Sawa Lake: Geography, Environment and Tourism

Abstract

Sawa Lake is one of the physical features in Iraq. It differs from other features in several aspects. In addition to the mythical tales said about its existence and evolution, there are some scientific facts that confirm its strangeness. It is a water island amidst vastly extensive desert and it has maintained its shape for centuries. It has also maintained its water level without any apparent water stream feeding it, but it depends on water flowing through cracks in its bottom which indicates that it lies in a rocky pocket. Its shape appears like a duck with an area of 12.5 km. and a depth of 2.5-5.5 meter. Geomorphologic and geologic field study has proved that the origin of the lake is the region's formational activity which prepared geological conditions for the elements of erosion and weathering which played a main role in its formation. It has also a salinity level 1.5 times more than the salinity of the Arab Gulf, water structure different from water structure in the region, water level 5 meters higher than neighboring earth surface and 3.5 km. separating it from Al-Atshan River.