ngami Lake Ngami is an endorheic An endorheic basin (; also spelled endoreic basin or endorreic basin) is a drainage basin that normally retains water and allows no outflow to other external bodies of water, such as river A river is a natural ...
, the
Nata River The Nata River or Manzamnyama River is a natural watercourse in Southern Africa. It is an ephemeral river flowing in Zimbabwe Zimbabwe (), officially the Republic of Zimbabwe, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country ...
, and a number of salt pans such as
Makgadikgadi Pan The Makgadikgadi Pan ( Tswana pronunciation ), a salt pan situated in the middle of the dry savanna of north-eastern Botswana Botswana (, also ), officially the Republic of Botswana ( tn, Lefatshe la Botswana, label= Setswana; Kalanga: ...
. *
Etosha pan The Etosha pan is a large endorheic An endorheic basin (; also spelled endoreic basin or endorreic basin) is a drainage basin that normally retains water and allows no outflow to other external bodies of water, such as river A river is a ...

Etosha pan
in
Namibia Namibia (, ), officially the Republic of Namibia, is a country in Southern Africa Southern Africa is the south South is one of the cardinal directions or compass points. South is the opposite of north and is perpendicular to the east a ...

Namibia
's
Etosha National Park Etosha National Park is a national park in northwestern Namibia Namibia (, ), officially the Republic of Namibia, is a country in Southern Africa Southern Africa is the south South is one of the cardinal directions or compass points ...
. *
Turkana Basin An '' Acacia'' tree in the Kokiselei river, northern Kenya The greater Turkana Basin in East Africa East Africa or Eastern Africa is the eastern subregion of the Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous co ...
, in
Kenya ) , national_anthem = "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu" (, ) is the national anthem of Kenya. History "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu"'s lyrics were originally written in Swahili language, Kiswahili, the national language of Kenya ...

Kenya
, whose basin includes the Omo River of
Ethiopia Ethiopia, officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the ...

Ethiopia
. *
Lake Chilwa Lake Chilwa is the second-largest lake in Malawi after Lake Malawi. It is in eastern Zomba District, near the border with Mozambique. Approximately 60 km long and 40 km wide, the lake is surrounded by extensive Zambezian flooded grassland ...
, in
Malawi Malawi (; or aláwi, officially the Republic of Malawi, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of ...

Malawi
. *
Afar Depression The Afar Triangle (also called the Afar Depression) is a geological depression caused by the Afar Triple Junction 550px, The location of the triangle (the shaded area in the center of the map) and the local fault lines. It is located at The ...
, in
Eritrea Eritrea ( ), officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in the Horn of Africa The Horn of Africa (HoA), also known as the Somali Peninsula, is a large peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from ' "almost" and ' "island") is a ...

Eritrea
,
Ethiopia Ethiopia, officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the ...

Ethiopia
, and
Djibouti Djibouti, ar, جيبوتي ', french: link=no, Djibouti, so, Jabuuti officially the Republic of Djibouti, is a country located in the Horn of Africa The Horn of Africa (HoA), also known as the Somali Peninsula, is a large peninsu ...

Djibouti
, which contains the
Awash River The Awash (sometimes spelled Hawash; Oromo language, Oromo: ''Awaash'', Amharic: አዋሽ, Afar language, Afar: ''We'ayot'', Somali language, Somali: ''Webiga Dir'') is a major river of Ethiopia. Its course is entirely contained within the bounda ...

Awash River
* Some
Rift Valley lakes The Rift Valley lakes are a series of lakes in the East African Rift File:East Africa Rift System GPS and stresses.png, Main rift faults, plates, plate boundaries, GPS plate velocities between adjacent blocks and minimum horizontal stress direc ...

Rift Valley lakes
, such as
Lake Abijatta Lake Abijatta is an alkaline lake in Ethiopia Ethiopia (; am, ኢትዮጵያ, , aa, Itiyoophiyaa, gez, ኢትዮጵያ, om , Itoophiyaa, so, Itoobiya, ti , ኢትዮጵያ), officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, ...
,
Lake Chew Bahir Lake Chew Bahir ( Amharic: ጨው ባሕር ''č̣ew bāhir'', "salty lake") or Lake Istifanos, also called Stefanie, Basso Naebor and Chuwaha, is a lake A lake is an area filled with water, localized in a basin, surrounded by land, apart ...
,
Lake Shala Lake Shala (also spelled Shalla) is an alkaline lake located in the Ethiopian Rift Valley, in the Abijatta-Shalla National Park. Overview The lake is 28 kilometers long and 12 wide,''Statistical Abstract of Ethiopia for 1967/68'' with a surface are ...

