|Location||Northwest of Osoyoos, British Columbia|
|Type||Saline, alkali, endorheic basin|
|Primary outflows||Terminal (evaporation)|
|Max. length||.7 km (0.43 mi)|
|Max. width||.25 km (0.16 mi)|
|Shore length1||1.7 km (1.1 mi)|
|Surface elevation||1,877 m (6,158 ft)|
|1 Shore length is not a well-defined measure.|
Mineral and salt concentration
Spotted Lake is very highly concentrated with numerous different minerals. It contains some of the highest quantities (in the world) of magnesium sulfate, calcium and sodium sulphates. It also contains extremely high concentrations of eight other minerals as well as some small doses of four others such as silver and titanium.
Most of the water in the lake evaporates over the summer, leaving behind all the minerals. Large “spots” on the lake appear and depending on the mineral composition at the time, the spots will be different colors. The spots are made mainly of magnesium sulfate, which crystallizes in the summer. In the summer only the minerals in the lake remain, and they harden to form natural “walkways” around and between the spots.
Naming and history
Originally known to the First Nations of the Okanagan Valley as Khiluk, which was- and remains today revered as a sacred site producing therapeutic waters. During World War I the minerals of Spotted Lake were used in manufacturing ammunition. Later the area came under the control of the Ernest Smith Family, for a term of about 40 years. In 1979 Smith attempted to create interest in a spa at the lake. The First Nations responded with an effort to buy the lake; in October 2001 they finally struck a deal. First Nations arranged the purchase of 22 hectares of land for a total of $720,000, and contributed about 20% of the cost. The Indian Affairs Department paid the remainder.
Spotted Lake today
Today there is a small sign nearby telling visitors about the lake’s healing powers. However a fence protects the lake-shore from liabilities of public access. Nevertheless the lake can be easily seen from nearby roads, and many do stop to admire.
- Spotted Lake: Something out of a Doctor Suess Book?
- Flickr: People walking on the lake.
- Renaut, Robin W.; Long, Peter R. (1989). "Sedimentology of the saline lakes of the Cariboo Plateau, Interior British Columbia, Canada". Sedimentary Geology 64 (4): 239. doi:10.1016/0037-0738(89)90051-1.
- Camm, E. L.; Stein, J. R. (1974). "Some aspects of the nitrogen metabolism ofNodularia spumigena(Cyanophyceae)". Canadian Journal of Botany 52 (4): 719. doi:10.1139/b74-093.
- Jenkins, O. P. (1918). "Spotted lakes of epsomite in Washington and British Columbia". American Journal of Science (275): 638. doi:10.2475/ajs.s4-46.275.638.