Lake Urmia is disappearing

Research output: Contribution to specialist publication or newspaperNewspaper article


The present article is a translation—to Farsi—of an article by Dr. Ali Mirchi (postdoctoral research associate at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Michigan Technological University), Dr. Kaveh Madani (lecturer in Environmental Management at the Centre for Environmental Policy, Imperial College London) and Dr. Amir Aghakouchak (assistant professor at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Irvine), entitled "Lake Urmia: how Iran’s most famous lake is disappearing", published in The Guardian 23 January 2015.
The article discusses how Lake Urmia, once the largest salt-water lake in the Middle East and twice as large as Luxembourg, is now disappearing. This study is conducted by an independent group of 10 concerned Iranian researchers at universities and research centers in US, UK and Canada. Due to the unavailability of reliable and consistent ground-truth data, they used NASA's high-resolution satellite observations to estimate the physiographic changes of the lake over the past four decades. The results show that the lake’s surface area, in September 2014, was about 12% of its average size in the 1970s. They discuss how and why Lake Urmia’s desiccation requires active involvement of local, national and international organisations and urge action.


  • Sina Khatami
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Water Engineering


  • Great Salt Lakes, satellite observations, Lake Urmia, salinity level, sanctions, Environmental degradation, drying lakes, biodiversity loss, Iran, Middle East
Original languageOther
Specialist publication or newspaperEtemad Daily Newspaper, No. 3166
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jan 27
Publication categoryPopular science

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