Salt Lake

Location 120 km / 75 miles to the south of Ankara, on the way to Cappadocia
Depth 2th largest lake in Turkey; 1,500 km² / 580 sq miles. In summer the surface area might go down to 1,000 km² / 386 sq miles
Width 48 km / 30 miles
Length 80 km / 50 miles
Depth 1-2 m / 3-6 ft. 2.5 million years ago the water level was 100 m / 328 ft higher. In times of serious drought, the surface is covered by salt blocks up to 20 cm / 8 inches thick
Altitude 905 m / 2970 ft
Formation Tectonic
Water Saltwater
Tuz Golu, also called Tatta in ancient times, is a closed lake with no way out, surrounded by plateaus on 4 sides. The sources feeding the lake are insufficient; Melendiz River (Aksaray) and Pecenekozu River (Sereflikochisar). In summer, because of the evaporation the lake dries out and a 30 cm / 12 in layer of salt forms. Under this layer is mud. In winter, water is collected again but at its deepest level is not more than 2 m / 6.5 ft. Although it is the second largest lake, there is not much water because of its shallowness.
It is among the lakes of the world with its very high salinity of 33%. Due to this high rate of salt it is impossible to grow crops around the lake.
Tuz Golu is one of the richest salt beds in the world. The amount of salt which is obtained here is 300 thousand tons per year. This is 60% of the total salt production in Turkey.
Salt can only be taken from the lake from July through August. To ensure clean salt it is only collected from areas where the surface layer is more than 5-6 cm / inches thick. The salt is dug, the dirty layer is removed and the clean salt is gathered into mounds and loaded manually onto the wagons of mini trains.