A brief description of the Lonar Lake

During Pleistocene Epoch, an asteroid hit the Earth near Lonar, Buldhana district of  Maharashtra, India, which consequences to the formation of the Lonar Lake or Lonar Crater (19°58'35"N & 76°30'30"E). It is a National Geological Monument, notified by the Geological Survey of India. The lake water is both saline and alkaline at the same time. It covers area of average 1.13 square kilometres (or 0.44 square miles). It is one of the important lakes of the Deccan Plateau region of India.


In 1823, a British officer named CJE Alexander identified the Lonar Lake as an identical geographical site. It is very popular tourist spot which also attracts nature enthusiasts as well as the geologists and scientists globally. But recently it has become the epicenter of ebullience as the water body has turned pink in colour overnight for a span of 2 to 3 days.

How did it happen?

Primarily scientists speculating that it might cause due to the change in  salinity level or temperature, along with the presence of some specific kind of algae in the lake. They said that the colour of the Lonar Lake had changed in past, but this recent phenomenon is quite surprising and glaring. Because this change of colour had never been so acute before.

It is very much clear from the imagery data acquired from The European Union's Copernicus Sentinel satellite.
The left side image was captured on 11th June 2019, which is showing the usual state of the Lonar Lake. Whereas, the right side image of the same coordinate, taken on 10th June 2020, showing the dramatic colour change of the lake water.

Changing colour of the Lonar Lake water body | Image courtesy : Wikimedia

It is being presumed to be the cause of the overgrowth of some micro-organism or algal bloom, accelerated by the increase of temperature and salinity level of the lake  water drastically.

The lake comes under the domination of forest department as the area has been noted as a sanctuary. A group of experts from the National Environment Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) are carrying forward further experiment to determine the exact cause behind it.

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