Central Asia - Aral Sea and surrounding area

Central Asia - Aral Sea and surrounding areasClick on the image above for high resolution view
The Aral Sea and the surrounding area of Central Asia between the Caspian Sea and the mountain ranges of Tian Shan and the Greater Himalayas are characterized by continental dry deserts with little precipitation and great seasonal variations in temperature. The two main rivers in the area are the Amu Darya and Sur Darya rivers. Intensive irrigation and freshwater outtake have decreased the amount of water reaching the Aral Sea, which has shrunk dramatically in the past 50 years. The main diversion is the Karakum Canal in Turkmenistan, which taps water from Amu Darya.

Map originally prepared for a SIWI regional report, to introduce the area, and to provide an overview of the main water issues in the region.

The topographic background was prepared as a shaded relief using the CleanTopo2 elevation model, assembled by Tom Patterson. Hydrology was modified from the ArcWorld collection from ESRI, and the administrative boundaries and cities were drawn from the ESRI Data & Maps 2008 database. The drainage basins are from the GDBD collection.

The software used in this map production was ESRI ArcGIS and Adobe Illustrator.

Data source references:

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