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Posts tagged Gibson Desert

Salt Lakes and Marshes in Western Australia

19.6S 121.0E

April 27th, 2010 Category: Lakes, Rivers, Salt Flats

Australia - March 5th, 2010

Australia - March 5th, 2010

Between the Great Sandy and Gibson Deserts in Western Australia lie several playa lakes, white in color. The largest is Lake Disappointment, near the image center. To the north lies the smaller Lake Dora, on the Rudall River. These bodies of water are ephemeral and frequently appear as white salt flats.

Moving northwest, another white area is visible: the light sands of Eighty Mile Beach, forming the coastline where the Great Sandy Desert approaches the Indian Ocean. It is one of the most important sites for migratory shorebirds, or waders, in Australia, and is recognised as a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.

Close to Eighty Mile Beach and included in the Eighty Mile Beach Ramsar Site is the Mandora Marsh, also known as Mandora Salt Marsh, a complex and diverse wetland system. It lies at the western edge of the Great Sandy Desert bioregion and within the Mandora Station pastoral lease.

Lakes Dora and Disappointment by the Great Sandy and Gibson Deserts, Australia

23.4S 122.8E

March 7th, 2010 Category: Lakes, Rivers, Salt Flats

Australia - February 24th, 2010

Australia - February 24th, 2010

Two ephemeral lakes are visible in this image of arid Western Australia. The larger of the two, Lake Disappointment, appears as a white salt flat near the center. The other, smaller body of water, Lake Dora is located to the North, occasionally fed by the Rudall River.

The surrounding desert terrain is part of the Great Sandy and Gibson Deserts. The Great Sandy Desert is a 360,000 km2 (140,000 sq mi) expanse in northwestern Australia. It is a flat area between the rocky ranges of the Pilbara and the Kimberley.

To the southeast is the Gibson Desert, which is about 155,000 square kilometres (60,000 square miles) in size. It lies between Lake Disappointment and Lake Macdonald along the Tropic of Capricorn. The Gibson bioregion includes extensive areas of undulating sand plains and dunefields, low rocky/gravelly ridges and substantial upland portions with a high degree of laterite formation.

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.

Sediments and White Sands Beaches Along Western Australia Coast

19.6S 121.0E

August 1st, 2009 Category: Lakes, Rivers

Australia - July 13th, 2009

Australia - July 13th, 2009

Above, the Fitzroy River discharges tan sediments into the King Sound, east of the Dampier Peninsula in Western Australia. As the sediments leave the sound and move into the Indian Ocean, they become less concentrated and the water appears greenish.

Moving southwest along the coast, west of the peninsula a stretch of sandy white beaches can be seen, including the popular Eighty Mile Beach. As the name suggests, the beach is 80 miles (130 km) long, located almost half way between the towns of Broome and Port Hedland.

Below, the outline of the ephemeral Rudall River appears white and tan, connecting to the white, seasonal Lake Dora, a salt lake lying between the vegetated sand fields of the Great Sandy and Gibson Deserts.

Ephemeral Lakes in Western Australia

23.4S 122.8E

June 12th, 2009 Category: Lakes, Rivers

Western Australia - June 8th, 2009

Western Australia - June 8th, 2009

The Rudall River, appearing as a tan streak through the red landscape, is an ephemeral river in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. The entire length of the river is located within the boundaries of the Rudall River National Park, the largest national park in Australia.

The Rudall River occasionally brings water to Lake Dora, a seasonal salt lake. It lies between the vegetated sand fields of the Great Sandy and Gibson Deserts. Here, the seasonal lake appears to contain water.

South of Lake Dora is another ephemeral salt lake, called Lake Disappointment. The lake, which is saline, is home to many species of waterbirds.

Continuing south, yet another ephemeral lake, Lake Carnegie, comes into view near the bottom of the image. It fills with water only during periods of significant rainfall. In dry years, it is reduced to a muddy marsh.

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