swimming in, and fishing in for many years completely disappear within 24 hours. Is it a mystic mystery? Is it because of an alien abduction of water resources? While these explanations might be very interesting, there are actually a number of logical reasons why a particular lake might disappear overnight.
The following are a number of possible explanations as to why such a phenomenon might occur.
- Dam Fails Due to Intense Rainfall
This is precisely what recently happened to a 10-acre private lake in Newnan, Georgia in June 2015, leaving just a mud puddle where residents had previously enjoyed many recreational activities on the lake, such as fishing and swimming[sc:1].
With global climate change, there is predicted to be an increase in the number and intensity of rainfall and storm events throughout the world, potentially leading to an increased risk of damage to dams.
- Karst Collapses
If a lake happens to be located directly above underlying karst topography, it is possible that a hollow in the underlying substrate may be formed if enough of it has been dissolved by underground water sources, potentially leading to the draining of the entire lake within a short period of time, even overnight. This is the same process by which sinkholes can quickly develop, sometimes even swallowing entire buildings.
It is believed that such as scenario is what caused a lake to suddenly dry up overnight near a village in Central Russia in May of 2005[sc:2].
- Melting of Glacial Lakes Due to Climate Change
During the cooler seasons of the year, these glaciers are frozen and act as dams, forming lakes where glacial water collects. However, when temperatures rise, the glaciers weaken and the water from the lakes can drain out through the ice wall, even occurring within a short period of time, such as within a single night.
With increased periods of warmer temperatures in places like Patagonia due to global climate change, such melting events are happening more often and are happening more intensely. Lake floods of this sort have even unleashed mud “tsunamis” in certain locations, burying entire local villages[sc:3].
- Overdrawing of a Reservoir + A Faulty Dam = A Leaky Lake
The reservoir is used by the Pacific Gas and Electric Company to produce hydroelectric power for the local community. It is believed that such activities may have stressed the already low water level too much due to the existing four-year drought conditions there.
In addition, the dam kept getting clogged up with dead fish, leading to the eventual malfunction of the dam. That September night, the dam no longer had the capacity to hold back the remaining water, leading to drainage of the remaining water level of the lake overnight[sc:4].
- Lakes in the Arctic Disappearing as Permafrost Melts
Unfortunately, if most of the lakes in the Arctic disappear, many wildlife and bird species that depend on them as habitat and water resources will be negatively impacted[sc:5].