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Issyk-Kol or Ysyk Köl (both: ēsĭkˈ-kōl) [key], lake, E Kyrgyzstan, in the Alatau Mts. At an altitude of c.5,300 ft (1,620 m) and with an area of c.2,400 sq mi (6,220 sq km), it is one of the largest mountain lakes in the world. It reaches a depth of 2,303 ft (702 m), is slightly saline, and is ice-free in winter. Tourist resorts have been developed along the lake's northern shores.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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