Browse image
Resolutions offered for this image:
4928 x 3280 pixels 720 x 480 pixels 4928 x 3280 pixels 640 x 426 pixels
Cloud masks available for this image:
Binary Heatmap

Spacecraft nadir point: 37.8° N, 41.2° E

Photo center point: 38.9° N, 43.1° E

Photo center point by machine learning: 38.86° N, 43.17° E

Nadir to Photo Center: Northeast

Spacecraft Altitude: 219 nautical miles (406km)
Click for a map
View an image on a map for this photo that has been georeferenced using machine learning.
Width Height Annotated Cropped Purpose Links
4928 pixels 3280 pixels No No NASA's Earth Observatory web site Download Image
720 pixels 480 pixels Yes Yes NASA's Earth Observatory web site Download Image
4928 pixels 3280 pixels No No Download Image
640 pixels 426 pixels No No Download Image
Other options available:
Download Packaged File
Download a Google Earth KML for this Image
View photo footprint information
Download a GeoTIFF for this photo
Image Caption: Lake Van, Turkey

An astronaut aboard the International Space Station captured this photograph of part of Lake Van in Turkey, the largest soda or alkaline lake on Earth. Generally, soda lakes are distinguished by high concentrations of carbonate species. Lake Van is an endorheic lake - it has no outlet, so its water disappears by evaporation - with a pH of 10 and high salinity levels.

Waters near the city of Erciş (population 90,000) are shallow, but other parts of the lake can be up to 450 meters (1,467 feet) deep. Lake Van water levels have changed by 100s of meters over the past 600,000 years due to climate change, volcanic eruptions, and tectonic activity.

Turbidity plumes, which appear as swirls of light- and dark-toned water, are mostly comprised of calcium carbonate, detrital materials, and some organic matter. High particle fluxes occur in Lake Van during spring and fall, when phytoplankton and aquatic plants grow and produce a lot of organic carbon. The lake also hosts the largest known modern microbialite deposits.