Lake Varna
Lake Varna is the largest by volume and deepest liman
Liman (landform)
Liman is a name for a lake, bay, or estuary formed at the mouth of a river where flow is blocked by a bar of sediments. Liman can be maritime or fluvial .The name is used for such features found along the western and northern coast of the Black Sea, as well as along...

 or lake along the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast
Bulgarian Black Sea Coast
The Bulgarian Black Sea Coast covers the entire eastern bound of Bulgaria stretching from the Romanian Black Sea resorts in the north to European Turkey in the south, along 378 km of coastline. White and golden sandy beaches occupy approximately 130 km of the 378 km long coast...

, divided from the sea by a 2 km-wide strip of sand and having an area of 17 km², maximal depth 19 m, and a volume of 166 million m³.

The lake has an elongated shape, its south shores are high, steep and wooded, and the north slant. Lake Varna was formed in a river valley by the raising of sea level near the end of the Pleistocene
The Pleistocene is the epoch from 2,588,000 to 11,700 years BP that spans the world's recent period of repeated glaciations. The name pleistocene is derived from the Greek and ....

. Its bottom is covered by a thick alluvium
Alluvium is loose, unconsolidated soil or sediments, eroded, deposited, and reshaped by water in some form in a non-marine setting. Alluvium is typically made up of a variety of materials, including fine particles of silt and clay and larger particles of sand and gravel...

 of slime
A biofilm is an aggregate of microorganisms in which cells adhere to each other on a surface. These adherent cells are frequently embedded within a self-produced matrix of extracellular polymeric substance...

 and hydrogen sulphide mud in the deepest parts; there are large deposits of medicinal fango (mineral mud). A number of rivers pour into the lake, including Devnya
Devnya is a town in Varna Province, Northeastern Bulgaria, located about 25 km away to the west from the city of Varna and The Black Sea Coast. It is the administrative centre of the homonymous Devnya Municipality...

 and Provadiyska that empty near the western shores of Lake Beloslav
Lake Beloslav
Lake Beloslav is a liman, which connected by the navigation canal with the Lake Varna. Before the canal was built the lake was freshwater, but not the water if brackish. The rivers Devnya and Provadiyska inflow to the Lake Beloslav. The area of the liman is about 40-10 km2, width 0.5-3.5 km,...

, which is connected to Lake Varna.

Until the 20th century, fresh water from the lake emptied into the Black Sea
Black Sea
The Black Sea is bounded by Europe, Anatolia and the Caucasus and is ultimately connected to the Atlantic Ocean via the Mediterranean and the Aegean seas and various straits. The Bosphorus strait connects it to the Sea of Marmara, and the strait of the Dardanelles connects that sea to the Aegean...

 through the Devnya River, but following the construction of the modern Port of Varna
Port of Varna
Port of Varna is the largest seaport complex in Bulgaria. Located on the Black Sea's west coast on Varna Bay, along Lake Varna and Lake Beloslav, it also comprises the outlying port of Balchik...

 East (and the subsequent draining of the river), a canal was dug through the strip of sand between the sea and the lake between 1906 and 1909, which led to the lake's level dropping by 1.40 m and the incursion of sea water into the lake, which became brackish.

In 1976, when a new 12 m-deep canal crossed by the Asparuhov most
Asparuhov most
The Asparuhov most or Asparuhov Bridge is a bridge in Varna on the Black Sea coast of Bulgaria, connecting the Asparuhovo quarter to the rest of the city over the canals between the Black Sea and Lake Varna....

 began operating, the lake was dredged along the stream. Another navigable canal to the west lead through the neighboring Lake Beloslav to the Port of Varna West and the Railroad Ferry Terminal. A couple of smaller specialized ports dot Lake Varna's north shore, notably the Port of LesPort and the Port of Varna Thermal Power Plant. Industrialization came at the cost of the lake's reputation of a rich fishing ground that had sustained human settlements for nearly 100,000 years.

The Varna Necropolis
Varna Necropolis
The Varna Necropolis is a burial site in the western industrial zone of Varna , Bulgaria, internationally considered one of the key archaeological sites in world prehistory...

, where the oldest gold treasure in the world was found, is located near the north shore, while the city of Varna
Varna is the largest city and seaside resort on the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast and third-largest in Bulgaria after Sofia and Plovdiv, with a population of 334,870 inhabitants according to Census 2011...

is situated at the lake's eastern extremity. Also along the north shore are the villages of Kazashko and Ezerovo, and the villages of Zvezditsa and Konstantinovo overlook the lake from the southern heights.

External links

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