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article imageOregon lake disappears down hole but no one's sure where it goes

By Stephen Morgan     May 7, 2015 in Environment
Every year a lake in Oregon disappears down a hole. The water is sucked away just like water in a bathtub. However, nobody is really sure where it goes.
The mystery of Oregon's disappearing lake has never been completely resolved. The Bulletin reports that every year, Lost Lake — as its named — fills up with water in the rainy winter months, then, as the dryer summer weather arrives, it all gets sucked down into a drain hole.
While the hole is only 6ft wide (1.8m), it's sufficient to drain the lake leaving behind a dry basin. Most probably, it is draining all the time, but at the height of its capacity, the volume of water is too much for the vortex to have any major effect.
According to geologists, the hole is an entry point into underground lava tubes left behind by volcanoes. In the past, these tunnels functioned as tubes to drain volcanic lava after an eruption. The shafts then hardened leaving behind cave-like cylindrical structures.
Underground lava tubes
Underground lava tubes
Jude McHugh, a spokeswoman for the Willamette National Forest, told ABC News.
"In Lost Lake, this particular lava tube collapsed and became the drain hole for that lake."
McHugh said that given the porous character of lava tubes, the water most probably travels through them into an aquifer, and then resurfaces in springs on either sides of the Cascade mountain range.
However, McHugh added that she couldn't be sure of this, so where it actually ends up is something of a mystery.
It seems that some of the locals have tried to plug the leak by throwing in engines and car parts, the geologist says. But she warns that, even if they succeeded, it would probably result in flooding of the local area.
Lost Lake is situated in the Mount Hood National Forest in Hood River County.
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