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Lake Abbe

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Type  salt lake
Basin countries  Djibouti  Ethiopia
Surface elevation  243 m
Mean depth  8.6 m
Primary inflows  Awash River
Average depth  36 metres (118 ft)
Area  450 km²
Inflow source  Awash River
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Location  Ethiopia–Djibouti border
Surface area  45,000 ha (170 sq mi) (34,000 ha open water, 11,000 ha salt flats)
Similar  Lake Assal, Moucha Island, Day Forest National Park, Ardoukoba, Grand Bara

Lake Abbe, also known as Lake Abhe Bad, is a salt lake, lying on the Ethiopia-Djibouti border. It is one of a chain of six connected lakes, which also includes (from north to south) lakes Gargori, Laitali, Gummare, Bario and Afambo.


Map of Lake Abhe


Lake Abbe is the ultimate destination of the waters of the Awash River. It lies at the Afar Triple Junction, the central meeting place for the three pieces of the Earth's crust, a defining feature of the Afar Depression. Here three pieces of Earth’s crust are each pulling away from that central point, though not all at the same speed.

On the northwest shore rises Mount Dama Ali (1069 m), a dormant volcano, while along the southwestern and southern shores extend vast salt flats, 10 km in width. Besides the Awash, seasonal affluents of Lake Abbe include two wadis, the Oleldere and Abuna Merekes, which enter the lake from the west and south, crossing the salt flats. Although the present area of the lake's open water is 34,000 hectares (130 sq mi), recent droughts and extraction of water from the Awash for irrigation has caused the water level of the lake to fall. By 1984, the surface area of the lake had decreased to two thirds of what it was in 1940. During this period about 11,500 hectares (28,000 acres) of saltflats had formed to the southwest of the lake. Lake Abbe is a hypersaline lake; water containing mineral salts flows but there is no outflow, and pure water evaporates from the surface. It is also known as an "amplifier lake", the water level fluctuating dramatically in response to quite small changes in climate.

The Afar people have established a settlement near the lake's shore. Lake Abbe is known for its limestone chimneys, which reach heights of 50 m (160 ft) and from which steam spews forth. Flamingos can also be found on the waters.


Lake Abbe Wikipedia

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