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Endorheic basin

Closed drainage basin that allows no outflow / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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An endorheic basin (/ˌɛndˈr.ɪk/; also spelled endoreic basin or endorreic basin) is a drainage basin that normally retains water and allows no outflow to other external bodies of water, such as rivers or oceans, where drainage converges instead into lakes or swamps, permanent or seasonal, that equilibrate through evaporation. They are also called closed or terminal basins, internal drainage systems, or simply basins. Endorheic regions contrast with exorheic regions, where surface waters eventually drain into the ocean.[1] Endorheic water bodies include some of the largest lakes in the world, such as the Caspian Sea, the world's largest inland body of water.[2]

Endorheic basin showing waterflow input into Üüreg Lake, Mongolia
NASA photo of the endorheic Tarim Basin, China

Basins with subsurface outflows which eventually lead to the ocean are generally not considered endorheic;[3][4][5] they are cryptorheic.[6]

Endorheic basins constitute local base levels, defining a limit of the erosion and deposition processes of nearby areas.[7]