The Buried River
The Armenian plateau started forming approximately 25 million years ago. Because of its intense elevations, which took place in the Alpine period, whole mountain massifs of underwater started stretching ridges. The following 15 million years saw the formation of the first mountain ranges. By the Quaternary period the Armenian plateau had transformed into dry land. A new stage of geological progress followed. Huge lava eruptions covered the Armenian plateau with mighty volcanic layers, which later revealed sedimentary and magma rocks, as well as earlier relief forms: reservoirs, ravines and river plains. How the apparently drainless Ayghr Lich (Lake) was being fed remained a mystery for a long time. It is situated on the Ararat Valley at the height of 860 m and occupies the territory of 5 sq km with maximum depth of 8 m. The fact that the lake is located in the semi-desert zone of high evaporation has raised even more interest. In fact, Lake Ayghr tapers off in summer and covers 0,07 sq km only but does not evaporate entirely and even is the source of the Black River. Recently it has become known that the reservoir feeds on an ancient river, which didn’t stop flowing after its bed had been buried in a thick layer of lava cover.