Lake Shala
,
Lake Chamo Lake Chamo (Amharic Amharic ( or ; (Amharic: ), ', ) is an Ethiopian Semitic languages, Ethiopian Semitic language, which is a subgrouping within the Semitic languages, Semitic branch of the Afroasiatic languages. It is spoken as a first l ...
, and Lake Awasa. *
Lake Mweru Wantipa Lake Mweru Wantipa or Mweru-wa-Ntipa meaning "muddy lake" (also called 'Mweru Marsh') is a lake A lake is an area filled with water, localized in a basin, surrounded by land Land is the solid surface of Earth that is not permanently ...
, in
Zambia Zambia (), officially the Republic of Zambia ( Bemba:'' Icalo ca Zambia''; Tonga Tonga (, ), officially named the Kingdom of Tonga ( to, Puleʻanga Fakatuʻi ʻo Tonga), is a Polynesia Polynesia (, ; from grc, πολύς "many" ...

Zambia
. *
Lake Magadi Lake Magadi is the southernmost lake in the Kenyan Rift Valley The Great Rift Valley is part of an intra-continental ridge system that runs through Kenya from north to south. It is part of the Gregory Rift, the eastern branch of the East Afri ...

Lake Magadi
, in
Kenya ) , national_anthem = "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu" (, ) is the national anthem of Kenya. History "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu"'s lyrics were originally written in Swahili language, Kiswahili, the national language of Kenya ...

Kenya
. *
Lake Rukwa Lake Rukwa is an endorheic lake in the Rukwa Valley of southwestern Tanzania. Geography The alkaline Lake Rukwa lies midway between Lake Tanganyika and Lake Malawi at an elevation of about , in a parallel branch of the rift system. Almost half of ...

Lake Rukwa
, in
Tanzania Tanzania (; ), officially the United Republic of Tanzania ( sw, Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania), is a country in East Africa East Africa or Eastern Africa is the eastern subregion of the Africa Africa is the world's second-larges ...

Tanzania
.


Antarctica

There are endorheic lakes in Antarctica in the
McMurdo Dry Valleys The McMurdo Dry Valleys are a row of largely Antarctic oasis, snow-free valleys in Antarctica, located within Victoria Land west of McMurdo Sound. The Dry Valleys experience extremely low humidity and surrounding mountains prevent the flow of ...
,
Victoria Land Victoria Land is a region in eastern Antarctica Antarctica ( or ) is 's southernmost . It contains the geographic and is situated in the region of the , almost entirely south of the , and is surrounded by the . At , it is the fifth-lar ...
, the largest ice-free area in Antarctica. * Don Juan Pond in
Wright Valley The Wright Valley, named for Sir Charles Wright, is the central one of the three large Dry Valleys in the Transantarctic Mountains The Transantarctic Mountains (abbreviated TAM) comprise a mountain range of uplifted (primarily sedimentary ...
is fed by groundwater from a rock glacier and remains unfrozen throughout the year. *
Lake Vanda Lake Vanda is a lake in Wright Valley, Victoria Land, Ross Dependency, Antarctica. The lake is 5 km long and has a maximum depth of 69 m. On its shore, New Zealand maintained Vanda Station from 1968 to 1995. Lake Vanda is a Salinity, hyp ...
in
Wright Valley The Wright Valley, named for Sir Charles Wright, is the central one of the three large Dry Valleys in the Transantarctic Mountains The Transantarctic Mountains (abbreviated TAM) comprise a mountain range of uplifted (primarily sedimentary ...
has a perennial ice cover, the edges of which melt in the summer allowing flow from the longest river in Antarctica, the
Onyx River The Onyx River is an Antarctic The Antarctic (US English or , UK English or and or ) is a polar region around Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbor life. About 29% of Eart ...

