Lake Turkana Facts
- The remarkable Lake Turkana remains the largest known permanent desert lake on Earth. It also holds recognition for being the world’s largest alkaline lake.
- By volume, it also ranks as the world’s fourth largest salt lake. Technically, you can drink the water safely, but few consider it palatable.
- Sadly, the lake now faces a threat from human actions. While currently under construction, the Gilgel Gibe lll dam will once completed, block the river that provides most of the water for the lake.
- The nature of the lake creates locally intense weather effects. Violent storms frequently arise in the immediate vicinity of the site.
Lake Turkana Physical Description
Located almost precisely in the center of the rather surprising Lake Turkana sits a volcanic island. The discoverers aptly named it Central Island.
It still ranks as an active volcano, continuously emitting vapors.
Three separate rivers also flow into the lake, although they have no outlet. The only water loss occurs due to evaporation in the arid climate.
It also has a maximum length of roughly 180 mi (290 km) and a maximum width of about 20 mi (32 km).
This wonder of geology remains remarkable for a variety of reasons.
Lake Turkana Location and Ecology
Due to inaccessibility, temperature, and aridity, Lake Turkana continues to retain its wild character. Nile crocodiles inhabit the lake in abundance, and scorpions and carpet vipers live in numerous around the shores.
Even though three separate rivers flow into the lake, none of them exit. The only water loss occurs via evaporation. However, given the aridity of the surrounding climate, this loss can be extreme at times.
Illustrating this perfectly, was the dramatic drop in water level between 1975 and 1993. During this period, the overall level dropped a dramatic 33 ft (10 m).