Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Odd-shaped lakes in Google Earth

I was goofing around in Google Earth this evening, performing an activity that started out as meaningful and quickly degenerated into a Game of "Ooh what's that", when I came across the following:
Note the very strange shoreline on this lake, with numerous straight line borders. The first time I saw this, I thought I was looking at some dams I didn't know about, but I quickly realized that such an interpretation made no sense.

 Instead, what I believe this image is showing is a mosaic from pictures acquired several years apart. One of those years was a wet year, while another must have been after a period of extended drought. As a result, the lake is ~90% full in some of the images, but almost empty in others. And the straight-line lakeshores are just the tile borders, which Google's new color autocorrect makes less obvious.

 I have no idea where WoGE is up to these days, but I left the co-ordinates off in case anyone wants to chase up the Reservoir.


Christoph said...

Nice example, thanks for sharing! If you want to spend some time, latest WoGE is here:

EliRabett said...

Could it be a map bunny? something put in to trap copiers?

C W Magee said...

No, the image years match up to regional climatology. Thew low level images are at the end of a multi-year drought, while the fuller ones were taken after that drought broke. You could probably match the water agency's water level records to the image dates, if you were long on time and short on things to do with your life.

Kent said...

Nice view. That's Lake Burrinjuck, NNW of Canberra. I did some mapping nearby a few years back. I always figured the damn was for controlled release of water into the Riverina irrigation channels during droughts, so what you say makes a lot of sense.