Onyx River
. The lake is over 70 m deep and is hypersaline. * Lake Bonney is in Taylor Valley and has a perennial ice cover and two lobes separated by the Bonney Riegel. The lake is fed by glacial melt and discharge from Blood Falls. Its unique glacial history has resulted in a hypersaline brine in the bottom waters and fresh water at the surface. *
Lake Hoare Lake Hoare is a lake about long between Lake Chad Lake Chad (french: links=no, Lac Tchad) is a historically large, shallow, endorheic lake in central Africa, which has varied in size over the centuries. According to the ''Global Resource Inform ...
, in Taylor Valley, is the freshest of the Dry Valley lakes receiving its melt almost exclusively from the Canada Glacier. The lake has an ice cover and forms a moat during the Austral summer. * Lake Fryxell is adjacent to the
Ross Sea The Ross Sea is a deep bay of the Southern Ocean The Southern Ocean, also known as the Antarctic Ocean, comprises the southernmost waters of the World Ocean, generally taken to be south of 60° S latitude and encircling Antarctic ...

Ross Sea
in Taylor Valley. The lake has an ice cover and receives its water from numerous glacial meltwater streams for approximately 6 weeks out of the year. Its salinity increases with depth.


Asia

Much of western and
Central Asia Central Asia is a region in Asia which stretches from the Caspian Sea in the west to China and Mongolia in the east, and from Afghanistan and Iran in the south to Russia in the north, including the former Soviet Union, Soviet republics of the Sov ...

Central Asia
is a giant endorheic region made up of a number of
contiguous Contiguity or contiguous may refer to: *Contiguous data storage, in computer science *Contiguity (probability theory) *Contiguity (psychology) *Contiguous distribution of species, in biogeography *Geographic contiguity of territorial land *Contiguo ...
closed basins. The region contains several basins and terminal lakes, including: * The
Caspian Sea The Caspian Sea (also known as Mazandaran Sea, Hyrcanian Ocean, or Khazar Sea), tk, Hazar deňzi, az, Xəzər Dənizi, russian: Каспийское море, script=Latn, fa, دریای مازندران، دریای خزر, script=Latn, tly, ...

Caspian Sea
, the largest lake on Earth. A large part of Eastern Europe, drained by the
Volga River The Volga (; russian: Во́лга, a=Ru-Волга.ogg, p=ˈvoɫɡə) is the longest river in Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention ra ...
, is part of the Caspian's basin. *
Lake Urmia Lake Urmia ( fa, دریاچه ارومیه, ''Daryâche-ye Orumiye'', , az, اورمو ﮔﺆﻟﻮ, ''Urmiya gölü'', ku, دەریاچەی ورمێ) is an endorheic An endorheic basin (; also spelled endoreic basin or endorreic bas ...
in Western Azerbaijan Province of Iran. * The
Aral Sea The Aral Sea (Aral ; kk, Aral teńizi, Арал теңізі, uz, Orol dengizi, Орол денгизи, kaa, Aral ten'izi, Арал теңизи, russian: Аральское море) was an endorheic lake lying between Kazakhstan Kaza ...

Aral Sea
, whose tributary rivers have been diverted, leading to a dramatic shrinkage of the lake. The resulting ecological disaster has brought the plight faced by internal drainage basins to public attention. *
Lake Balkhash Lake Balkhash ( kk, Балқаш көлі, ''Balqaş kóli'', ; russian: озеро Балхаш, ozero Balkhash) is one of the largest lakes in Asia and 15th largest in the world. It is in the east of Central Asia Central Asia is a region in ...

Lake Balkhash
, in
Kazakhstan Kazakhstan ( kk, Қазақстан, Qazaqstan; russian: Казахстан, Kazakhstan), officially the Republic of Kazakhstan,; russian: Республика Казахстан, Respublika Kazakhstan, link=no) is a country located mainly in ...

