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Why did the Chilean lake disappear?

Chilean reservoir Laguna de Aculeo has long been a popular holiday destination for Santiago residents. Tucked away in a valley less than two hours from the capital, the shallow lake attracted yachtsmen, swimmers and water skiers. Its waters once filled an area of ​​about 14 square kilometers, and its depth reached 6 meters. But by April 2019, all the water had disappeared, replaced by a crust of dried mud and a cover of green vegetation.

You can clearly see the changes on a pair of images obtained by Landsat-8 satellite on February 26, 2014 and March 12, 2019. In the 2019 image, the green color in the lake is vegetation, not water.

The satellite receives pictures of the lake every 16 days. They show that the lake was completely dry for the first time on April 10, 2018. Later, water sometimes gathered at the bottom of the lake, but for most of the summer it was dry. In 2019, the lake was dry with every observation.

According to scientists, several factors are involved. One of the main…

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