The name Afghanistan appeals to images of a dried out and waterless state with mountainous land, continual desert, thorn bushes and sludge houses. But at the center of this depressing landscape is a series of spectacular lakes with water so blue that it looks almost like ink. Band-e Amir is a series of six incredibly deep blue lakes in the heart of the central Afghanistan. The beautiful lakes were created by the carbon dioxide rich water that is drawn from the spring melt-water in the surrounding mountains and came out from faults and cracks in the rocky landscape. This outflow of water percolates slowly through the underlying limestone, dissolving its principal mineral, calcium carbonate. Over time, the water deposited layers of hardened mineral (travertine), which created dams that trap water in increasingly large basins. These dams are usually about 10m high and 3m wide. Water cascades from one lake to the other near travertine terraces serving as massive natural dams between the lakes.
Posts Tagged ‘surrounding mountains’
April 25th, 2012 Susan C.