Urmia Lake (Northwest Iran): a brief review مقاله

شنبه ۳ شهریور ۱۳۹۷

برسی مختصر دریاچه ارومیه (شمال غرب ایران)

Saline Systems
Review Open Access
Urmia Lake (Northwest Iran): a brief review
Amin Eimanifar*1 and Feridon Mohebbi2
Address: 1Iranian Artemia Research Center, P.O. Box: 57135-1367, Urmia, Iran and 2Iranian Artemia Research Center, P.O. Box: 57135-368,
Urmia, Iran
Email: Amin Eimanifar* – amineimanifar@yahoo.com; Feridon Mohebbi – mohebi_44@yahoo.com
* Corresponding author
Abstract
Lake Urmia (or Ormiyeh) is one of the largest hypersaline lakes in the world and the habitat of a
unique bisexual Artemia species (A. urmiana). Despite this, and several other values of the lake, little
literature on it has been published. The present paper is an attempt to provide a brief review on
various aspects of the lake. Urmia Lake, located in northwestern Iran, is an oligotrophic lake of
thalassohaline origin with a total surface area between 4750 and 6100 km2 and a maximum depth
of 16 m at an altitude of 1250 m. The lake is divided into north and south parts separated by a
causeway in which a 1500-m gap provides little exchange of water between the two parts. Due to
drought and increased demands for agricultural water in the lake’s basin, the salinity of the lake has
risen to more than 300 g/L during recent years, and large areas of the lake bed have been
desiccated. Therefore, management and conservation of this incomparable ecosystem should be
considered to improve the current condition by fisheries research institutes.
Background
Lake Urmia (or Orumiyeh), is one of the largest permanent
hypersaline lakes in the world and resembles the
Great Salt Lake in the western USA in many respects of
morphology, chemistry and sediments [1]. Despite this,
and its several values, including conservation, little literature
has been published on the lake and its biota
[۲-۷]. The aim of the present paper is to provide a brief
review based on previous and recent literature on various
aspects of Urmia Lake with particular emphasis on conservation
and management. Although we cannot provide an
all inclusive coverage here, we hope that it will be sufficient
to introduce this remarkable lake to the general
reader.
Urmia lake can be characterized as oligotrophic in terms
of phytoplankton production in the range of 0.5–۰٫۸ μg/l
[۶], with lower values compared to Great Salt Lake (0.5–
۳٫۵ μg/l) [8]. The predominance of the Na+ and Cl- ions
illustrates the thalassohaline character of Urmia lake [9].
Therefore, Urmia Lake is an oligotrophic lake of thalassohaline
origin [10] located in northwestern Iran at an altitude
of 1250 m above sea level [6]. The total surface area
ranges between 4750 km2 and 6100 km2 [11] depending
on evaporation and water influx. The catchment area of
the lake contains 21 permanent and ephemeral streams
together with 39 episodic rivers, flowing through agricultural,
urban and/or industrial areas that drain into this terminal
lake, mostly without waste water treatment [12].
The maximum length and width of the lake are 128–۱۴۰
km and 50 km, respectively [11,13]. The average and maximum
depths are 6 m and 16 m, respectively [14]. The
lake is divided into north and south parts separated by a
causeway [15], which has a gap that allows for a limited
exchange of water between the two arms [14].
Published: 16 May 2007
Saline Systems 2007, 3:5 doi:10.1186/1746-1448-3-5
Received: 2 March 2007
Accepted: 16 May 2007
This article is available from: http://www.salinesystems.org/content/3/1/5
© ۲۰۰۷ Eimanifar and Mohebbi; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0),
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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