Kazakhstan
. *
Issyk-Kul Lake Issyk-Kul (also Ysyk Köl, Issyk-Kol, ky, Ысык-Көл, , , ; russian: Иссык-Куль, ) is an endorheic An endorheic basin (; also spelled endoreic basin or endorreic basin) is a drainage basin that normally retains water and allows ...
and Chatyr-Kul Lake in
Kyrgyzstan russian: Киргизская Республика, Kirgizskaya Respublika , image_flag = Flag of Kyrgyzstan.svg , image_coat = Emblem of Kyrgyzstan.svg , symbol_type = Emblem , motto = " ...

Kyrgyzstan
. *
Lop Lake Lop Nur or Lop Nor (from a Mongolian name meaning "Lop Lake", where "Lop" is a toponym of unknown origin) is a former salt lake, now largely dried up, located between the Taklamakan and Kumtag deserts in the southeastern portion of the Xinjian ...
, in the
Tarim Basin The Tarim Basin is an endorheic basin An endorheic basin (; also spelled endoreic basin or endorreic basin) is a drainage basin that normally retains water and allows no outflow to other external bodies of water, such as rivers or oceans ...
of
China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere ...

China
's
Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region Xinjiang, SASM/GNC romanization, SASM/GNC: ''Xinjang''; zh, c=, p=Xīnjiāng; Chinese postal romanization, alternately romanized as Sinkiang; officially Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (XUAR) is an Autonomous regions of China, autonomous reg ...

Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region
. * The
Dzungarian Basin Junggar Basin is one of the largest sedimentary basins in Northwest China. It is located in Xinjiang, and enclosed by the Tarbagatai Mountains of Kazakhstan in the northwest, the Altai Mountains of Mongolia in the northeast, and the Tian Shan, Heav ...
in Xinjiang, separated from the Tarim Basin by the
Tian Shan The Tian Shan,; dng, Тянсан, ; otk, 𐰴𐰣 𐱅𐰭𐰼𐰃, ; tr, Tanrı Dağı; mn, Тэнгэр уул, ; ug, تەڭرىتاغ, , ; kk, Тәңіртауы / Алатау, , ; ky, Теңир-Тоо / Ала-Тоо, , ; uz, Tyan ...

Tian Shan
. The most notable terminal lake in the basin is the
Manas Lake The Manas Lake () is a salt lake A salt lake or saline lake is a landlocked body of water (Lysefjord) in Norway Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway,Names in the official and recognised languages: Bokmål Bokmål (, ; litera ...
. * The
Central Asian Internal Drainage Basin 400px, Topography of Mongolia The Central Asian Internal Drainage Basin or Central Asian Inland Basin is the largest of 3 major drainage basin, hydrological basins that cover Mongolia (cf. Arctic Drainage Basin & Pacific Drainage Basin). It is an en ...
, in southern and western
Mongolia Mongolia (, mn, Монгол Улс, Mongol Uls, Mongolian script, Traditional Mongolian: '; literal translation, lit. "Mongol Nation" or "State of Mongolia") is a landlocked country in East Asia. It is bordered by Russia Mongolia–Russia ...

Mongolia
, contains a series of closed drainage basins, such as the
Khyargas Nuur Khyargas Lake ( mn, Хяргас нуур, ''Hĭargas núr'') is a salt lake in Khyargas, Uvs, Khyargas district, Uvs Province, Western Mongolia. Some sources are using different Khyargas Lake statistics values: *Water level: 1,035.29 m *Surface ...

Khyargas Nuur
basin, the
Uvs Nuur basin Uvs Lake Basin (also Uvs Nuur Basin or Ubs Nuur Basin; mn, Увс нуурын хотгор, Uws nuuriin hotgor) is an endorheic basin located on the territorial border of Mongolia and Tuva, a republic of the Russia, Russian Federation. The basin ...
, which includes Üüreg Lake, and the Pu-Lun-To River Basin. * Qaidam Basin, in Qinghai Province, China, as well as nearby Qinghai Lake. * Sistan Basin covering areas of Iran and Afghanistan * Pangong Tso and Aksai Chin Lake on the China-India border * Many small lakes and rivers of the Iranian Plateau, including Gavkhouni marshes and Namak Lake. Other endorheic lakes and basins in Asia include: * The Dead Sea, the list of places on land with elevations below sea level, lowest surface point on Earth and one of its saltiest bodies of water, lies between Israel and Jordan. * Sambhar Lake, in Rajasthan, north-western India * Lake Van in eastern Turkey * Sabkhat al-Jabbul, extensive salt flats and a lake in Syria. * Solar Lake, Sinai Peninsula, Sinai, near the Israeli-
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identi ...

