Endorheic basin

NASA photo of the endorheic Tarim Basin
Endorheic basin showing waterflow input into Üüreg Lake

An endorheic basin (also endoreic basin or endorreic basin) (from the Ancient Greek: ἔνδον, éndon, "within" and ῥεῖν, rheîn, "to flow") is a limited drainage basin that normally 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. Such a basin may also be referred to as a closed or terminal basin or as an internal drainage system or interior drainage basin.

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.[1] Endorheic water bodies include some of the largest lakes in the world, such as the Caspian Sea, the world's largest saline inland sea.[2]

Endorheic basins constitute local base levels, defining a limit of erosion and deposition processes of nearby areas.[3]

Endorheic lakes

Endorheic lakes are bodies of water that do not flow into the sea. Most of the water falling on Earth finds its way to the oceans through a network of rivers, lakes and wetlands. However, there is a class of water bodies that are located in closed or endorheic watersheds where the topography prevents their drainage to the oceans. These endorheic watersheds (containing water in rivers or lakes that form a balance of surface inflows, evaporation and seepage) are often called terminal lakes or sink lakes.[4]

Endorheic lakes are usually in the interior of a landmass, far from an ocean in areas of relatively low rainfall. Their watersheds are often confined by natural geologic land formations such as a mountain range, cutting off water egress to the ocean. The inland water flows into dry watersheds where the water evaporates, leaving a high concentration of minerals and other inflow erosion products. Over time this input of erosion products can cause the endorheic lake to become relatively saline (a "salt lake"). Since the main outflow pathways of these lakes are chiefly through evaporation and seepage, endorheic lakes are usually more sensitive to environmental pollutant inputs than water bodies that have access to oceans, as pollution can be trapped in them and accumulate over time.[2]

Other Languages
العربية: حوض مغلق
brezhoneg: Endoreegezh
català: Endorreisme
Deutsch: Endorheisch
Esperanto: Senelflua baseno
فارسی: حوضه بسته
français: Endoréisme
한국어: 내륙유역
Bahasa Indonesia: Cekungan endoreik
latviešu: Beznoteces ezers
Nederlands: Endoreïsch bekken
日本語: 内陸流域
occitan: Endoreïsme
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Berk oʻlka
português: Bacia endorreica
română: Bazin endoreic
Simple English: Endorheic basin
slovenščina: Endoreična kotlina
Türkçe: Kapalı havza
українська: Безстічна область
Tiếng Việt: Lòng chảo nội lục
中文: 内流盆地