Sabkhat al-Jabbul

Sabkhat al-Jabbūl or Mamlahat al-Jabbūl[2] or Lake Jabbūl (Arabic: سبخة الجبول) is a large, traditionally seasonal, saline lake and concurrent salt flats (sabkha) 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.[3] The salt flats are extensive. The area includes the Sabkhat al-Jabbul Nature Reserve, a protected waterfowl site.[4]

Sabkhat al-Jabbul
A map of Syria with a mark indicating the location of Sabkhat al-Jabbul
A map of Syria with a mark indicating the location of Sabkhat al-Jabbul
Sabkhat al-Jabbul
LocationAleppo Governorate
Coordinates36°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
TypeSalt lake
Native nameسبخة الجبول (Arabic)
Basin countriesSyria
Surface area100 km2 (39 sq mi)
Official nameSabkhat al-Jabbul Nature Reserve
Designated5 March 1998
Reference no.935[1]
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 a lake of 100 km2 (39 sq mi).[3]

Resource useEdit

Primary uses of the area include tourism, waterfowl hunting, livestock grazing on the surrounding steppe and salt extraction.[3] 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. ^ "Sabkhat al-Jabbul Nature Reserve". Ramsar Sites Information Service. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  2. ^ Name used in the Syria article Encyclopædia Britannica 2005 edition, volume 28, page 363
  3. ^ a b c "SY006: Sabkhat al-Jabbul" BirdLife IBA Factsheet
  4. ^ Carter, Terry (editor) (2004) "National Parks and Reserves: Syria" Syria & Lebanon (2nd edition) Lonely Planet Publications, Footscray, Victoria, Australia, page 59

Further readingEdit

  • Evans, Michael I. (editor) (1994) Important Bird Areas in the Middle East (BirdLife Conservation Series No.2.) BirdLife International, Cambridge, England, ISBN 0-946888-28-0

External linksEdit