Pitch Lake – A Natural Asphalt Resource

Posted on 02 March 2010 oddy88

Sir Walter Raleigh first discovered the Pitch Lake while cruising through La Brea in southwest Trinidad. The Pitch Lake is one of the several natural asphalt lakes in the world. Since its discovery in 1595, several investigations and research have been conducted to determine the chemical composition and use of this substance found in the lake.

pitch lake 1

pitch lake 2

The lake has awed explorers, scientists and common man alike. The Pitch Lake is 40 ha and 75 meters deep. The lake houses asphalt mines, as asphalt thus produced in large quantities is used in road construction supplies.

pitch lake 3

pitch lake 4

pitch lake 5

Various theories and postulations have been suggested to explain the formation of the Pitch Lake with its rich asphalt resource. According to one such theory, the lake is produced as a result of two faults, related to the subduction of the Caribbean plate of the Barbados arc.

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Due to immense pressure a deep deposit comes to the upper crust; lighter elements evaporate leaving being the natural asphalt. This may be degraded by bacteria to form petroleum. There are various legends associated with the lake. Local Chaima Indians believe that it is the wrath of their Gods.

pitch lake 9

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Nevertheless, the Pitch Lake is famous for its natural resource of Asphalt and draws crowds from all spheres of this world .Each year people pour in to behold and marvel the pitch lake with its natural bounties.

Via Wikipedia.

7 Comments For This Post

  1. rich Says:

    the amazing thing is that trinidad and tobago has poor roads …

  2. Andy Fields Says:

    I’ve actually been here! Pretty cool stuff – the guide was very careful that you don’t step in certain places.

  3. Jhone Worel Says:

    Our asphalt is considered to be the best in the world – yet our “roads” are certainly the worst in the world!! Paradox of a lifetime!!

  4. Keshav Says:

    actually the pitch lake was discovered by Christopher Columbus.He used some of the pitch to patch a hole in his ship.

  5. nerj Says:

    If only that lake can be found here in the Philippines, that would be a great help to our people. There is still a lot of “worst” gravel road especially in countryside that is needed to be (maybe) asphalted. Ironically, in the cities, some roads and highways are made of 6″-8″ layer of thick “concrete” and after a couple of years, they add another layer of about 2″-4″ thick of “asphalt” on top of it. What a waste of people’s money!

  6. Denni Says:

    They claim that Trini asphalt was used to pave Pall Mall in London. I believe it!

    Maintaining roads in the tropical climate is much more difficult than it is in temperate Britain and we’ve got crap roads too.

  7. lisa Says:

    i am looking for information on the pitch lake because i am representing pitch lake on the 25 of september at st.croix communtity centre.so it was great getting information from this website.hope i do my best on that day everyone is invited.

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