Is Lake Eyre going to fill from the recent rains?

Submitted: Wednesday, Feb 09, 2011 at 17:51
ThreadID: 84233 Views:3708 Replies:2 FollowUps:5
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I have been watching the satellite images closely and the Oodnadatta region is flooded with water, the Warburton Groove is flowing, Belt Bay is now flowing into Madigan Gulf, and Lake Eyre south is rapidly filling. Has anyone been in the area in the past few days?
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Reply By: Crackles - Wednesday, Feb 09, 2011 at 20:03

Wednesday, Feb 09, 2011 at 20:03
No, Lake Eyre North will not fill at this stage. While the local rain will put a decent amount in Lake Eyre South & probably give people something to look at from the Oodnadatta track for a few of months, there was not a big fall in the upper catchments which is what is needed to actuallly fill it. The Queensland floods are mostly coming down the Darling/Murray system so will add very little. Still plenty of time for more rain to fall but either way will be worth a plane flight over to see it if you've missed it the last couple of years.
Cheers Craig.................
AnswerID: 444806

Follow Up By: NavyKid - Wednesday, Feb 09, 2011 at 22:52

Wednesday, Feb 09, 2011 at 22:52
Craig, Thanks for the reply. I may be rushing to the answer I want to hear, but I can not help but think that this may be a significant event for Lake Eyre. If you have a look at the LEYC site, they have a graph of flooding rivers vs. lake levels.

From this graph, you can see that the 3 most significant floods of '84, '89, '97 occured when the western and southern rivers were in flood. The northern catchment had very little to do with the flood in all three cases. In fact, the Cooper had nothing to do with the flood, and the Warburton had only minor contributions.

From the satelite photos there is masses of water to the west and all of the southern streams also flowing. The western rivers are rapidly increasing in size and heading towards lake eyre. The Neales and Macumba appear to be several kilometres wide, stretching for 50 plus kilometres. This is a very large volume of water that has no where to go except into lake Eyre. Unlike the cooper that fills an entire sandy basin between innaminka and the birdsville track, these rivers go straight into the lake.

Only time will tell what the correct answer is, but I would love to hear your feedback and more reports from Stephen L, Wright's air or others who may have the chance to observe these rivers in action.

Thanks again!
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Follow Up By: Crackles - Wednesday, Feb 09, 2011 at 23:34

Wednesday, Feb 09, 2011 at 23:34
With all due respect to the LEYC they have been known to over estimate the flows forecasting far more water than actually arrives then as it evaporates leave old satalite photo's up making it appear there is still heaps of water when much has already gone. There are plenty of people who have taken boats up on the clubs reports only to find 50mm of water for seveal hundred metres.
From my observations to fill the lake there needs to be rainfall early in the northern catchments which may take several months to come down then have local rain coincide with it's arrval. Last year as an example saw local rain evaporate before the Warburton flow arrived which then mostly dissapeared before the Cooper finally made it.
If they get a significant fall in the Warburton catchment soon I'd say you may be right & this could be a big year indeed. Will wait & see as I would be keen to do another desert boating trip like our 2000 run down the Warburton, possibly on jet skis this time.
Cheers Craig...............
FollowupID: 717013

Follow Up By: Member - nomadicfamily - Thursday, Feb 10, 2011 at 00:17

Thursday, Feb 10, 2011 at 00:17
We have been watching and wondering about this too. We will be there around April a d were quite hopeful for a fair bit of water. Parks sa have said though that the rain hasn't been in the lake eyre catchment.

Fingers crossed though. We went to lake eyre south back in november. The ground was wet, but not much water.

FollowupID: 717017

Reply By: Member - Ruth D (QLD) - Thursday, Feb 10, 2011 at 08:05

Thursday, Feb 10, 2011 at 08:05
Hi ya Crackles - I'm with you on this one. Good rains (courtesy of Yasi) up in the Georgina (Eyre Creek) but nothing much for the Diamantina or the Cooper. I've been hoping it would be another good year for the Lake which might help people dependent on tourism to catch up a bit. Regardless of whether the Lake fills - it is always beautiful to see as is the surrounding area for hundreds of kilometres and the Desert which are beautiful in any season. Happy travels.
AnswerID: 444886

Follow Up By: Rockape - Friday, Feb 11, 2011 at 18:52

Friday, Feb 11, 2011 at 18:52
for your info the Hamilton, Mort, Burke and Diamentina have not flowed at all up here in the head waters, rain has been ok but just in small amounts.

Have a good one
FollowupID: 717335

Follow Up By: Member - Ruth D (QLD) - Saturday, Feb 12, 2011 at 20:08

Saturday, Feb 12, 2011 at 20:08
Hi Rockape,
Thought you might have been up there somewhere! Great photos and stories in The Australian today - even front page - can't believe that people think it hasn't happened like this before. In 2000 the western rivers ran just like now and there was a good flow into the Lake but we'd had good rain on the eastern side then also. Not too late for it to happen - quite often rain comes to Birdsville at Easter time.
And there a still another couple of cyclones due.........
Hope the fish in the Diamantina are growing and waiting for me.....
FollowupID: 717450

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