Australia’s Lake Eyre Filling with Water as The Lake Eyre basin’s desiccated state is typical, and it has filled completely only three times since the middle of the 19th century.
Lake Eyre is an ephemeral lake in north-central South Australia. Most of the time, the Lake Eyre basin could be called a playa (or a pan, flat, or dry lake).
The basin’s desiccated state is typical, and it only rarely fills with water.
This week, however, Lake Eyre has begun to fill, due to locally heavy rainfall.
Birds (including the banded stilt [Cladorhynchus leucocephalus]) are expected to return to the lake to breed.
Lake Eyre spans roughly 3,700 square miles (9,600 square km), with a larger northern basin measuring 90 miles (144 km) long and 40 miles (65 km) wide and a smaller southern basin measuring 40 miles long and about 15 miles (24 km) in width.
The lake is fed by inflowing rivers, which are all part of a vast continental drainage basin. During periods of normal or low rainfall, the water evaporates before it can reach the lake.
When inflowing rivers such as the Diamantina River, which rises in Queensland, are in flood, the lake receives water.
Water arrives in the basin about every eight years, and the lake has filled completely only three times since the middle of the 19th century. When it does fill completely, it becomes Australia’s largest lake. Subsequent rainfall will determine how much the lake will fill.
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