Flooding in Queensland Brings Salty Lake Eyre Back to Life – April 16th, 2009
Lake Eyre, on the border of South Australia at 15 meters below sea level, is famous for being the saltiest lake in the country. However, it could also be considered the driest, filling up only about once per century.
The Lake Eyre Basin covers one sixth of the continent and holds some of the rarest, least exploited ecosystems on the planet.
However, the lake usually appears to be nothing more than a large salt flat, as it has only filled up with water three times in the last 160 years. The last time was in the year 2000, when waters reached half-way up the basin.
Due to the incredible amount of rainwater flowing down from Queensland, which has been suffering from flooding in recent months, Lake Eyre has come back to life. In the main image, three rivers in Queensland’s Channel Country area visible, from left to right: Eyre Creek, Diamantina River and Cooper Creek. (The second close-up image focuses on the former two).
Lake Eyre, taking on a green hue from plant life, is visible at the bottom left and in the first close-up. (Click here for images of Lake Eyre when dry). This year, water levels are expected to fill up to 80% of Lake Eyre’s basin.
Usually inhospitable to wildlife due to its dryness, since March Lake Eyre has become an oasis, once again home to fish, and attracting hundreds of species of birds and mammals, reports the South Australia Tourist Commission. This phenomenon should last for two or three months, until the hot, dry season once again turns the lake into a vast area of salt flats.