Ocean in Titan's north pole?

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vonster

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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>when someone takes a single phrase out of context, that context being 'no known lakes or oceans on any jovian type planet moon" & then goes after that, <br /><br />then yes, one can conclude whatever one wants to. <br /><br />it's called a sampling error<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br /><br />in that case, we now officially crown you the king:<br /><br />The King of Sampling Errors.<br /><br /><br />its official. you may rise.<br /><br />.<br /><br />.<br />
 
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telfrow

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<b>Lakes and More lakes</b><br />October 12, 2006 <br />Full-Res: PIA01943<br />Link<br /><br /><i>In this image taken by the Cassini radar system, a previously unseen style of lakes is revealed. The lakes here assume complex shapes and are among the darkest seen so far on Titan.<br /><br />The lake at the left is reminiscent both in form and scale of the flooded drainage system, Lake Powell in Utah and Arizona. However, the Titan lake has been filled with liquid methane and ethane rather than water. In the lake at right, older terrain may have been deeply cut by river valleys before it was flooded by the embaying lake. (For a different radar view from the same flyby see Titan's Great Lakes.)<br /><br />This radar image was acquired Oct. 9, 2006, and is centered near 80 degrees north latitude, 357 degrees west longitude. It measures about 310 kilometers by 100 kilometers (190 miles by 62 miles). Smallest details in this image are about 500 meters (1,640 feet) across.</i> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <strong><font color="#3366ff">Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will to strive, to seek, to find and not to yeild.</font> - <font color="#3366ff"><em>Tennyson</em></font></strong> </div>
 
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Philotas

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<font color="yellow">The surface temps of Titan are almost exactly at the boiling point of Methane(-161.5 C.), at Minus 160 C. This is curious, possibly significant, or maybe just a total coincidence. </font><br /><br />The surface temperature of Titan is measured to be roughly around -180 °C, which is 2,5 degrees above the melting point of methane(-182.5 °C).<br /><br />I do not have any data about the north-polar region, which is where the lake-like visuals have been discovered, so some would be appreciated. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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Philotas

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It's not only the way these features looks, but also the way they reflect the radar waves. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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telfrow

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From a previous post: <i>Perhaps the discussion of whether factual evidence exists that these are, indeed, methane/ethane lakes should be addressed to the Cassini team and <b>not</b> the posters in this thread.</i><br /><br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <strong><font color="#3366ff">Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will to strive, to seek, to find and not to yeild.</font> - <font color="#3366ff"><em>Tennyson</em></font></strong> </div>
 
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telfrow

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<b>News From the Planets Meeting</b><br />October 12, 2006<br /><br />From: Scientifc American.com, by George Musser <br /><br /><i>This week, I've been at a big planets conference in Pasadena, Calif. -- namely, the annual meeting of the Division for Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society.</i><br /><br />-----<br /><br /><i>Third, here is a radar image, also from Cassini, showing a veritable Minnesota of lakes in the far northern hemisphere of Titan. They're the dark patches. (In a radar image, dark means that little of the outgoing radar signal bounced back, and that, in turn, usually means a very smooth surface.) The liquid in this case is probably liquid methane. The lakes are fed and interconnected by drainage channels.<br /><br />These lakes, first seen in radar images back in July, have been the subject of much discussion this week. Before the Cassini mission, scientists had thought Titan would be covered in oceans of liquid methane, given that the atmosphere is saturated with the stuff. The lack of those oceans has been a major surprise. The lakes are gratifying but don't resolve the mystery. Caitlin Griffith of the University of Arizona had an elegant way of framing the problem. On Earth, most of the water is on the surface. Atmospheric water vapor would, if it all rained out, cover the ground to a depth of just 2.5 cm, whereas the oceans are 2.7 km deep. On Titan, where methane plays the role of water, the situation is reversed: atmospheric vapor amounts to a layer 3 m deep, whereas the lakes, spread out over the surface, would be a mere 7 cm.<br /><br />No lakes have been seen in the equatorial regions of Titan. Moreover, in another sign of dryness, these areas are riddled with sand dunes. The "sand", actually organic material, appears to have been deposited by prevailing winds blowing from west to east. The dunes are abo</i> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <strong><font color="#3366ff">Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will to strive, to seek, to find and not to yeild.</font> - <font color="#3366ff"><em>Tennyson</em></font></strong> </div>
 
