This Lake Looks Like a Christmas Tree

Caitlin Dempsey

Updated:

Lake Dukan in Iraq is a man-made lake created when the oldest damn in the country, Dukan Dam was built in 1959.  

Constructed on the Little Zab River, the dam’s purpose was to control flooding, provide water for irrigation, and generate hydroelectric power.  

The resulting lake is the largest in Iraqi Kurdistan, covering 25,000 hectares (97 square miles).  

The lake has become a popular tourist destination and the surrounding land supports 65 villages and six towns, with the area mostly engaged in agriculture and grazing.


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The main body of Lake Dukan takes on a triangular shape that evokes an image of a Christmas tree.  This image of Lake Dukan was captured from space by astronaut Alex Gerst on December 3, 2018.

View of Lake Dukan.  Image: Landsat 8 on November 20, 2018, NASA
View of Lake Dukan. Image: Landsat 8 on November 20, 2018, NASA

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Lake Dukan. Photo: Alex Gerst, December 3, 2018
Lake Dukan. Photo: Alex Gerst, December 3, 2018

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About the author
Caitlin Dempsey
Caitlin Dempsey is the editor of Geography Realm and holds a master's degree in Geography from UCLA as well as a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) from SJSU.