in

Pitch Lake Facts

Pitch Lake is a large natural deposit of asphalt located in La Brea and is mined by Lake Asphalt of Trinidad and Tobago.

Cottonwood Lake
Cottonwood Lake

This substance is also known as tar. La Brea Lake is located in Trinidad and Tobago’s village of La Brea. It’s the biggest of these lakes, covering 100 acres and storing ten million tons of resin.

Pitch Lake Facts for Kids

  • Researchers have discovered that a unique microbiological ecosystem exists in Pitch Lake.
  • The lake has bacterial and archaeal communities and new fungal life forms.
  • Its deepest point measures 250 feet.
  • Each year, approximately 20,000 tourists visit this lake.
  • Walter Raleigh rediscovered it in 1595 during an expedition to the region.
  • A state-owned company has extracted asphalt from this lake since 1867.

History

Sir Walter Raleigh discovered the Pitch Lake in 1595 and discovered that the indigenous people, celebrating a victory over a rival tribe, ate the sacred hummingbird and were punished for their sins by opening the earth and conjuring the pitch lake to swallow the entire village.

In the 1840s, Gesner obtained kerosene from a sample of Pitch Lake bitumen, which Barber purchased and used to pave roads in New York City, Washington D.C., and other Eastern U.S. cities.

Geology

The origin of The Pitch Lake is related to subduction under the Caribbean Plate related to Barbados Arc, which causes oil from a deep deposit to be forced up. Bacteria at low pressures then create petroleum in asphalt.

The southern Trinidad geology consists of a trend of ridges, anticlines, diapiric shale cores, and sedimentary volcanoes. The mud volcanoes are aligned along with east-northeast parallel trends.

Microbiology

Researchers have discovered that a unique microbiological ecosystem exists in Pitch Lake, including bacterial and archaeal communities and new fungal life forms.