Lake Balta Alba EUR-41

Riparian Nation(s) Romania
Surface Area 11 km2 Mean Depth 1.1 m Volume 0.01 km3
Shoreline 17.5 km Catchment Area 91.6 km2 Residence Time 1.1 yr
Frozen Period Dec-Feb Mixing Type Dimictic Morphogenesis/Dam
Related Info/Site


The Lake Balta Alba is located in the Ramnic Plain just south of the highway between the cities of Ramnicu-Sarat and Braila. The southern lake shore - loessial bluff up to 24 m in height - contrasts sharply with the almost flat surrounding landscape. Seen from the bluff top, the lake displays a rich- coloured palette: the yellow of loessial bluff, the white of saline efflorescences on the beach, different shades of green belonging to reed, algae and aquatic weeds dominating, the lake water mass in summer, ...

From the limnogenetic standpoint, the lake is a fluviatile "liman" formed by the alluvial damming up of an old Ramnic river bed at its confluence with the Buzau River, as a consequence of Holocene neotectonic subsidence. After the freshwater accumulation, the setting and abrasion of loess-like deposits (Upper Pleistocene - Lower Holocene) modelled the existing lake basin. The present lake, brackish, shallow, dimictic, eutrophic, and pelogenous (= with unctuous, rich-organic, therapeutical muds) is strongly influenced by freshwater inputs from precipitation and Boldu Brook, in connection with the fluctuations of steppe climate. It has only one tributary, Boldu Brook, and no outlet stream.

The sapropelic mud therapy dates back to as early as 1840, the year of the beginning of such treatments in Romania. Recent multi-disciplinary researches characterized the lake as one of the important Romanian sources of therapeutical sapropelic mud, which is recommended for the treatment of some rheumatic, articular and dermatological diseases. The therapy uses the mud itself (either by outdoor application in the camping "la Plaja" or by indoor treatments in Balta Alba Spa located ca. 2 km west of the lake) or the "Pell- Amar" extract (= saline interstitial) solution obtained by squeezing the mud (Q, 2, 3, 16).

Photo of Lake Balta Alba
Photo: V. A. C. Bulgareanu