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For those not familiar with the Canberra region, Lerida is situated at the base of the escarpment of the Lake George Range that runs along the western side of Lake George. The Lake, when it has some water in it, is some 45km NE of Canberra and on the route of the Federal Highway, which goes to Goulburn and ultimately to Sydney.
Lake George (or Weerewaa in the indigenous language) is about 30 minutes drive north-east of Canberra along the Federal Highway en route to Sydney.
It is renowned for emptying and filling on a cyclical basis, and for the treachery of its waters when full.
Lake George is an ancient lake, believed to be more than a million years old. Originally, small streams drained its catchment into the Yass River, but then the Lake George Escarpment rose due to major crustal movement along a strong fault line, blocking this drainage and forming the lake. Lake George has in previous Ice Ages been much larger and deeper.
The thickness of sediment beneath the lake exceeds 250 metres, according to a Bureau of Mineral Resources Canberra drilling program in the 1982/83 summer. The oldest sediments, which lie some distance above the bedrock, were dated at 3 - 5 million years using spore and pollen analysis and magnetic reversal stratigraphy.
At 25 km long and 10 km wide, Lake George is long, largely flat and extremely shallow, with a very small catchment. Resultant evaporation rates as well as a tendency for strong winds to blow the water back on itself explain the mysterious filling and drying episodes on both short term (hours) and long term (years) time scales that have been observed.
The lake's depth when full can range from 1.5 to 4.5 metres; however in many areas it is only around 0.8–1.0 metre deep. Its deepest point has been measured as 7.5 metres. When full, the lake holds about 500 million cubic metres of water. Between the late 1980s and mid 1990s, the lake lapped the Federal Highway on its western edge.
Information and photograph courtesy of Wikipedia, visit the Lake George section on Wikipedia.