Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Lake Magadi, Kenya

Lake Magadi, the southernmost lake in the Kenyan Rift Valley, is a saline, highly alkaline lake, or "saline pan." The lake has an abundance of sodium bicarbonate, which precipitates as the mineral trona, or sodium sesquicarbonate. Since the lake is in an arid region, most of the water feeding the lake comes from saline hot springs with temperatures near 86°C. The lake has a pH ...of 10 and alkalinity of 380 mmol L-1. Despite the highly alkaline environment, one species of fish (tilapia grahami) and several types of bacteria survive in the water. Natronobacteria are abundant in the lake's salt flats, giving rise to the often-seen pink hue. Research is ongoing to learn more about bacteria that can survive in highly alkaline environments.

Photo courtesy of Lynne Tuller,_Kenya-5.jpg

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