, shallow bay,, in Turkmenistan. An arm of the Caspian Sea, it acts as a natural evaporation basin, drawing off the water of the Caspian and depositing salts along its shores.
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(Turkic kara, “black”; bogaz, “throat” or “passage”; and gol, “lake”), a shallow gulf on the eastern shore of the Caspian Sea, in the Turkmen SSR. It is separated on the west from the Caspian by the Kara-Bogaz sandspit, which is cut by the Kara-Bogaz strait (200 m to 1 km wide and about 11 km long). The gulf has an area of 12, 000 sq km and a maximum depth of 3. 5 m.
The water level of Kara-Bogaz-Gol is 4. 5 m lower than the level of the Caspian Sea, which results in a constant flow of water into it from the Caspian at a rate of up to 1 m/sec. (In some parts of the strait the rate of flow is as high as 3 m/sec.) This difference in the levels has led to a deepening of the strait and its transformation into a kind of “marine river,” with a waterfall about 4 m high on the strait’s lower course and a rapidly growing delta at its mouth. Owing to the high rate of evaporation from the surface of the gulf, its water is extremely saline (280–305 parts per thousand) and turns into brine. Mirabilite is extracted from mineral solutions contained in buried salt beds on the gulf. Bekdash, which is located on the sea side of the Kara-Bogaz sand-spit, is a center for the extraction and processing of sulfate. The gulf draws 10–12 cu km of water from the Caspian yearly; in relation to this, a project was worked out in 1972 for the construction of a dam across the strait to regulate the flow into the gulf.
REFERENCESCharyev, B. Ch. Kara-Bogaz-Gol. Ashkhabad, 1950.
Dzens-Litovskii, A. I. Kara-Bogaz-Gol. Leningrad, 1967.
O. K. LEONT’EV