Kazakhstan rivers and lakes. The Biggest rivers in Kazakhstan
The Lake is situated in Terekty district, 75 km to the southeast of Uralsk. This lake is the deepest and largest reservoir in the West Kazakhstan region.
This reservoir has a very ancient history and its origins are still under debate. However, the most likely version is that Shalkar Lake is a remnant of the former Khvalynsky Sea.
Thousands of years ago the Khvalynsky sea could have been part of the Caspian Sea, as was in remote prehistoric times the whole area of the Caspian depression, including the territory of the above-mentioned sea.
Shalkar Lake has been attracting people's attention for many years. In ancient times Oguz, Pecheneg and later Kypchak and Turkic tribes inhabited its shores. Those tribes were the ancestors of the Kazakhs.
At the present time, Shalkar Lake has an oval form extending from north to south. Its length from north to south is 18 km., and from west to east its width is 14 km. The maximum depth is 18 meters.
The Lake has a volume of about 1.4 billion cubic meters of water; the lake's area is 24,000 hectares. Covering by whitecap waves and froth, the lake is remiscent of a real sea on windy days.
Shalkar Lake's water is of the salty chloric-sodium type, consisting of hydrochloric acids, calcium, magnesium and other vital mineral elements, which is analogous with marine water.
From the east, the lake has tributaries - the rivers Isen Ankaty (the Big Ankaty), Sholak Ankaty (The Small Ankaty), and Solyanka flow out and join the Ural River.