By Khushi Mehra
Lonar Lake, also known as Lonar crater, is 52,000 years old give or take 6,000 years and is a proclaimed National Geo-heritage site, located in Buldhana district, Maharashtra, India. This Lake was formed due to asteroid collision with earth during the Pleistocene Epoch. Wherefore it’s a well-known tourist hub and also attracts many scientists from all over the world. This comes under one of the four known, hyper-velocity, impact craters in basaltic rock far and wide on earth.
According to the experts this Lake is highly alkaline, which has led pH level to rise. Also, the high concentration of carbonate salt and saline supports the growth of a family bacteria studied as Halobacteriaceae. This is not the first time that the color change has happened, but this time it is more striking. The same phenomenon was noted at Urmia Lake, Iran. Scientists here studies that it happened because of salinity getting increased; salinity and warm water results in Dunaliella algae.
Dr Madan Suryavanshi, head of the geography department of Aurangabad’s Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University, said looking at the scale of this color change, “This can’t be a human intervention.”
Arun Gulabrao Mapari, an activist fighting to save Lonar said, “The reason of its unique color is still not fully understood by scientists, though most suspect it has to do something with the presence of Dunaliella salina microalgae. Dunaliella produces carotenoids, a pigment found in carrots as well. But presence of halophilic bacteria in the salt crusts could be another explanation. A reaction between the salt and sodium bicarbonate found in the water may cause it as well.”
During this period there are many changes happening in our environment. Some changes are even unrealistic like Lonar Lake. The reasons for all these changes is that our environment is healing since there’s no disturbance during the lockdown. The large-scale and small-scale place are shut for time being which is helping ecosystem.
Image Credits: cnn.com