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Central Australian Desert Aerial: Claypans in the Lake Lewis Anticline

Selected for Google Maps and Google Earth

Comments (11)

Ian Stehbens on March 1, 2009

Saltpans filling with water after rain, western Lake Lewis, Northern Territory. Well, that is one explanation - perhaps there's a mythical explanation that tells of the hasty visit of a Javanese puppet who made quite an impression!

jeff_msn123 on March 2, 2009

Beautiful top shot from a plane. Wonderful.

Cheers, Jeff

Ian Stehbens on March 2, 2009

Dear Mira,

They don't even let pilots of light planes fly freely across these deserts for they can get lost. I am very very pleased that I could actually locate this lake on the GE image, for everything changes so much depending on rain and the amount of water. But you, being the aerial navigator you are, will see that it does match (but it requires about 3 stops out on the satellite image.

The lakes lie in the anticlinal basin and receive runoff from the higher ground to the north.

I appreciate sharing my world with you, dear friend.


Ian Stehbens on March 2, 2009

Dear Jeff,

It pleases me that you like this photo. I love both the "art" that I see painted on the desert by the saltpans, and that I have been able to record this from 11000M above!

Welcome to inland Australia. It must be fascinating to someone who lives in Hong Kong to think that it is possible that one can fly over big empty spaces where no one lives, at all... well almost. There is a cattle station homestead 20 kms west from here, and 20 kms east there is a roadhouse beside a desert road that has an airstrip, sells diesel, food, gas and has a camping ground for people exploring the desert, or travelling between their remote community or mining village and Alice Springs!

Kind regards,


Evgenia Lepikhova on March 3, 2009

This picture looks like an image from another worlds, Yan, but your comments return us to the Earth!


Ian Stehbens on March 3, 2009

Dear Eva (and Mira and Jeff**),

I am happy to go to other worlds with you, Eva. Maybe this is the far side of Mars. Jeff will go by cable car. Mira will go by balloon, but we can fly, and I will assure you that it is safe to do so.

By the way, my son has just quit his management job in the construction industry to obtain his commercial pilot's licence. So, I will have more opportunity to fly, I hope.

Kind regards,


Evgenia Lepikhova on March 4, 2009

I think it will be fun and full of adventure travel, dear Yan! I'm ready!


Ian Stehbens on March 4, 2009

So am I, Eva!! The assembly point for departure is in Brisbane. Are you ready to book your tickets?


Ian Stehbens on March 16, 2009

Dear Mira and Eva,

I am so far behind, I am sorry as your replies deserve acknowledgement. I could not imagine much greater joy than ballooning over the Australian outback together with Mira's operational skills, Eva's photography and my navigation.

And if we find we are on the backside of Mars out there, then I am not sure how I will cope for the GPS will be perfectly useless.

Warm greetings too you both,


Olga I. Yakovenko on March 17, 2009

YS, Ian, I like much this view! Olga

Ian Stehbens on March 17, 2009

O thank you, Olga. I like this one too, for the lake looked like an Indonesian puppet in a hurry so I framed it leaving the image. Just a game in artistic expression and imagination. So thanks for the YS.

It is difficult to get a scale on a feature such as this but with the help of the GE image the main lake or saltpan pictured is 8 kms long and up to 2kms wide - so there is plenty of room for a game of 'salt' hockey!

Best wishes,


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Photo details

  • Uploaded on March 1, 2009
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Ian Stehbens