19-Aug-2017 – Hello, all.
This confluence visit was somewhat more than just a CP visit as the secondary goal was to go and see the unique man-made Chagan lake created by power of a thermonuclear blast as part of tests performed at the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test Site.
Both the CP and the lake lie in the territory of the Balapan ("B") Test Area in the south-east part of the Semipalatinsk Test Site, so I had to travel about 320 km from my town to make it there.
I hit the road and first got to Semey over the Ust'-Kamenogorsk-Semey road which took some 2 hours, then joined a local road to the Karazhyra coal mine (which also is within the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test Site). The road to Semey is good, but this local road is good only for maybe 50 km of its length, then it starts looking as it was a part of some terrible nuclear test.
Finally I reached the point on the road closest to the CP, then turned off into the steppe. After 300–400 m, I left the car and went the last 500 m on foot. There are still tons of barbed wire and various remnants of test site operations, so you better watch your steps if you care for your shoes.
The terrain of the area is pretty flat with insignificant heights and depressions making no visible difference in the surrounding landscape. The soil is mostly argillaceous sand with pebbles of jasper and quartzite. Dominant plants are Stipa capillata, Artemisia frigida (fringed sagebrush), Atraphaxis frutescens.
After completing all necessary steps for CP documenting, I went to the Chagan lake which is southward some 8–10 km from this confluence. On the approaches to the lake you'll see large stones and lumps of red clay thrown out of the explosion crater. The crater walls show you the cross section of Carboniferous age to present day. Various sedimentary aggregates, fossil coal, gypsum, mudrock, mottled clay are species that I noticed at first glance.
See more about the Chagan project.
The CP visit took me 12 hours all-in-all, where 2 hours were only because of extremely bad road. However, the impression the nuclear lake makes on you worths it.
Thank you for your attention!