Reader's Digest World Presents The Living Edens Palau-Paradise of the Pacific
Under the Sea

Land of the Unique: Menubar

Saltwater Lakes

Saltwater LakesThere are more than 80 saltwater lakes in Palau. These lakes of Palau are one of the most fascinating features of the island. Each lake has its own unique ecosystem, similar to the reefs, but very different in their own respects. The saltwater lakes were formed through a process of erosion in the limestone islands. Water erosion created holes in the limestone, which the saltwater seeped through to form the lakes. Some lakes have a good mixture of rainwater and saltwater, while in others there is less current flow. In these lakes the rainwater is lighter than the saltwater and rests on top, forming two distinct layers. This type of lake is called an estuary. Many lakes do not have any predators in them and the animals have adapted to this. Many do not have the same defense mechanisms that would be found on the same species in the ocean. The simplest ecosystem can be found in Spooky Lake. In Spooky Lake there are only two species of animals, copepods and algae. Since there are no predators to feed on the copepods in this ecosystem, this lake remains fairly peaceful. Another lake is called Hot Water lake, named for the characteristics of its water. On the surface the water is about 85 degrees Fahrenheit and only fifteen feet below the water surface it can reach 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The largest lake in Palau is called the Metukercheuas Uet lake. This oxygen rich lake measures over a mile and a half long and 200 feet deep.




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