Egypt
border. * Lake Tuz, in Turkey, in south part of Central Anatolia Region. * Sawa lake in Iraq, in Muthanna Governorate.


Australia

Australia (continent), Australia, being very dry and having exceedingly low runoff ratios due to its ancient soils, has many endorheic drainages. The most important are: * Lake Eyre basin, which drains into the highly variable Lake Eyre and includes Lake Frome. * Lake Torrens, usually endorheic lake to the west of the Flinders Ranges in South Australia, that flows to the sea after extreme rainfall events. * Lake Corangamite, a highly saline Volcanic crater lake, crater lake in western Victoria (Australia), Victoria. * Lake George, New South Wales, Lake George, formerly connected to the Murray-Darling Basin


Europe

Though a large portion of Europe drains to the endorheic Caspian Sea, Europe's wet climate means it contains relatively few terminal lakes itself: any such basin is likely to continue to fill until it reaches an overflow level connecting it with an outlet or erodes the barrier blocking its exit. There are some seemingly endorheic lakes, but in fact they are cryptorheic, being drained either through manmade canals, via karstic phenomena, or other subsurface seepage. * Lake Neusiedl, in Austria and Hungary. * Lake Trasimeno, in Italy. * Fucine Lake, in Italy. Now drained. * Lake Velence, in Hungary. * Lake Prespa, between Albania, Greece and North Macedonia. * Rahasane turlough, the largest turlough (lake), turlough in the Republic of Ireland. * Laacher See, in Germany. * The Lasithi Plateau in Crete, Greece, is a high endorheic plateau. A few minor true endorheic lakes exist in Spain (e.g. Laguna de Gallocanta, Estany de Banyoles), Italy, Cyprus (Larnaca Salt Lake, Larnaca and Limassol Salt Lake, Akrotiri salt lakes) and Greece.


North America

* The Great Basin is North America's largest and the list of drainage basins by area, world's ninth largest endorheic basin, covering nearly all of Nevada, much of Oregon and Utah, and portions of California, Idaho, and Wyoming. Notable enclosed basins include
Death Valley Death Valley is a desert valley in Eastern California, in the northern Mojave Desert, bordering the Great Basin Desert. It is one of the hottest places on Earth, along with deserts in the Middle East and the Sahara. Death Valley's Badwater Ba ...

