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Aug/18

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Elton – the Largest Lake of the Volgograd Region

Elton is a picturesque salt lake located in the Pallasovskiy district of the Volgograd region, not far from the border with Kazakhstan, 206 km east of Volgograd.

It is not only the largest lake in the Volgograd region, but also the largest mineral lake in Europe and one of the most mineralized lakes in the world. Lake Elton on Google Maps. Photos by: Andrei Kireev.

Lake Elton, Volgograd region, Russia, photo 1

The area of Lake Elton is 152 square kilometers, the depth is only 5-7 centimeters in summer and up to 1.5 meters in spring. The name may have come from the Mongolian “Altyn-Nor” (“golden bottom”).

Lake Elton, Volgograd region, Russia, photo 2

Lake Elton, Volgograd region, Russia, photo 3

Lake Elton, Volgograd region, Russia, photo 4

The mineralization is 200-500 grams per liter, which is 1.5 times higher than the concentration on the Dead Sea. The water contains algae Dunaliella salina giving a reddish shade to the lake.

At the bottom of the lake there are deposits of salts (mainly NaCl, KCl) and below them there is a layer of mineral hydrogen sulphide mud.

Lake Elton, Volgograd region, Russia, photo 5

Lake Elton, Volgograd region, Russia, photo 6

Lake Elton, Volgograd region, Russia, photo 7

In 2001, the Eltonsky Nature Park was created. It includes the lake and adjacent steppe territories (106 thousand hectares).

Lake Elton, Volgograd region, Russia, photo 8

Lake Elton, Volgograd region, Russia, photo 9

Lake Elton, Volgograd region, Russia, photo 10

Lake Elton plays an important role as a stopping place during the autumn migration of birds, especially waders and cranes.

Lake Elton, Volgograd region, Russia, photo 11

Lake Elton, Volgograd region, Russia, photo 12

Lake Elton, Volgograd region, Russia, photo 13

Lake Elton, Volgograd region, Russia, photo 14

Former saline bath.

Lake Elton, Volgograd region, Russia, photo 15

Lake Elton, Volgograd region, Russia, photo 16

Lake Elton, Volgograd region, Russia, photo 17

Lake Elton, Volgograd region, Russia, photo 18

Lake Elton, Volgograd region, Russia, photo 19

Lake Elton, Volgograd region, Russia, photo 20

Lake Elton, Volgograd region, Russia, photo 21

Lake Elton, Volgograd region, Russia, photo 22

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