Saturday, 5 April 2008

Lake Corangamite

The largest lake on the Victorian Volcanic Plain is Lake Corangamite. It was formed when a river was blocked by a lava flow, like a lot of the lakes and swamps on the plain. But when is a lake a lake? Is a dry lake still a lake? Maybe here in Australia we need to invent a new word for a dry lake.

Lake Corangamite

Lake Corangamite used to be 100 km long and 40 km wide when it first formed, but is now 33 km long and 20 km wide. But, it's only 2 metres deep! And that's when we've had a few normal years of rainfall. At the moment it's almost empty. The water has always been very salty, three times saltier than the sea, but now it's even saltier. The photo above was taken last week from the north looking south to Red Rock, a volcano near Colac on the south bank.

Lake Corangamite

And the photo above was taken a year ago from Red Rock looking north.

Because of the receding water a strange thing has appeared in recent weeks – a salt-encrusted skeleton of a Wirraway trainer that's been there since 1950. The pilot escaped unharmed after he crashed during a training flight. The photo below has been published in The Weekly Times this week.


1 comment:

George Darroch said...

I dunno, I kinda like the laconic Australian way of calling things 'lake'.