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Kara-Kul Structure, Tajikistan
This page contains archived content and is no longer being updated. At the time of publication, it represented the best available science. However, more recent observations and studies may have rendered some content obsolete.
Near the center of this scene is the mountain lake Kara-Kul, located in eastern Tajikistan, high in the Pamir Mountain Range near the Afghan border. The 25-kilometer (16-mile) diameter lake sits at an elevation of about 4,000 meters (about 12,000 feet) above sea level. Kara-Kul was formed from a meteorite impact approximately 25 million years ago, leaving a crater with a rim diameter of 45 kilometers (28 miles). Islands formed from the central uplift can be seen in the northern and southern parts of the lake. Interestingly, the Kara-Kul impact structure remained unidentified until it was discovered though studies of imagery taken from space. This image was taken by the Landsat 7 satellite on September 28, 2001.