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Geographical, geological and hydrochemical distribution of saline lakes in Khakasia, Southern Siberia
Parnachev, V.P.; Degermendzhy, A.G. (2002). Geographical, geological and hydrochemical distribution of saline lakes in Khakasia, Southern Siberia. Aquat. Ecol. 36(2): 107-122
In: Aquatic Ecology. Springer: Dordrecht; London; Boston. ISSN 1386-2588, more
Peer reviewed article  

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    Environmental factors; Hydrogeochemistry; Lakes; Mineralization; Soils; Water resources; PNE, Russia, Siberia

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  • Parnachev, V.P.
  • Degermendzhy, A.G.

    There are over one hundred mineralized lakes in Khakasia with areas in excess of 0.01 km2 including periodically dry lakes. These saline lakes are situated within the Chebakovo-Balakhtinskaya and Yuzhno-Minusinsk depressions of the Minusinsk intermontane trough, bounded by Kuznetsk Alatau, Western and Eastern Sayan mountains. The depressions are characterised by steppe landscape, low topographic relief and an arid climate (annual rainfall ca. 300 mm y-1). The mineralisation of the various lakes ranges from some 2 to 150 g l-1. Mg++, Na+ and Ca++ cations, SO4 and Cl- anions dominate the composition of soluble salts. The degree of variation of the lakes' mineralisation increases in dry periods. The majority of lakes are associated with synclinal structures and terrigenous red-bed Upper Devonian clastic deposits which bear indicators of accumulation in an evaporite environment (the presence of gypsum layers). Some mineral lakes are situated in Carboniferous carbonate-terrigenous deposits, containing scattered pyroclastics and features of evaporite sedimentation. The high salinity of the lakes is explained (i) by the availability of readily soluble minerals in Palaeozoic strata (gypsum, anhydrite, halite and others), which may be dissolved in groundwater and transported to lake catchments, and (ii) by the high degree of surface water evaporation due to the arid climate. The mineralized waters of some lakes can be recommended for balneological purposes. A deterioration is noted in the ecological status of some saline lakes due to anthropogenic contamination.

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