Lake Amadeus A huge salt lake located In The southwest corner of Australia’s Northern Territory, about 50 kilometers north of Ayers Rock. Another, slightly smaller Lake Neale, is located adjacent to the northwest. Both lakes lie on the Amadeus Basin, that was filled with sediments, eroded from the nearby mountains, more than 500 million years ago. Dozens of small islands, of red sand protrude, centimeters, above the surface of the lake. The lakes are inundated only during periods of substantial rain. For the most part, Lake Amadeus remains dry and coated with a thick crust of brilliant white salt.
It intermittently contains, a few inches of water, and at such times, may measure as much as 145 km long and 20 km wide, covering some 880 square km. When dry, it is a playa, or salt flat. The first European to discover the lake was the explorer Ernest Giles, who had originally intended to honor his benefactor Baron Ferdinand von Mueller with the eponym Lake Ferdinand. Some cattle, sustained by underground water, are raised in the vicinity, and natural gas is exploited north, of the lake. Lake Neale is a similar feature to the northwest.
The nearby Petermann Ranges of Central Australia, are the ancient remains, of this event. Lake Amadeus, contains an estimated 600 million tonnes, of salt. Owing to the aridity, of the area, the surface of is often a dry salt crust. When rain falls in sufficient, quantity, Lake Amadeus, becomes part of a vast east flowing drainage system, that eventually connects to the Finke River. Lake Amadeus, is highly rich in salts, that have been leached out of the underlying, sediments and when it is dry its lake bed is transformed into a glistening sheet of white salt crystals. Therefore, dozens of small islands, of red sand protrude, centimeters above the surface of the lake.
The plants that have taken root on these sandy islands are very hardy, and able to withstand salt as well as heat and drought. Lake Amadeus is lengthened in shape approximately 180 kilometers long and 10 kilometers wide, and it is the largest salt lake in the Northern Territory. It contains up to 600 million tonnes of salt, however harvesting it has not proved viable due to its remote location.
The lakes are predominantly Aboriginal, freehold land held by three Aboriginal land, trusts. A small portion on the western end of the Site, is pastoral leasehold land. The main land, use within the Site is Indigenous. Lake Amadeus, is a largely uninhabitable, environment, however you may still be lucky enough to see herds of wild camels making, their way across the salty plains. The increase, in the number of camels is of greatest concern.