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Posts tagged Lake Mackay

White Surface of Lake Mackay, Australia

22.5S 128.6E

November 22nd, 2010 Category: Lakes, Salt Flats

Australia - November 9th, 2010

Lake Mackay appears as a large, white expanse surrounded by red, arid land. This white color is due to the fact that it is an ephemeral salt lake, one of hundreds scattered throughout Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

The red dots in the eastern half of the lake are islands. This half of the lake appears slightly darker in color due to shallower waters and/or some form of desert vegetation or algae.

Lakes and Rivers in Western Australia

16.4S 126.1E

December 18th, 2009 Category: Lakes, Rivers

Australia - November 30th, 2009

Australia - November 30th, 2009

While the Fitzroy River releases tan sediments into King Sound on the northern coastline of Western Australia, several other bodies of water have a whitish color.

Lake Argyle, upper right quadrant, appears silvery white due to sun glint. It is Australia’s second largest artificial lake by volume and is part of the Ord River Irrigation Scheme. To the south, in the lower right quadrant, Lake Mackay also appears whitish, although this is due to salts and other minerals carried to the surface by evaporation.

West of Lake Mackay are the Rudall River, which connects to the seasonal salty Lake Dora. South of those two bodies of water is Lake Disappointment, an ephemeral salt lake.

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.