Two of the largest freshwater lakes in Turkey are featured in this photograph, taken by an astronaut from the International Space Station (ISS). Lake Beysehir and Lake Egirdir are situated in the Turkish Lakes Region, a highly active tectonic area on the Anatolia Plateau.
There are several shallow lakes in the region that are replenished through precipitation, limestone springs and streams, and runoff from the Sultan Mountains. The water levels of these lakes change seasonally, mainly due to their usage as a drinking water source and as irrigation for local agriculture. As water levels drop, the light-colored limestone sediments on the lake beds become more apparent, giving the water a lighter color (as with Lake Beysehir above).
Lake Beysehir and Lake Egirdir have been designated by global conservation organizations as important bird and plant habitats. At least 181 bird species use the shorelines and small islands within the lakes as nesting and breeding grounds.
Astronaut photograph ISS061-E-14342 was acquired on October 26, 2019, with a Nikon D5 digital camera using a 95 millimeter lens and is provided by the ISS Crew Earth Observations Facility and the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, Johnson Space Center. The image was taken by a member of the Expedition 61 crew. The image has been cropped and enhanced to improve contrast, and lens artifacts have been removed. The International Space Station Program supports the laboratory as part of the ISS National Lab to help astronauts take pictures of Earth that will be of the greatest value to scientists and the public, and to make those images freely available on the Internet. Additional images taken by astronauts and cosmonauts can be viewed at the NASA/JSC Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth. Caption by Sara Schmidt, GeoControl Systems, JETS Contract at NASA-JSC.