Monday, November 26, 2012

Pink Lakes Around The World




With a few exceptions pink lakes around the world owe their colour to the presence of an algae that thrives in salty conditions. The same by-product of this algae is responsible for the orange ring around this well known geological feature:

Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone National Park [photo: Brocken Inaglory]

Caratenoids are produced by, dunaliella salina, a type of halophile green micro-algae found in sea-salt fields and are an anti-oxidant so their presence in the water is not a bad thing. To survive in these salty conditions the algae contains high concentrations of beta-carotene which is used in cosmetics (colouring) and dietary supplements (vitamin A) and is the pigment responsible for your red and orange fruits and vegetables.

Africa

Lake Retba, Senegal, Africa (photo at the beginning of this post
 is also Lake Retba)

During the dry season, Lake Retba is at its most colourful. Depending on the conditions, the water can range from purple to peach in colour.

Australia

Hutt Lagoon, Australia [photo: L. Lodwick]

Lake Hiller, Western Australia
[photo: Jean Paul Ferrero/Ardea/Caters News]

Salinity levels vary at different points in the year and depending on certain conditions, like temperature, the intensity of the colour will vary along with those conditions. Australia has many pink lakes so I'm going to move on to other parts of the world but before we do here is one more image of Australian pink lakes:

Each lake is a different shade of pink owing to different levels of algae
[photo: Louise O'Grady]
Canada


Dusty Rose Lake, British Columbia [photo: AlpineClimber]

This is the only picture of this British Columbia lake that I could find. The person who took it had heard about it through a travel article and wanted to see it for himself. He linked to the article on his flikr page but I couldn't find anything relating to this lake through that link.

The colour of the water in this lake is due to the particulate in the glacial melt waters feeding it. The surrounding rock is purple/pink in colour and the photographer says the water feeding the lake had a lavender hue to it in much the same way the purple sands of Pfeiffer Beach get their colour. He posted this picture in 2006 with the intention of getting back to it to get a closer look. It doesn't look like he did, but I'd love to see close-up photos of this lake.

USA

Salt flats are seen as pinkish areas in the southern portion of San Francisco Bay
Salt Flats, San Francisco Bay [photo: DocSearls]

[photo: yvan h]
Showing the range of colour possible in pink lakes
depending on algae and salinity levels

Western Asia


Masazirgol, Azerbaijan

Salt collecting, Masazirgol, Azerbaijan

Europe

Salina de Torrevieja, Spain, one of the largest salt lakes in Europe

Except for the one in British Columbia, all of the pink lakes I found had some kind of salt industry connected to it. So what do you find if you google "pink+salt"? Himalayan pink salt which, if I'm not mistaken, is mined since I see it in slabs and great huge hunks with candles or light bulbs in them. Is salt harvested from pink lakes actually pink? I'm happy to say it is.




And it's very expensive too! I think I'd be quite taken with a pink lake if I saw one even though pink is one of my least favourite colours. Which means I'm at my saturation point with pink and I'm off to look at serene images of blue and green.

2 comments:

Andrea Hall said...

Thanks for pulling together everything I was looking for. Splendid, precise and concise.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all this info it is amazing and I never knew there was such lakes as these. Gods blessings. <3