Lake Amadeus

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Lake Amadeus
Pantu (Pitjantjatjara)
Lake amadeus.jpg
from space (November 1994)
Location Northern Territory
Coordinates 24°48′S 130°54′E / 24.8°S 130.9°E / -24.8; 130.9Coordinates: 24°48′S 130°54′E / 24.8°S 130.9°E / -24.8; 130.9
Type salt lake
Basin countries Australia
Max. length 180 km
Max. width 10 km
Surface area 1032 km²
Surface elevation 450 m

Lake Amadeus (Pitjantjatjara: Pantu) is a huge salt lake in the southwest corner of the Northern Territory, in Australia. It is about 50 kilometres (31 mi) north of Uluṟu. The lake is 180 km long and 10 km wide. It is the largest salt lake in the Northern Territory.[1] Because of the dryness of the area, the lake is usually a dry salt crust. When it rains enough, water flows through it towards the east. It eventually connects to the Finke River. Lake Amadeus holds up to 600 million tonnes of salt. The groundwater soaks into the ground, and the lake supports several reliable springs.[2]

The first European to find the lake was the explorer Ernest Giles in 1872. He had seen Kata Tjuta from far away and was making his way there. The lake blocked his path. He could not go over it because the dry lake bed was not able to hold the weight of his horses.[3] He described the lake as "an infernal lake of mud and brine". Giles was going to name it "Lake Ferdinand" after Baron Ferdinand von Mueller. But Mueller asked Giles to instead name it after King Amadeus I of Spain. Amadeus had honoured Mueller a few years before.

Lake Amadeus is on Aboriginal land, and is covered by the Katiti and Petermann Aboriginal Land Trusts.[2]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Largest Waterbodies". Geoscience Australia. Commonwealth of Australia. 23 December 2009. Retrieved 13 May 2010. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Lake Amadeus and Lake Neale" (PDF). Sites of conservation significance. Government of the Northern Territory, Department of Natural Resources, Environment, the Arts and Sport. p. 175. Retrieved 30 March 2013. 
  3. Stanton, Jenny (2000). The Australian Geographic Book of the Red Centre. Terrey Hills, New South Wales: Australian Geographic. p. 44. ISBN 1862760136.