Sabkhat al-Jabbul

Sabkhat al-Jabbul
سبخة الجبول
Location Aleppo Governorate
Coordinates 36°04′N 037°30′E / 36.067°N 37.500°E / 36.067; 37.500Coordinates: 36°04′N 037°30′E / 36.067°N 37.500°E / 36.067; 37.500
Type Salt lake
Basin countries Syria
Surface area 100 km2 (39 sq mi)

Sabkhat al-Jabbūl or Mamlahat al-Jabbūl[1] or Lake Jabbūl (Arabic: سبخة الجبول) is a large, traditionally seasonal, saline lake and concurrent salt flats 30 km southeast of Aleppo, Syria, in the Bāb District of Aleppo Governorate. It is the largest natural lake in Syria and the second largest lake after the artificial Lake Assad. In 2009 the lake covered about 100 km2 (39 sq mi) and was relatively stable.[2] The salt flats are extensive and can be seen from space. The area includes the Sabkhat al-Jabbul Nature Reserve, a protected waterfowl site.[3]

Shallow parts of the lake go dry in August leaving salt crystals on the floor

Today the Sabkhat al-Jabbul exists within a closed basin, but during the Pleistocene the basin filled, overflowed and formed a tributary of the Euphrates. The lake traditionally flooded in the spring shrinking back during the summer and autumn. However, starting in 1988, irrigation projects on adjacent lands started discharging significant amounts of partially saline water into the basin, stabilizing the water table and creating the current (2009) lake of 100 km2 (39 sq mi).[2]

Resource use

Primary uses of the area include tourism, waterfowl hunting, livestock grazing on the surrounding steppe and salt extraction.[2] Al-Jubbul is the major source of salt in Syria, other sources include Lake Jayrud, Rif Dimashq Governorate, to the northeast of Damascus and Lake Khatuniyah (Khatunia), Al-Hasakah Governorate, to the northeast of Al-Hasakah, near the village of Al Hawi and the Iraqi border.


  1. Name used in the Syria article Encyclopædia Britannica 2005 edition, volume 28, page 363
  2. 1 2 3 "SY006: Sabkhat al-Jabbul" BirdLife IBA Factsheet
  3. Carter, Terry (editor) (2004) "National Parks and Reserves: Syria" Syria & Lebanon (2nd edition) Lonely Planet Publications, Footscray, Victoria, Australia, page 59

Further reading

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Lake Jabbul.

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