How do Dangerous Unstable Lakes pose a potential threat to human populations?

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In summary, The African continent has several deep lakes with a deeper layer that is mostly not mixing with the overlaying layer. This could be due to a higher salinity, making the deeper layer more dense, and therefore stable. If enough CO2 or methane is pumped into the lower layer of water, it may get close to its saturation point. Nevertheless this can be stable for long times. However, if something disturbs the deep layer. Part of it may slosh around and moving some of it to a shallower area with less pressure. If gas starts bubbling out of solution, the water becomes less dense volume of water and rises toward. This will draw water from lower regions up under neath to where it will release gas and continue
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BillTre
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The African continent has several deep lakes with a deeper layer that is mostly not mixing with the overlaying layer. This could be due to a higher salinity, making the deeper layer more dense, and therefore stable.
If enough CO2 or methane is pumped into the lower layer of water, it may get close to its saturation point. Nevertheless this can be stable for long times.
However, if something disturbs the deep layer. Part of it may slosh around and moving some of it to a shallower area with less pressure. If gas starts bubbling out of solution, the water becomes less dense volume of water and rises toward. This will draw water from lower regions up under neath to where it will release gas and continue the cycle.

The initial disturbance could be any of a number of things: volcanic heating of deep layers, underwater land slide (maybe from an earthquake) disturbing enough of the deep layer to start the cycle. ?

Water can hold huge amounts of CO2, so really massive amounts can be released, enough to flood a valley with heavier than air CO2 and suffocating them.
This is known to have at least once, and is a potential threat to at least hundreds of thousands.

Using very simple technology, any aquarium hobbyist would be familiar with, an airlift tube, a self powered (once started) pump (the air lift tube), is used to pump saturated water from the bottom of one of these lakes.
The rate is easily controlled with a valve. Amount of dissolved CO2 levels were reduced safely.

Different lakes work differently because they have different chemistries going on. Different solutions.

Much of this and a lot more is in this nice Nature podcast written up as a little article.
Maybe the writer went to a meeting.
 
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I’ve seen something of this on NOVA where heavy gases would get released and stream down a mountain and inundating villages or laying low in a depression until a small animal or child ventures in and can’t breathe.

There was one project that pumped out the trapped methane from a deep lake to prevent the buildup but I can’t remember where in Africa.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidb...angerous-volcanic-phenomenon/?sh=55f92fb1247b
 
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Heres the NOVA link

 
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Related to How do Dangerous Unstable Lakes pose a potential threat to human populations?

1. How do dangerous unstable lakes form?

Dangerous unstable lakes can form in a variety of ways, such as through natural processes like landslides, volcanic eruptions, or glacial melting. They can also form due to human activities like dam failures or improper land use practices.

2. What makes a lake dangerous and unstable?

A lake is considered dangerous and unstable if it has the potential to cause harm to nearby human populations. This can be due to factors such as the presence of toxic chemicals, the risk of flooding or landslides, or the potential for a sudden and catastrophic release of water.

3. How do dangerous unstable lakes pose a threat to human populations?

These lakes can pose a threat in a variety of ways. For example, toxic chemicals or pollutants in the water can contaminate drinking water sources and cause health problems for nearby communities. The instability of the lake can also lead to sudden and destructive flooding, landslides, or other natural disasters that can harm or displace human populations.

4. Can anything be done to mitigate the threat of dangerous unstable lakes?

Yes, there are measures that can be taken to reduce the threat of these lakes. This can include regular monitoring and maintenance of dams or other structures, implementing proper land use practices to prevent erosion and landslides, and creating emergency plans for potential disasters.

5. Are there any warning signs to look out for regarding dangerous unstable lakes?

There are several warning signs that a lake may be dangerous and unstable. These can include changes in water levels, unusual or strong odors, presence of dead fish or other wildlife, or visible cracks or damage to nearby structures. It is important to report any potential warning signs to authorities to prevent harm to human populations.

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