Monday, 8 April 2013

Stunning views of Lake Natron

Lake Natron - salt lake, located in the vast African Great Rift Valley - in the north of Tanzania, near the border with Kenya and just north-east of the Ngorongoro Crater. Tucked away between the volcanic hills and deep craters, Lake Natron is located at the lowest point of the rift valley - at an altitude of 600 meters above sea level - and, perhaps, is the most alkaline body of water in the world.

 The main distinguishing feature of the lake - it's certainly his most unusual bright red color of the water. But the way it looks is not always the case.

 Natron is quite shallow lake (its depth is not more than three meters) and changes the coastline, depending on the water level, which changes due to high evaporation, leaving the concentration of salts and other minerals, especially sodium carbonate (or, actually, soda).

The lake is fed river Iwase Niro ("The river of brown water" in the language of the Samburu tribe) and the mineral-rich hot springs.

With strong evaporation at the surface of the lake crust is formed from an alkali metal salt, which is also often painted in red or pink color in the result of the activity of micro-organisms living in the lake.

 As the water evaporates during the dry season, the salinity of the lake increased to a level where micro-organisms living in it - fans of salt - are beginning to proliferate wildly.

These organisms living in conditions of high salinity - halophilic cyanobacteria - are capable of photosynthesis, as well as plants. In the process of photosynthesis is allocated a red pigment, which gives the bright red color of deep water and a small orange.

High water temperature (up to 41 ° C) or higher and a very varied salt content in the lake is not conducive to the development of his nature. However, the lake is a habitat for millions of flamingos, as well as a home for algae, invertebrates, and the edges where the water is less salty - even fish - alkaline telapii.

Natron - the only place in East Africa small breeding flamingos under threat of extinction. Lake - a safe breeding ground, as his venomous alkaline environment is a barrier to predators trying to get close to the sockets located on the seasonally formed by the evaporation of the islands.

Flamingos gather on the salt lakes of the region, where they eat spirulina (blue-green algae with red pigments).

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