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Colors of Lake Mackay, Western Australia

22.5S 128.6E

November 26th, 2009 Category: Lakes

Australia - November 24th, 2009

Australia - November 24th, 2009

Lake Mackay is one of hundreds of dry lakebeds scattered throughout Western Australia and the Northern Territory. In addition to the lake, the image also shows the dry appearance of Western Australia’s Great Sandy Desert, Gibson Desert, and Tanami Desert.

Lake Mackay measures approximately 60 miles (100 kilometers) east-west and north-south. The lake is the largest in Western Australia and has a surface area of 3,494 square kilometres (1,349 sq mi).

In this arid environment, salts and other minerals are carried to the surface through capillary action caused by evaporation, thereby producing the white reflective surface.

The darker, greyish areas of the lakebed are indicative of some form of desert vegetation or algae, some moisture within the soils of the dry lake, and the lowest elevations where pooling of water occurs.

The orange dots, on the other hand, are hills scattered across the eastern half of the lake and east-west-oriented sand ridges south of the lake.

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