Lake Puma Yumco, located on the Tibetan Plateau, is considered the world’s most remote lake. Lake Puma is 32 kilometers long and 13 kilometers wide and it is situated at an altitude of 5,030 meters above sea level. The Puma Lake is fed by melting water from the snow-capped surrounding mountains, but it has no outlet. Notwithstanding this, the nutrient concentrations in both the water column and lake sediments are exceptionally low, a condition is known as UltraOligotrophy.
In this area, the lake water varies its colors and tends to be blue to blue-green and to have high clarity due to low levels of photosynthesizing organisms such as phytoplankton. The Puma Lake appears bright blue when viewed from above the earth. Indeed, the name Puma Yumco literally means “The Blue Jewel which is floating in the sky”.
The most prominent feature of the beautiful lake is the intricate ice block pattern that develops on the lake surface during the winter seasons. The lovely ice pattern is caused by repeated cycles of freezing, fracturing, and refreezing of the ice due to variations in temperature and wind-induced ice motion. Generally, when lakes freeze over, they tend to develop a thick crust of uniform ice, which only breaks apart when the warmer season comes.
But, in order for that to occur, environmental conditions must remain stable for at least a short while, letting the ice establish itself. But when this does not happen, only superficial layers of water freeze over, while the others do not. Minor variations in ambient temperatures can then break specific of the ice apart, reorganizing it into new patterns. When temperatures drop by a few degrees, the ice solidifies again.
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