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Kalstang

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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>"Why hound people for writing things whihc are not up to scientific journal standards?" <br /><br />MIssing the point as usual. The point is that statements are being made, NOT because they are not up to standards of scientific publication, but BECAUSE they are NOT substantiated. <br /><br />The point, as usual, is being missed. And that point is<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br /><br />No Steve. YOU are missing the point. This entire thread is based off of <b>speculation</b>. Do you understand that word? <b>S-P-E-C-U-L-A-T-I-O-N</b> When one specualtes they <i>use words that best describe what is seen.</i> The reason for this is quite simple. THEY DONT KNOW EXACTLY WHAT IT IS!!! In the pictures you see solid evidence of landmass. Then you see what looks to be a "lake" or "ocean" or even a "hole" of something. The best way to describe them atm is LAKES! Your posts have responded to nothing but speculation. All your doing is showing people that you dont know reading comprehension. So once again. <br /><br />No one is claiming these ARE IN FACT LAKES. <br />No one is claiming there IS IN FACT LIFE THERE OR ANYWHERE ELSE IN THIS SOLAR SYSTEM.<br /><br /><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>And lots of posts around here constantly make such provocative claims. Then refuse to back them up.<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br /><br />Speaking of posts around here constantly makeing claims without backing them up....<br /><br /><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>There is NO evidence that life exists OUTSIDE of the earth. There NO data which can establish beyond all reasonable scientific doubt, evidence of Lakes or oceans!<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br /><br />You keep harping on there being no life and that theres no lakes. Yet you have no proof either. Seems to me your claiming something and yet you are refuseing to back it up. <br /><br /><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>One may speculate all</p></blockquote> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font color="#ffff00"><p><font color="#3366ff">I have an answer for everything...you may not like the answer or it may not satisfy your curiosity..but it will still be an answer.</font> <br /><font color="#ff0000">"Imagination is more important then Knowledge" ~Albert Einstien~</font> <br /><font color="#cc99ff">Guns dont kill people. People kill people</font>.</p></font><p><font color="#ff6600">Solar System</font></p> </div>
 
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Kalstang

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Telfrow- <br /><br />Wish I had read your post before responding to steve. I would have included some of it <img src="/images/icons/wink.gif" />. Either way it seems to me that alot of the big boys are calling them lakes also. Maybe steve will finally listen.....maybe......??? <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font color="#ffff00"><p><font color="#3366ff">I have an answer for everything...you may not like the answer or it may not satisfy your curiosity..but it will still be an answer.</font> <br /><font color="#ff0000">"Imagination is more important then Knowledge" ~Albert Einstien~</font> <br /><font color="#cc99ff">Guns dont kill people. People kill people</font>.</p></font><p><font color="#ff6600">Solar System</font></p> </div>
 
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MeteorWayne

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Titan is frozen over, not hell <img src="/images/icons/wink.gif" /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
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green_meklar

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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>Well, I'd say that so far the data is starting to turn a bit against oceans on Titan; the imagery is starting to cover a pretty significant portion of Titan without turning up oceans. These features, if lakes, are not nearly big enough to qualify as oceans.<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br />True. Looks like we're going to have to settle with lakes at the most. :p<br /><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>Yes, and I'm pointing out that it's speculation and also that it's NOT confirmed & it's not scientific fact.<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br />Uh...you don't seem to have grasped my point. I'm not denying that speculation is not scientific fact, but neither is it lying or trying to be biased, and as such it is still valid so long as it is not stated as fact.<br /><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>Those are lake like features and they MIGHT be methane.<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br />...which makes speculation that they are methane lakes quite valid, and outright claims that they are methane lakes not very valid and rather silly. Exactly. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>________________</p><p>Repent! Repent! The technological singularity is coming!</p> </div>
 
