While the entire Aral Sea is shrinking dramatically, these images show that the northern portion of the sea, while clearly smaller than it was in 1964 and 1977, is not losing water at the same rate as the South Aral. The North and South Arals became separated sometime in the 1980s. The two had been joined by the Berg Strait. By the time of the 1987 image, this strait became more of a land bridge.
In the 1990s, a dam was built to prevent North Aral water from flowing into the South Aral. It was rebuilt in 2005 and named the Kok-Aral Dam. It caused the North Aral water level to be stabilized with a lower level of salinity. Consequently, commercial fishing began to rebound.
Throughout the 2000s, the North and South Arals continued to develop as separate water bodies, and the South Aral continues to experience more drastic changes than the North Aral.