Monday, May 17, 2010

Studies find a salty past for Sasthamcotta Lake

KOLLAM: The freshwater Sasthamcotta Lake had a salty origin, according to a series of studies sponsored by the Centre for Earth Science Studies (CESS), the Union Department of Science and Technology and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research.

The studies, which began in 1998, are being led by former CESS director K.M. Nair, CESS scientist D. Padmalal and senior scientist of the Agarkar Research Institute, Pune, K.P.N. Kumaran. The findings were published in the Journal of Asian Earth Sciences recently.

Sasthamcotta Lake is Keralas largest natural freshwater lake and has been listed as a Ramsar site. According to the findings, the lake is a cut-off creek of Ashtamudi Lake, which is also listed as a Ramsar site. The creek is believed to have been part of Ashtamudi Lake about 10,000 years ago and got cut off about 7,000 years ago.

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