Tian-Shan-Mountains

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The Amazing Underwater Forest of Lake Kaindy

What makes Lake Kaindy truly remarkable is that it contains an underwater forest. Visible on the lakes surface are the tall, dried-out tops of submerged Spruce trees that rise above the water’s surface like the masts of sunken ships. They are the only sign of the amazing frozen forest below the water’s surface.

The water is so cold (even in summer the temperature does not exceed 6 degrees) that the pine needles remain on the trees, even after a hundred years of being submerged. During the winter, the lake freezes and becomes a popular spot for ice diving.

The lake is 400 meters long and is located in Kazakhstan’s portion of the Tian Shan Mountains, about 129 km from the city of Almaty. The lake was created after an earthquake in 1911 triggered a large landslide blocking the gorge and forming a natural dam.

Snapped, offset rocks.

When one continent grinds slowly into another and the rocks in between (whether marine or terrestrial) are slowly crushed and thrust upwards, the resulting tectonic forces create huge networks of faults as the rocks crack, along with subsidiary mountain ranges as the stresses redistribute though the landmasses.

The main ranges are created by giant thrust faults, when huge slabs of rock (called nappes after the French for tablecloth) detach from the underlying layers along a weaker layer of rock and push up over the continents. At roughly right angles to these, subsidiary faults redistribute stress through the surrounding plate as it heaves and groans up a new mountain range and its surrounding landscape pattern. Try shoving your tablecloth across the table as if your hand was a continent and you will quickly see how the stress patterns distribute, even though cloth is a very different material to rock.

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6

The Amazing Underwater Forest of Lake Kaindy

What makes Lake Kaindy truly remarkable is that it contains an underwater forest. Visible on the lakes surface are the tall, dried-out tops of submerged Spruce trees that rise above the water’s surface like the masts of sunken ships. They are the only sign of the amazing frozen forest below the water’s surface.

The water is so cold (even in summer the temperature does not exceed 6 degrees) that the pine needles remain on the trees, even after a hundred years of being submerged. During the winter, the lake freezes and becomes a popular spot for ice diving.

The lake is 400 meters long and is located in Kazakhstan’s portion of the Tian Shan Mountains, about 129 km from the city of Almaty. The lake was created after an earthquake in 1911 triggered a large landslide blocking the gorge and forming a natural dam.

This is Kaindy Lake which is located in Kazakhstan’s portion of the Tian Shan Mountains. The lake has not always been here and is the result of a natural dam created by a landslide that was triggered by an earthquake in 1911. Since then, rainwater filled the valley and created the lake which is 400 metres long and 30 metres at its deepest point.

The lake is famous for its scenic beauty, in particular the sunken forest. The trunks of spruce trees rise out of the lake and look amazingly out of place amongst the calm water.

-Jean 

For more information see: http://www.caravanistan.com/travel/kazakhstan/kaindy-lake-sunken-forest/

Photo courtesy of Zhirayr Nersessian.

(ESA)  Earth from Space - Tian Shan mountains, Central Asia

The Tian Shan mountains, stretching across the border region of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and western China, are pictured in this image, acquired on 7 September 2011 by Envisat’s Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS).

The large, dark lake that splits the mountain range in eastern Kyrgyzstan (lower-left corner) is the second largest saline lake after the Caspian Sea. In the upper-right corner are the Dzungarian Basin and its Gurbantunggut Desert in light brown.