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Statue of Akhtamar at Lake Sevan, Sevan

#7 of 14 in Things to do in Gegharkunik Province
Monument · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
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Lake Sevan is the largest body of water in Armenia and the Caucasus region, and one of the largest freshwater high-altitude lakes in Eurasia. The lake is situated in Gegharkunik Province, at an altitude of 1,900m above sea level. The total surface area of its basin is about 5,000km2, which makes up of Armenia's territory. The lake itself is 1,242km2, and the volume is 32.8km3. It is fed by 28 rivers and streams. Only 10% of the incoming water is drained by the Hrazdan River, while the remaining 90% evaporates.
The lake provides some 90% of the fish and 80% of the crayfish catch of Armenia. Sevan has significant economic, cultural, and recreational value. Its only island is home to a medieval monastery.
Sevan was heavily exploited for irrigation of the Ararat plain and hydroelectric power generation during the Soviet period. Consequently, its water level decreased by around 20m and its volume reduced by more than 40%. Two underground tunnels were later built to divert water from highland rivers, which halted its decline and its level began rising. Before human intervention dramatically changed the lake's ecosystem, the lake was 95m deep, covered an area of 1,416km2, and had a volume of 58.5km3. The lake's surface was at an altitude of 1,916m above sea level.
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