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Lake Turkana in the Kenyan Desert

April 1st, 2009 Category: Lakes

Kenya - March 24th, 2009

Kenya - March 24th, 2009

Lake Turkana, formerly known as Lake Rudolf, is a lake in the Great Rift Valley in Kenya, with its far northern end crossing into Ethiopia. It is the world’s largest permanent desert lake and the world’s largest alkaline lake.

The climate is hot and very dry. On-shore and off-shore winds can be extremely strong as the lake warms and cools more slowly than the land. Sudden, violent storms are frequent.

Three rivers (the Omo, Turkwel and Kerio) flow into the lake, but lacking outflow its only water loss is by evaporation. Lake volume and dimensions are variable. For example, its level fell by 10 meters between 1975 and 1993. The water is potable but not palatable.

Despite the barren surroundings, the lake itself is a surprisingly rich if somewhat limited habitat for life, which on the lowest level manifests itself in an immense bloom of soda-loving algae, which can change its color from sky blue to jade green. The algae, in turn, support large numbers of fish.

Here, the waters of the lake and the rivers flowing into it appear white due to sun glint. A greenish algal bloom is present in the southern part of the lake.

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