EarthWatch: The Balkan Peninsula’s Lake Skadar

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The largest lake on the Balkan Peninsula is colored by sediments eroded from the surrounding highlands.

  • Photograph courtesy of the International Space Station Crew Earth Observations Facility and the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, Johnson Space Center 
  • NASA Earth Observatory Image of the Day story by  Sara Schmidt, GeoControl Systems, JETS Contract at NASA-JSC:  
  • Adaptation to ViewSpace by Claire Blome, Margaret W. Carruthers, and Dani Player 
  • Music from Music for Nonprofits

Clouds viewed from space.
Text, EarthWatch, Exploring the Blue Planet by Satellite
Lake Skadar viewed from above. Montenegro lies to its lower left, Albania to its lower right. The water is a green swirl.
Text, EarthWatch, The Balkan Peninsula's Lake Skadar. Earth Observatory, earthobservatory dot nasa dot gov, Expedition 62 crew, International Space Station. February 21, 2020. Lake Skadar, which straddles Montenegro and Albania, has a consistent swirl of dark and light sediments at the center. A major source of this sediment is the Moraca River. Smaller river deltas along the northern edges of the lake also contribute sediment.
The Moraca River empties into the lake in the northwest.
Text, The lake is an example of a cryptodepression, which means parts of the lakebed extend below sea level.
Montenegro made the western portion of the lake a national park in 1983.
Albania declared its section, known as Lake Shkodra, as a nature reserve in 2005.
The lake is the largest on the Balkan Peninsula.
To learn more, go to: earthobservatory dot nasa dot gov