Lake Tyrrell

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Lake Tyrrell
Lake Tyrrell is located in Victoria
Lake Tyrrell
Lake Tyrrell
Location in Victoria
Location Mallee district, Victoria
Coordinates 35°20′38″S 142°50′00″E / 35.34389°S 142.83333°E / -35.34389; 142.83333Coordinates: 35°20′38″S 142°50′00″E / 35.34389°S 142.83333°E / -35.34389; 142.83333[1]
Type Intermittent
Primary inflows Tyrrell Creek
Basin countries Australia
Surface area 20,860 ha (51,500 acres)

Lake Tyrrell is a shallow, salt-crusted depression located in the Mallee district of north-west Victoria, in Australia.

Location and features[edit]

The lake covers approximately 20,860 hectares (51,500 acres),[2][3] making it Victoria's largest salt lake. It is located 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) south of the town of Sea Lake and 314 kilometres (195 mi) northwest of Melbourne.

While much of the time the lake is dry, it is usually covered in about 50 centimetres (20 in) of water in winter.[4] It is ancient and probably formed by sand blocking the passage of Tyrrell Creek (a distributary of the Avoca River) which feeds the lake.[2][3] Evaporation results in a layer of salt crusting on the lake bed which is extracted by Chislem Salt in Sea Lake.

The lake environment is host to Mallee reptiles, kangaroos, emus and white-faced chats.[2] Thousands of seagulls breed on small islands on the lake.[2][3] Surrounding vegetation is made up of saltbush and samphire.

History[edit]

Around 120,000 years ago Tyrrell was apprixmiately 13 metres (43 ft) deep with low salinity. Water levels subsequently dropped due to climatic changes, resulting in cycles of drying and partial refilling.[4]

In 1838, Australian explorer Edward Eyre discovered Lake Tyrrell while searching for new grazing land.

Recreation activities[edit]

Each year on the Queen's Birthday long weekend the lake hosts the Mallee Rally, part of the Australian Rally Championship most years.

On the Sea Lake side of the lake, 5–6 kilometres (3.1–3.7 mi) from the township, is the local lookout and astronomy point, built in the late 1990s.

References[edit]