The Tonlé Sap Lake occupies a geological depression (the lowest lying area) of the vast alluvial and lacustrine floodplain in the lower Mekong basin, which had been induced by the collision of the Indian Plate with the Eurasian Plate. The lake's size, length and water volume varies considerably over the course of a year from an area of around 2,500 km2 (965 sq mi), a volume of 1 km3 (0.24 cu mi) and a length of 160 km (99 mi) at the end of the dry season in late-April to an area of up to 16,000 km2 (6,178 sq mi), a volume of 80 km3 (19 cu mi) and a length of 250 km (160 mi) as the Mekong maximum and the peak of the southwest monsoon's precipitation culminate in September and early-October.
As one of the world's most varied and productive ecosystems the region has always been of central importance for Cambodia's food supply. It proved capable of largely maintaining the Angkorean civilization, the largest pre-industrial settlement complex in world history. Directly and indirectly it affects the livelihood of large numbers of a predominantly rural population. Due to ineffective administration and widespread indifference towards environmental issues, the lake and its surrounding ecosystem is coming under increasing pressure from over-exploitation and habitat degradation, fragmentation, and loss. All Mekong riparian states have either announced or already implemented plans to increasingly exploit the river's hydroelectric potential. A succession of international facilities that dam the river's mainstream is likely to be the gravest danger yet for the entire Tonle Sap eco-region.
The largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia, that contains an exceptional large variety of interconnected eco-regions with a high degree of biodiversity is a biodiversity hotspot and was designated as a UNESCO biosphere reserve in 1997.
Kampong Phluk is a commune and village in Siem Reap Province in northern-central Cambodia. It is a village built on stilts on the Tonle Sap. The name means "Harbor of the Tusks".