Kazakhstan: көл балқаш

Lake Balkhash is a very unique lake situated in east-central Kazakhstan. It is one of the largest lakes in Asia and the 15th largest lake in the world. But what makes it so special? It has both fresh water that is suitable for drinking and brackish or salty water.

In very simple terms, the entire lake is salty but the western side has a large river of fresh water that flows into it. So the river water dilutes and pushes the salt water to the eastern side of the lake. So what you end up with is a lake that is half salty and half fresh.

To test the differences of these two types of water we did a series of experiments.

Fresh and Salt Water Experiment

You will need…

2 Cups or Jars
Water
Salt
Food Color
Grapes

Let’s get to it!

Start by adding 1 cup of water in each cup. Dissolve 1 Tbs of salt in one of the cups- this will mimic the same salinity as the ocean.

Now for the color! Add a few drops of liquid food color or combine gel food color with 1 tsp of vinegar. Slowly pour the color into each jar and watch how the color reacts differently.

Now let’s test how well grapes float. Simply add 1 grape to each jar- the grape will float in the salty water and sink in the fresh water.

Martin wanted to continue the experiment and he wanted to see what would happen if we added the fresh water to the salty. So we did and we watched the grape slowly sink due to the fresh water!

Martin has been all about the science experiments lately and this one was a big hit! He was really excited about the differences between the two jars and that the only thing that was different about the water was salt!

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