In May, 1971, Lake Mahega had pronounced mesothermy (40.W C at one metre). Solar heating of a bloom of baeteria and the blue-green alga, Synechococcus bacillaris Butch., probably caused the high temperature. A total ionic concentration gradient increasing from 192,600 mg 1itre-1 at the surface to 415,200 mg•litre- 1 at three metres stabilized the thermally inverted water. Nearly equal amounts of chloride and sulphate accounted for about 90% of the anionic composition. Sodium was the major cation.
Crystals or the triple salt, northupite (Na2 CO3. MgCO3. NaCl) and of thenardite (Na2SO4) were mixed with the surface sediment. We believe it is possible that primary northupite depnsition is occurring. Lake Mahega
is also the first mesothermic, sulphato-chloride lake reported for East Africa.