English: Lake Amadeus, Northern Territory, Australia - November 1994 NASA Photo ID STS066-152-170
Image Caption: STS066-152-170 Lake Amadeus, Northern Territory, Australia November 1994Located in the southwest corner of Northern Territory and near the geographic center of Australia, Lake Amadeus is one of hundreds of ephemeral lakes (called playas) that characterize the desert landscape of central and especially western Australia. When there has been sufficient rainfall, this lake is part of an east-flowing drainage system that eventually connects to the Finke River. Like other ephemeral lakes in central Australia, water quality is “fresh” immediately after it rains but rapidly becomes brackish in a short period of time. Lake Amadeus is a major water discharge area for central Australia, and ground water seeps to the surface around the periphery of the lake. The darker features within the flat plains of the playa (whitish area) are slightly elevated, vegetated islands. Most of the surrounding terrain is covered by sand dunes, sand ridges, and desert vegetation. The length of the lake is approximately 75 miles (120 kilometers).