From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Lonar Crater Lake, Pleistoscene epoch
Mains level : Not Much
The colour of Lonar lake water in Maharashtra’s Buldhana district turned pink due to a large presence of the salt-loving ‘Haloarchaea’ microbes, a probe carried out by a Pune-based institute has concluded.
Make a note of all saltwater lakes in India. Few of them are Pulicat, Pangong Tso, Chilika, and Sambhar Lakes etc.
- Haloarchaea or halophilic archaea is a bacteria culture which produces pink pigment and is found in water saturated with salt.
- The increased salinity and pH facilitated the growth of halophilic microbes, mainly Haloarchaea.
- Basically, it is the biomass of these microbes and because of that, the surface of the water turned red or pink and as soon as the biomass subsided, the colour disappeared.
- The scientist said the colour of the lake is now returning to original as the rainy season has kicked in, allowing dilution of the water.
- Initially, it was thought for the red-pigmented Dunaliella algae due to which the water might have turned pink.
- Because of that, the salinity and pH/alkalinity levels have also come down and green algae have started growing in the water body.
About Lonar Lake
- Lonar Lake, also known as Lonar crater, is a notified National Geo-heritage Monument, saline (pH of 10.5), Soda Lake, located at Lonar in Buldhana district, Maharashtra.
- It was created by an asteroid collision with earth impact during the Pleistocene Epoch.
- It is one of the four known, hyper-velocity, impact craters in basaltic rock anywhere on Earth.
- It sits inside the Deccan Plateau—a massive plain of volcanic basalt rock created by eruptions some 65 million years ago.
- Its location in this basalt field suggested to some geologists that it was a volcanic crater.