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Lake Profile

Sarezskoye (Sarez)

General Information

Description Lake Sarez was formed in 1911 naturally when an earthquake created a natural dam. The lake stretches 80 km behind what is now the world's largest natural dam. The dam is considered unstable and another earthquake could cause it to overflow or burst, causing catastrophic flooding.
Country Tajikistan
Latitude 38° 12' 0" (38.2000)
Longitude 72° 45' 0" (72.7500)
Lake Region Pamir lakes
River Basin Pyanj

Physical Characteristics

Volume 17.30 km3
Surface Area 86.50 km2
Depth Mean depth: 185.0 m
Maximum depth: 505.0 m
Age 0 - 10,000 years before present
Origin Landslides
Type Fresh
Catchment Catchment size: 16,500.00 km2
Catchment/surface area ratio: 191:1


Economic Value
Major Cities

Watershed Management


Biodiversity Conservation

Species of Concern



Fish and fisheries in Lake Issyk-kul (Tien Shan), River Chu and Pamir Lakes
Tajikistan 2000. State of the environment report
UN/IDNDR Interagency Risk Assessment Mission to Lake Sarez


8/30/2003 - Central Asia's water worries in spotlight

Additional Data Sources

Asian Development Bank. Environmental Profile of Tajikistan,2000.
Birkett, C., and I. Mason. 1995. A new global lakes database for remote sensing programme studying climatically sensitive large lakes. Journal of Great Lakes Research, 21 (3) 307-318.
Herdendorf, C. 1982. Large lakes of the world. Journal of Great Lakes Research 8:379-412.

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