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salt lake, lying west of the Flinders Ranges, east-central South Australia, 215 miles (345 km) northwest of Adelaide. About 150 miles (240 km) long and 40 miles (65 km) wide, the salt lake has an area of 2,300 square miles (5,900 square km). Normally a mud flat, it may fill only after heavy rains and has been known to overflow into Spencer Gulf, several miles to the south. The lake was visited in 1839 by Edward J. Eyre while he was seeking new grazing lands, and it was named in honour of Colonel Robert Torrens, chairman of the South Australian Colonization Commissioners.