Peter ZAVIALOV : Physical oceanography of the dying Aral Sea. Springer UK, 158 p, 2005.


This book begins with a synthesis of oceanological data from the past, especially from the vol.7 (Aralskooe More) of the « Proekt More SSSR), by Bortnik and Chistiaevoi, published 10 1990 and which is not easily available in Western Europe. Then the evolution of Aral water since this time, essentially in its physical parameters – with « a bit of chemistry », as says the author, is described : balance of water, currentology , temperature etc.. These last years only, after a long period when very few measurements were published, interest went back to the study of the evolution of Aral water, illustrated by the 2003 INTAS Liège meeting. There is now a wealth of new data, as well in oceanology as in water chemistry, biology, sedimentology, archaeology, in the perspective to get a better knowledge of past regressions in comparison with the present one. Now Aral Sea arrives to the point of desiccation where it becomes a « sabkhra », and has to be compared with other classical water bodies of the same sort all over the world.

The book is highly recommended , and it is hoped that companion books are published as for biological systems as for water chemistry.