Endorheic Basins

Endorheic Basins

An endorheic basin (from the Ancient Greek: ἔνδον, éndon, "within" and ῥεῖν, rheîn, "to flow"), also called a terminal or closed basin, is a closed drainage basin that retains water and allows no outflow to other external bodies of water, such as rivers or oceans, but converges instead into lakes or swamps, permanent or seasonal, that equilibrate through evaporation. Normally, water that has accrued in a drainage basin eventually flows out through rivers or streams on the Earth's surface or by underground diffusion through permeable rock, ultimately ending up in the oceans. However, in an endorheic basin, rain (or other precipitation) that falls within it does not flow out but may only leave the drainage system by evaporation and seepage. The bottom of such a basin is typically occupied by a salt lake or salt pan. Endorheic basins are also called internal drainage systems.

Endorheic regions, in contrast to exorheic regions which flow to the ocean in geologically defined patterns, are closed hydrologic systems. Their surface waters drain to inland terminal locations where the water evaporates or seeps into the ground, having no access to discharge into the sea. Endorheic water bodies include some of the largest lakes in the world, such as the Aral Sea and the Caspian Sea, the world's largest saline body of water cut off from the ocean.

Read more about Endorheic Basins:  Endorheic Lakes, Occurrence

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