Spotted Lake

August 10, 2010

Spotted lake

Photographer: Chris Gozdzik 
Summary Author: Chris Gozdzik; Jim Foster  August 2010 Earth Science Picture of the Day Viewer's Choice

The photo above shows enigmatic Spotted Lake near Osoyoos, British Columbia. It could also be called "Doubletake Lake" since that's likely what many people do when they witness this odd body of "water." Its spots result from a high concentration of a number of different minerals, including magnesium sulfate, calcium and sodium sulfates. At least a dozen other minerals are found in the lake's water in varying concentrations. By late summer, much of the water evaporates and only a mineral stew remains. It's primarily crystals of magnesium sulfate that contributes to the spotty appearance. Different minerals yield different colors. Spotted Lake was once sacred to Indian tribes in the area, perhaps because the high mineral content had therapeutic qualities. Photo taken on August 8, 2009.

Photo Details: Camera Maker: Panasonic; Camera Model: DMC-FZ18; Focal Length: 9.5mm (35mm equivalent: 58mm); Aperture: f/8.0; Exposure Time: 0.0016 s (1/640);ISO equiv: 100.