Death Valley
, the hottest location on Earth; the Black Rock Desert and Bonneville Salt Flats, location of many of the new vehicle land speed records set since the 1930s; the Great Salt Lake, remnant of
Lake Bonneville Lake Bonneville was the largest Late Pleistocene The Pleistocene ( , often referred to as the ''Ice Age'') is the geological Epoch (geology), epoch that lasted from about 2,580,000 to 11,700 years ago, spanning the earth’s most recent per ...
; and the Salton Sea. *The Valley of Mexico. In Pre-Columbian times, the Valley was substantially covered with five lakes, including Lake Texcoco, Lake Xochimilco, and Lake Chalco. * Guzmán Basin, in northern Mexico and the southwestern United States. The Mimbres River of New Mexico drains into this basin. * Lago de Atitlán, in the highlands of Guatemala. * Coatepeque Caldera#Lake Coatepeque, Lago de Coatepeque, El Salvador. * Bolsón de Mapimí, in northern Mexico. * Willcox Playa of southern Arizona. *
Tulare Lake Tulare Lake (Spanish: ''Laguna de Tache'', Yokuts The Yokuts (previously known as MariposasPowell, 1891:90–91.) are an ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people A people is any plurality of person A pe ...
in the San Joaquin Valley in Central California, fed by the Kaweah River, Kaweah and Tule Rivers plus southern distributaries of the Kings River (California), Kings. Historically, in very wet years it would drain into the San Joaquin River. Agricultural development and irrigation diversions have left the lake dry. * Buena Vista Lake at the southmost end of the San Joaquin Valley in Southern California, fed by the Kern River. Historically, in exceptionally wet years it would drain into Tulare Lake and then into the San Joaquin River. Agricultural development and irrigation diversions have left the lake dry. * Crater Lake, in Oregon, a cryptorheic lake with subsurface drainage to the Wood River (Oregon), Wood River. It is filled directly by rain and snow, and has very little mineral or salt buildup. * The Great Divide Basin in Wyoming, a small endorheic basin that straddles the Continental Divide of the Americas. * Devils Lake (North Dakota), Devils Lake, in North Dakota. * Devil's Lake (Wisconsin), Devil's Lake, in Wisconsin, cryptorheic. * Tule Lake and the Lost River (California), Lost River basin in California and Oregon. * Little Manitou Lake in Saskatchewan. * Old Wives Lake, on the Laurentian Divide in Saskatchewan. * Quill Lakes, in Saskatchewan. * Pakowki Lake, on the Laurentian Divide in Alberta. * Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park, Paynes Prairie, in Florida. Since 1927, it has been drained by canal to the Atlantic Ocean via the River Styx. * Spotted Lake, Osoyoos, British Columbia, Canada. * Several lakes on the western Chilcotin Plateau that sit on the divide between the Fraser River drainage to the east and the Homathko drainage to the west. Such examples include Choelquoit Lake, Eagle Lake (British Columbia), Eagle Lake, and Martin Lake (British Columbia), Martin lake. * Frame Lake in Yellowknife, capital of Canada's Northwest Territories. * New Mexico has a number of desert endorheic basins including: ** The Tularosa Basin, a rift valley. ** Zuni Salt Lake, a maar. ** The Mimbres River Basin, in Grant County. * Lago Enriquillo on the island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean Sea. Many small lakes and ponds in North Dakota and the Northern Great Plains are endorheic; some of them have salt encrustations along their shores.


South America

* Laguna del Carbón, in Gran Bajo de San Julián, Argentina – the lowest point in the Western and Southern hemispheres * Lake Mar Chiquita in Argentina. * The Altiplano includes a number of closed basins such as the Salar de Coipasa, and Lake Titicaca, Titicaca–Poopó Lake, Poopó system. * Lake Valencia (Venezuela), Lake Valencia, in Venezuela. * Salar de Atacama, in the Atacama Desert, Chile.


Ancient

Some of Earth's ancient endorheic systems and lakes include: * The
Black Sea , with the skyline of Batumi Batumi (; ka, ბათუმი ) is the second largest city of Georgia Georgia usually refers to: * Georgia (country) Georgia ( ka, საქართველო; ''Sakartvelo''; ) is a country locat ...

Black Sea
, until its merger with the Mediterranean. * The
Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a connected to the , surrounded by the and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by and and , on the south by , and on the east by the . The Sea has played a central role in the . Although the Mediterrane ...
itself and all its tributary basins, during its Messinian salinity crisis, Messinian desiccation (approximately five million years ago) as it became disconnected from the Atlantic Ocean. * The Orcadian Basin in Scotland during the Devonian period. Now identifiable as lacustrine sediments buried around and off the coast. * Lake Tanganyika in Africa. Currently high enough to connect to rivers entering the sea. * Lake Lahontan in North America. *
Lake Bonneville Lake Bonneville was the largest Late Pleistocene The Pleistocene ( , often referred to as the ''Ice Age'') is the geological Epoch (geology), epoch that lasted from about 2,580,000 to 11,700 years ago, spanning the earth’s most recent per ...
in North America. Basin was not always endorheic; at times it overflowed through Red Rock Pass to the Snake River and the sea. * Lake Abert, Lake Chewaucan in North America. * Tularosa Basin and Lake Cabeza de Vaca in North America. The basin was formerly much larger than at present, including the ancestral Rio Grande north of Texas, feeding a large lake area. * Ebro and Duero basins, draining most of northern Spain during the Neogene and perhaps Pliocene. Climate change and erosion of the Catalan coastal mountains, as well as deposition of alluvium in the terminal lake, allowed the Ebro basin to overflow into the sea during the middle-to-late Miocene.


See also

* * * Triple divide


References


External links


Primer on endorheic lakes


* {{List of seas Endorheic basins, Endorheic lakes, Bodies of water Lacustrine landforms Drainage basins Hydrology Lakes