The Aral Sea

The Devastation and Partial Rehabilitation of a Great Lake

  • Philip Micklin
  • N.V. Aladin
  • Igor Plotnikov

Part of the Springer Earth System Sciences book series (SPRINGEREARTH, volume 10178)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Philip Micklin
    Pages 1-11
  3. Background to the Aral Problem

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 13-13
    2. Philip Micklin
      Pages 15-40
    3. Igor S. Plotnikov, Nikolay V. Aladin, Zaualkhan K. Ermakhanov, Lyubov V. Zhakova
      Pages 41-76
    4. Sergey Krivinogov
      Pages 77-108
  4. Modern Recession of Aral

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 109-109
    2. Igor S. Plotnikov, Nikolay V. Aladin, Zaualkhan K. Ermakhanov, Lyubov V. Zhakova
      Pages 137-169
    3. Polat Reimov, Dilorom Fayzieva
      Pages 171-206
    4. Philip Micklin
      Pages 207-232
    5. Jean-François Crétaux, Muriel Bergé-Nguyen
      Pages 273-299
    6. Kristopher D. White
      Pages 301-335
    7. Philip Micklin, Nikolay V. Aladin, Igor S. Plotnikov
      Pages 337-351
  5. Aral Future

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 353-353
    2. Igor S. Plotnikov, Nikolay V. Aladin
      Pages 355-359
    3. Philip Micklin
      Pages 361-380
    4. Philip Micklin
      Pages 381-404
    5. Philip Micklin
      Pages 429-444
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 445-453

About this book


The book is structured into six core parts. The first part sets the scene and explains how the use of Aral basin water resources, primarily used for irrigation, have destroyed the Aral Sea. The team explains how spheres and events interact and the related problems. Part 2 examines the social consequences of the ecological catastrophe and the affect of the Aral Sea desiccation on cultural and economic conditions of near Aral region. Part 3 explores the scientific causes of the destruction using detailed analyses and data plus some of their own research spanning aquatic biology, terrestrial biology, hydrology, water management and biodiversity. They also share some of the latest archaeological discoveries and paleobotanical analysis to delineate past levels and characteristics of the Aral Sea. There is particular focus on modern remote sensing and GIS techniques and how they can monitor the Aral Sea and the environment. Part 4 discusses regional and international initiatives to mitigate human and ecological problems of the Aral Sea and the wider political and economic consequences. With thorough insight of the total environment cost, the final chapters of the book will provide lessons for the future. There are insightful case studies throughout. Multidisciplinary by nature, all titles in our new reference book series will explore significant changes within the Earth’s ecosystems and to some extent, and will tackle ways to think about our changing environment.


Aral Sea Biodiversity Environmental Disaster Water resources

Editors and affiliations

  • Philip Micklin
    • 1
  • N.V. Aladin
    • 2
  • Igor Plotnikov
    • 3
  1. 1.Western Michigan University Dept. GeographyKalamazooUSA
  2. 2.Russian Academy of Sciences Inst. ZoologySt. PetersburgRussia
  3. 3.Russian Academy of Sciences Zoological InstituteSt. PetersburgRussia

Bibliographic information