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ittiz

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This discussion has nothing to do with life. No one here said there was life their. So you can drop that.<br /><br />Although I do agree there probably aren't oceans on Titan the evidence strongly indicates methane/ethane lakes because it fits the evidence better than anything else so far. I know people have been saying that Titan is too hot but consider this. Titan's atmosphere is 1.5 bar <b>not</b> 1 bar like Earth's. Also the "lakes" have been found near the north pole where it is probably cooler. Although the calculations done by the starter of this thread are probably too extreme because Titan is smaller and it's slow rotation means that there will be less temperature extreme between the equator and poles but enough temperature variation could exist considering Huygens' landing site was only a few degrees C over boiling. I'd also like to point out that mathematical models also provide evidence for lakes Titan, which is what lead NASA scientists to look for lakes in the first place. In fact that is the central reason why they included the radar on Cassini. Finally here is a recently published paper about the subject. Hydrocarbons Lakes on Titan. Giuseppe Mitri et al. His paper concludes that a liquid methane surface coverage of 0.004% to 0.04% is currently the best explanation for the saturation level of methane in the atmosphere.
 
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centsworth_II

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Oh, don't mind steve. For someone who dogs others about their 'lack of scientific<br />rigor', he is amazingly blind to new scientific evidence. I do believe that, if steve<br />had lived back in the day, he would have gladly lit the fire to burn gallileo at the<br />stake! <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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centsworth_II

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Actually, I think I hit the nail on the head.<br /><br />As far as insults go, you are quite liberal with disparaging remarks aimed at those you consider your intellectual inferiors, which is just about everyone. I don't recall ever seeing an apology coming from you after any of those occasions. Although to be fair, I have a habit of skipping your posts after hitting the first absurd remark, so I could quite easily have missed it. <br /><br />But, all in good fun, eh?<img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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vonster

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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p><br />Actually, I think I hit the nail on the head.<br /><br />As far as insults go, you are quite liberal with disparaging remarks aimed at those you consider your intellectual inferiors, which is just about everyone. <br /><br />I don't recall ever seeing an apology coming from you after any of those occasions<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br /><br />i agree 100%, well put<br /><br /><br /><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>But, all in good fun, eh<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br /><br />yes! lol<br /><br />.
 
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brellis

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in steve's defense, he's been trying to put a friendlier face on his position. If speculative posts are framed as questions, he answers openly. If they look like statements of fact, he jumps on them.<br /><br />I think there's a simple language gap here -- many posts veer into speculation without announcement, and while most of us can tell when that happens, steve is guarding the frontier of fact against untold thousands of internet 'fact-perps'.<br /><br />Stevehw33, it's not entirely up to you to maintain scientific rigor on these pages. There is much speculation, and theorizing, on various threads. The Mods have established a looser sense of what's appropriate to thread discussion than what you deem appropriate. Let them run this show, and please offer your thoughts, which I personally value, as do countless viewers of SDC. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font size="2" color="#ff0000"><em><strong>I'm a recovering optimist - things could be better.</strong></em></font> </p> </div>
 
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brellis

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The November issue of Astronomy Mag has an article on p.38 entitled "Do we really need liquid water?" [for life] This article paraphrases the battles we at SDC have had over information to be gleaned from Cassini, the rovers, etc. I see it as a triumphant portrait of human discourse over the unknown; we still don't know what the heck is going on, but we're trying! <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font size="2" color="#ff0000"><em><strong>I'm a recovering optimist - things could be better.</strong></em></font> </p> </div>
 
