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Lake Manyara

Lake Manyara National Park

Lake Manyara is a shallow alkaline lake at an altitude of 960 m (3,150 ft), formed in a depression in the Rift Valley System.[1] When full, the lake is a maximum of 10 ft (3.0 m) deep and covers two-thirds of the park. The lake has no outflow, but is fed by underground springs and by several permanent streams that drain surrounding Ngorongoro Highlands. The lake’s depth and the area it covers fluctuates significantly. In extreme dry periods the surface area of the lake shrinks as the waters evaporate and at times the lake has dried up completely. In 2010, a bathymetry survey showed the lake to have an average depth 0.81 m (2 ft 8 in), and a maximum depth of about 1.18 m (3 ft 10 in).[11] At its maximum during the wet season, the lake is 40 km (25 mi) wide by 15 km (9.3 mi) with a maximum depth of 3.7 m (12 ft).[12]

Beside the lake are extensive marshlands, saline flats (that expand in the dry season as the surface area of the lake shrinks) and a grassy floodplain. At the area near the park gate there is a tall forest, sustained by groundwater, dominated by evergreen fig and mahogany trees. On the west side of the park, the rocky escarpment of the rift valley wall rises steeply to 1,219–1,829 m (3,999–6,001 ft). Large African baobab trees (Adansonia digitata) are scattered on the slopes. A narrow zone of dense acacia woodland grows at the base of the rift wall, on materials washed down the face.[13]

Other features include a hippopotamus pool at the northern end of the lake and two hot springs, one near the centre of the park and the other near the southern edge.[3] There is a hot water spring on the western shores of lake Manyara called Maji Moto hot water springs. This 60 °C geothermal feature is formed by underground water that passes through hot volcanic magma rocks of the great rift valley

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