Lakes Elementaita and Nakuru are soda lakes in the southern part of the East African Rift. High concentrations of carbonate salts makes them both very alkaline with pH values typically above 9. The high alkalinity arises from a unique combination of climatic and geological conditions. Both lakes exhibit high rates of evaporation, leaving behind large amounts of carbonate salts dissolved from the surrounding rock formations. They represent extreme aquatic environments and, hence, are useful models for lake systems with comparable environments of the deep past.
Biodiversity in extreme environments Spring 2013