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Kalstang

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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>I think there's a simple language gap here -- many posts veer into speculation without announcement, and while most of us can tell when that happens, steve is guarding the frontier of fact against untold thousands of internet 'fact-perps'.<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br /><br />Thats the thing tho. In many threads that I have read that he responded to he jumps down peoples throats that are obviously just speculating or stateing a possiblity. Nothing was ever said as a fact. I personally think that he may have a reading comprehension problem. Weather or not its true I have no idea. But it does seem evident in many of his responding posts. At least to me it does. <br /><br />I personally consider steve a very intelligent person. But I happen to disagree with how he states alot of things. Our biggest debate between each other is about weather or not there is life on other planets in this solar system. I'm kinda thinking about starting a thread that is meant to question him directly...only problem is 1) I dont think the mods would allow it. and 2) I dont think steve would really answer it. And 3) i'm not sure as to how to start it in the correct format. I think we would need a neutral third party to start it. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font color="#ffff00"><p><font color="#3366ff">I have an answer for everything...you may not like the answer or it may not satisfy your curiosity..but it will still be an answer.</font> <br /><font color="#ff0000">"Imagination is more important then Knowledge" ~Albert Einstien~</font> <br /><font color="#cc99ff">Guns dont kill people. People kill people</font>.</p></font><p><font color="#ff6600">Solar System</font></p> </div>
 
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dragon04

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<font color="yellow">Thats the thing tho. In many threads that I have read that he responded to he jumps down peoples throats that are obviously just speculating or stateing a possiblity</font><br /><br />Usually, in regards to what his responses address, the posters don't clearly forward their speculation in sufficient depth.<br /><br />The possibility of life on Titan is a perfect example. "Ancient Earth in Deep Freeze" is a buzz phrase commonly used in regards to Titan.<br /><br />Okay. Titan has a "similar" atmospheric makeup. Could life occur in liquid methane and at cryogenic temperatures? I don't have a clue.<br /><br />Yes, we've found evidence of life at what we would consider extraordinarily cold temperatures here on Earth. However, those tempratures are considerably higher than the surface temps on Titan.<br /><br />Steve has fair questions and fair arguments. At what temperatures did the genesis of life on Earth occur? This is maybe the single most important question of all.<br /><br />WHile we know that extremophiles exist on Earth, we have no clue if they are "indigenous" or adaptive life forms.<br /><br />If people did a better job of defining the parameters of their speculation and the degree of said speculation based on what we <b>do</b> know, perhaps Steve would be less adversarial.<br /><br />Maybe he would not. Perhaps he's just a dogmatic person who will always operate under a very narrow set of criteria in his opinions on exobiology. In any case, he has set himself to be the taskmaster.<br /><br />That's an important notion. To change our understanding of where life can and cannot exist requires <b>proof</b>. Not just of intriguing possibilities, but hard data to support it.<br /><br />Speculation is fine and neccessary, but a lot of people make the mistake of stating their speculation too far towards the affirmative without corroborative data.<br /><br />I think that's what Steve takes exception to after reading him for 2 years.<br /><br /><br /><br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <em>"2012.. Year of the Dragon!! Get on the Dragon Wagon!".</em> </div>
 
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centsworth_II

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<font color="yellow"><i>"...the act speaks for itself."</i></font><br /><br />You are correct, sir, and since you are incapable of recognising your own absurd acts, I will do you the service of pointing out the one which began this discussion.<br /><br />Titanian's initial post simply asked: <font color="yellow">"So can we envisage seas of nitrogen if it's not methane or ethane?"</font><br /><br /><br />Now, your absurdity: <font color="yellow"><i>"A lake of water is the only kind of 'Lake' known."</i></font><br /><br />In fact, the definition of "lake" extends to a body of any other liquid besides water. Have you never heard of a lake of oil? Or a lava lake?<br /><br />Your whole argument starts with a false assumption. How can we take you seriously?<br /><br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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CalliArcale

