Lonar Lake, otherwise called Lonar crater, is a notified National Geo-heritage Monument, saline, soda lake, situated at Lonar in Buldhana district Maharashtra, India. It was created after an asteroid collision with the earth’s impact during the Pleistocene Epoch.
Located around 500 km from India’s financial capital Mumbai, the lake has turned pink overnight, surprising experts who attributed it to changing salinity levels and the presence of algae in the water.
However, this is not for the first that the lake has changed its color, but this time it is more glaring.
Gajanan Kharat, a member of the Lonar lake conservation and development committee, said, “There are algae in the water body. The salinity and algae can be responsible for this change. There is no oxygen below one meter of the lake’s water surface. There is an example of a lake in Iran, where water becomes reddish due to an increase in salinity.”
“The level of water in the Lonar lake is currently low as compared to the few past years, and there is no rain to pour fresh water in it.”
“The low level of water may lead to increased salinity and change in the behavior of algae because of atmospheric changes…this may be the reason for color change. This is not the first time that the color of water has changed.”
Dr. Madan Suryavanshi, head of the geography department of Aurangabad’s Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University, said, looking at the scale of this color change, “this can’t be human intervention.”
“In case of a natural phenomenon, there are fungi which generally give a greenish color to water most of the time. This (the current color change) seems to be a biological change in the Lonar crater,”
“During the lockdown phase, there may not have been any disturbance to water, which led to this change, he said.
“Season-wise changes occur in water, and this might be the case with the Lonar lake. We can examine the change if we go there in a week, then we can say more about the change.”