The Kopet Dag is undergoing tectonic transformation, meaning that the region is threatened by earthquakes such as the one that destroyed Ashgabat in 1948.
Other factors promoting desertification are the inadequacy of the collector-drainage system built in the 1950s and inappropriate application of chemicals. ===The Aral Sea=== Turkmenistan both contributes to and suffers from the consequences of the desiccation of the Aral Sea.
In 1989 Turkmenistan's Institute for Desert Studies claimed that the area of such flats had reached 10,000 km. The type of desertification caused by year-round pasturing of cattle has been termed the most devastating in Central Asia, with the gravest situations in Turkmenistan and the Kazakh steppe along the eastern and northern coasts of the Caspian Sea.
It is the southernmost republic of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the loose federation created at the end of 1991 by most of the Post-Soviet states. The geographic coordinates are between 35°08' and 42°48' north latitude, 52°27' and 66°41' east longitude.
In turn, the Aral Sea's desiccation, which had shrunk that body of water by an estimated 59,000 square kilometers by 1994, profoundly affects economic productivity and the health of the population of the republic.
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