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- Urmia Lake (Northwest Iran): a brief review

Urmia Lake (Northwest Iran): a brief review

Amin Eimanifar1  and Feridon Mohebbi2 

1Iranian Artemia Research Center, P.O. Box: 57135-1367, Urmia, Iran

2Iranian Artemia Research Center, P.O. Box: 57135-368, Urmia, Iran

Saline Systems 2007, 3:5doi:10.1186/1746-1448-3-5

Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.


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.

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