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When the Kara Bogaz Gol vanished

When the Kara Bogaz Gol vanished

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Uploaded 01 Mar 2012 by GRID-Arendal
Year: 2012 Author:
Original cartography by Philippe Rekacewicz (le Monde Diplomatique) assisted by Laura Margueritte and Cecile Marin, later updated by Riccardo Pravettoni (GRID-Arendal), Novikov, Viktor (Zoi Environment Network)
Description:
Comparing a series of satellite images from different periods a Californian hydrologist discovered in 1983 that a huge white spot had taken the place of the vast Kara Bogaz Gol gulf (literally “dark gullet” in Turkmen) in the south-east corner of the Caspian. The gulf had simply disappeared. Later re-appearing again. Explanations were narrated in various tales and legends nevertheless the water volume of the bay fluctuates seasonally with the Caspian Sea; at times it becomes a large bay of the Caspian Sea, while at other times its water level drops drastically. The Soviet engineers apparently assumed it was only a temporary change. Only a narrow canal was left allowing a small amount of water to pass, thanks to which the water in the Kara Bogaz Gol gulf was expected to last a further 25 years. Much to everyone’s surprise the gulf dried up 10 times faster than had been forecast by the Water Problems Institute and by autumn 1983 it was all over. The pink flamingos died in droves, ...
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