Lakes of Ounianga World Heritage Site

Lakes in north-eastern Chad

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Lakes of Ounianga
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Ounianga Serir.jpg
Ounianga Sérir
LocationEnnedi Region, Chad
CriteriaNatural: (vii)
Reference1400
Inscription2012 (36th session)
Area62,808 ha (155,200 acres; 628.08 km2)
Buffer zone4,869 ha (12,030 acres; 48.69 km2)
Coordinates19°03′18″N 20°30′20″E / 19.05500°N 20.50556°E / 19.05500; 20.50556Coordinates: 19°03′18″N 20°30′20″E / 19.05500°N 20.50556°E / 19.05500; 20.50556
Lakes of Ounianga is located in Chad
Lakes of Ounianga
Location of Lakes of Ounianga in Chad
A 2009 astronaut's view of the Ounianga Sérir group. The image covers approximately 11 by 9 kilometres (7 by 6 mi). The dark surface of water is divided by linear, orange sand dunes that intrude into the depression of the lakes from the northeast.[1]

Lakes of Ounianga are a series of lakes in the Sahara Desert, in North-Eastern Chad, occupying a basin in the mountains of West Tibesti and Ennedi East. It was added as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2012.[2]

According to the UNESCO description, the lakes are in a hot and hyperarid desert that features a rainfall of less than 2 millimetres (0.1 in) a year. The lakes exhibit a variety of sizes, depths, chemical compositions and colorations.

There is a total of 18 lakes in groups as follows:

  • Ounianga Kébir group: Lake Yoa, Lake Katam, Lake Oma (or Ouma), Lake Béver, Lake Midji, Lake Forodom;
  • Lake Motro, about 30 kilometres (19 mi) southeast of Ounianga Kébir;
  • Ounianga Sérir group about 45 to 60 kilometres (28 to 37 mi) southeast of Ounianga Kébir: Lake Melekui, Lake Dirke, Lake Ardjou, Lake Téli, Lake Obrom, Lake Élimé, Lake Hogo, Lake Djiara, Lake Ahoita, Lake Daléyala, and Lake Boukkou.

The total surface area of the lakes is about 20 square kilometres (8 sq mi). The largest of the lakes, Lake Yoa, has about a 3.5-square-kilometre (1 sq mi) area and attains 20 metres (66 ft) in depth.

The names of the lake groups are derived from the name of a village nearby (literally, Ounianga Kébir = "the great Ounianga" and Ounianga Serir = "little Ounianga").

  1. ^ NASA Earth Observatory, http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=41425.
  2. ^ "Lakes of Ounianga". UNESCO. Retrieved 3 September 2012.

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