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A look at the four largest natural asphalt lakes in the world

natural asphalt lakes

What is a natural asphalt lake?

A natural asphalt lake is exactly like a lake filled with natural bitumen or gilsonite instead of water. This substance, which is composed of derivatives of petroleum substances buried underground; They move along the fault lines and reach the earth's surface.

The natural bitumen in the lake hardens due to the evaporation of lighter elements and forms a dark, lump-like and hard substance called natural asphalt. In general, the way to extract mineral bitumen from a lake or a natural bitumen mine has its own process that must be done with sufficient precision.

It is interesting to know that natural asphalt lakes are not only mined; They are considered as a tourist attraction. For example, the state of California in America is the place of formation of many natural asphalt lakes in the world.

Pitch Lake Natural Asphalt Lake

This lake has the largest reserve of natural asphalt in the world. Peach Lake is located in the city of La Brea in Trinidad and Tobago. The deepest part of this lake reaches 250 feet and it is estimated that there is something like 10 million tons of natural asphalt in it.

One of the important features of Pitch Lake is its microbial diversity. Various colonies of rare and ancient virgins can be found in this lake. For this reason, many new microbial, bacterial and fungal species were discovered in this lake.

La Brea Tar Pits

The second natural asphalt lake that we introduce to you in this article; It is located in the city of Los Angeles, California and in the United States. In fact, this reserve of natural asphalt is more than a concentrated lake; There are a group of separate pits located in this area. Although in some places they are connected and appear on the surface. These holes are located in Hancock Park and are the main feature of this park.

Another interesting point about this lake is the discovery of fossils of various species of prehistoric animals, which gave this area a high archaeological value; In fact, the animals getting stuck in the natural asphalt left their bones. For this reason, a museum has been formed near this place to display these works.

Lake Bermudez natural asphalt

Bermuda Lake, also known as Guanaco, is the third natural asphalt lake that we introduce to you in this article from the website of Nikan Gharb Bitumen Company.

This lake is located in Estado Sucre region in Venezuela. Lake Bermudas with an area of ​​445 hectares should be considered as the largest natural asphalt lake in the world in terms of size. However, due to its shallow depth (4.9 to .6 feet), its total storage is less than that of Pitch Lake.

This lake has been known by the local people for many years and it is manually extracted and used for insulation purposes. Of course, since 1890, an American company has been doing extraction work, but this process was also stopped in 1934, and currently there is no specific extraction activity in this lake.

McKittrick Tar Pits

This lake is made up of a collection of small lakes that were located in one area. The McKittrick pits are located in the Kern area of ​​California and have been used by local people for many years for simple purposes including waterproofing.

But since the 1860s, the commercial extraction of natural asphalt from this lake began. Like the La Brea Tar Pits, this lake also contains valuable paleontological remains from the Pleistocene.

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