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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Lake Eyre - set of stamps by Australia Post

The unique landscape of Lake Eyre and its vast and changing environment has been beautifully captured in these stamp designs.

A great salt lake of tectonic origin, Lake Eyre lies asymmetrically in the south-western corner of the closed inland drainage basin in the heart of the Australian continent. The four stamps in the issue include one domestic rate stamp - The dry (60c) and three international rate stamps - New growth ($1.55), Bird life ($2.25) and In flood ($3.10).

Lake Eyre is the centre of the vast Lake Eyre Basin located 700km north of Adelaide in the deserts of central Australia. With an area of 1,140,000 square kilometres Lake Eyre Basin is one of the largest areas of internal drainage in the world. Some parts of Lake Eyre are 15.2 metres below sea level making it the lowest point in Australia.

During the dry season there is usually some water, however Lake Eyre is primarily characterised by great salt pans. On the rare occasions that it fills to capacity, Lake Eyre becomes the largest salt lake in Australia. Water covers the lake on average about once every eight years and has filled to capacity only three times in the last 150 years.

The recent high rainfall has filled the vast floodplains around Lake Eyre creating wetlands brimming with life. In drought there is usually no sign of bird life and their return remains a mystery for scientists. Pelicans have returned to rivers and waterholes all around Lake Eyre to breed.