The Wetland Book pp 1921-1927 | Cite as

Kati Thanda: Lake Eyre (Australia)

  • Richard T. KingsfordEmail author
Reference work entry


Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre is a dry salt lake much of the time, in the middle of the arid zone in Australia (<250 mm annual rainfall), with the lowest natural point in Australia at about 15 m below sea level. Located in the southern portion of the endorheic lake Eyre Basin, it is the fifth largest terminal lake in the world, covering 9,690 km2. Consisting of two parts, connected during large floods by the 15 km long Goyder channel (a large Lake Eyre North and the small Lake Eyre South), the lake’s aquatic ecology is defined by interaction between highly variable inflowing rivers and the layer of salt that varies in thickness across the lake, reflecting the lake’s flooding patterns. Few animals tolerate the extreme high salinities of Lake Eyre, but with sufficient freshwater delivered by inflowing rivers there is a diverse and abundant aquatic life. The most serious threat to the lake’s ecology is the development of water resources upstream and mining affecting flow patterns.


Salt lake Flooding Waterbirds Shorebirds Cooper Creek Diamantina River 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Ecosystem Science, School of Biological, Earth and Environmental SciencesUNSW AustraliaSydneyAustralia

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