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A geographic sink is a depression within an endorheic basin where water collects with no visible outlet. Instead of discharging, the collected water is lost due to evaporation and/or penetration (water sinking underground, e.g., to become groundwater in an aquifer). If the sink has karstic terrain, water will sink at a higher rate than the surface evaporation, and conversely if the lakebed or sink bed has a layer of soil that is largely impervious to water (hardpan), evaporation will predominate. Since dry lakes in sinks with hardpan have little penetration, they require more severe aridity/heat to eliminate collected water at a comparable rate as for a similar sink with appreciable penetration.
Depending on losses, precipitation, and inflow (e.g., a spring, a tributary, or flooding); the temporal result of a lake in a sink may be a persistent lake, an intermittent lake, a playa lake (temporarily covered with water), or an ephemeral lake.
List of geographic sinksEdit
- Mediterranean Sink during the Messinian Event
- Red Sea when blocked off by the Perim volcano
- Afar Depression, Great Rift Valley in East Africa
- Carson Sink, Churchill County, Nevada, U.S.
- Humboldt Sink, northwestern Nevada, U.S.
- Quinn River Sink, northwestern Nevada, U.S.
- Salton Sink, southeastern California
- Qarhan Playa, Qinghai, China
- Sinkhole – Depression or hole in the ground caused by collapse of the surface into an existing void space
- Pickles, Thomas (1956). Physical Geography. Ardent Media. pp. 107–108. GGKEY:3XW52J22ZU0.
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