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Okay, folks, it's time to settle down. Things are getting awfully hot in this thread -- hot enough to melt Titan, perhaps, and make some real oceans there. Let's all step away from the keyboard for a moment, take a few deep breaths, and set aside the animosity, okay?<br /><br />Some basic things to keep in mind when returning to this thread:<br /><br />* The existence of significant resevoirs of extraterrestrial surface liquids is as yet unproven (with the exception of lava).<br /><br />* Significantly, many suggested resevoirs have been proven to <i>not</i> exist. Perhaps the most famous example is the canals of Mars, although it's also worth mentioning that there were strong indications of a vast ocean on Titan (suggested by Areceibo data) which have since been demonstrated to be wrong or at least misinterpreted, based on Cassini image and radar data.<br /><br />* Remote sensing has its limitations but should not be completely dismissed. After all, much of what we know even about our own planet comes from remote sensing. The proper thing to do is to keep its limitations in mind when relying on remote sensing data for exploring an idea.<br /><br />* Many scientists have speculated extensively on the subject of extraterrestrial surface liquids. The speculation about Titanian lakes goes back right to the discovery of Titan itself, when astronomers really had no reason whatsoever to draw any conclusions at all about it. Clearly, the subject has some unique quality that intrigues the human mind.<br /><br />* As in all things, consider the context when looking at press releases. Yes, the Cassini press releases call those things lakes. But the lunar maria were once thought to be seas. In fact, that's what "mare" means in Latin. (Hence, "maritime".) Just because the imaging time is calling them lakes doesn't mean they're anything that you or I would instantly recognize as a lake. It is a limitation of human communication that we need words like this when discussing thin <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font color="#666699"><em>"People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly . . . timey wimey . . . stuff."</em>  -- The Tenth Doctor, "Blink"</font></p> </div>
 
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silylene old

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<font color="yellow">In fact, the definition of "lake" extends to a body of any other liquid besides water. Have you never heard of a lake of oil? Or a lava lake? </font><br /><br />Centsworth mentions an interesting point on perspective, that we need to remind ourselves that lakes do exist of liquids other than water.<br /><br />Lava and oil lakes have been mentioned, so I won't cover that.<br /><br />As far as other unusual known lakes, here are a few:<br /><br />There are in fact 3 lakes on Earth made of tar pitch (La Brea pit, "Pitch Lake" in Trinidad, 95 acres, and Guanoco Lake in Venenzuela, 110 acres).<br /><br />There is (was?) a lake of molten sulphur on Earth in Poas, Costa Rica (see picture). And, Loki Patera on Io is also thought to be a lake of liquid sulphur.<br /><br />There is a fascinating natural lake of liquid CO2 (and under a layer of CO2-hydrate) in the South China Sea under the ocean on the flank of a subsea volcano: rare CO2 lake <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature" align="center"><em><font color="#0000ff">- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -</font></em> </div><div class="Discussion_UserSignature" align="center"><font color="#0000ff"><em>I really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function.</em></font> </div> </div>
 
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yevaud

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Don't forget the fairly recent "Mud Lake" spewing out of a borehole in Indonesia. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Differential Diagnosis:  </em>"<strong><em>I am both amused and annoyed that you think I should be less stubborn than you are</em></strong>."<br /> </p> </div>
 
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silylene old

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Yevaud, good point. I enjoyed that mud lake article!<br /><br />When I climbed Mt. Komagatake in 1999, and hoped the fence to go to the crater edge, I was surprised to find that the crater was filled with a vigourously boiling mud lake.<br /><br />However, mud is a suspension of sediments in water, so mud lakes are a subset of water lakes. I was mor einterested in lakes made of something other than water. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature" align="center"><em><font color="#0000ff">- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -</font></em> </div><div class="Discussion_UserSignature" align="center"><font color="#0000ff"><em>I really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function.</em></font> </div> </div>
 
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