Mar Chiquita and Nearby Wetlands and Salt Flats, Argentina – January 26th, 201130.6S 62.5W
The saline Mar Chiquita, in Argentina, appears dark green here. Salt flats along the lake’s northern shoreline appear whitish grey, as do those of the Salinas Grandes to the northwest.
Mar Chiquita is Argentina’s biggest lake, and the world’s fifth largest steppe lake, although the latter is only true when the water level is high. In that case, Mar Chiquita covers an area of 5,770 sq. km; however, in periods of extended drought, the lake surface can drop to 1,960 sq. km. The salt content fluctuates from 25 to 290 g/l depending on the water level.
Two areas around the lake are under protection, the Reserva Natural de Vaquerias covering 3 sq. km and the Reserva Natural de Fauna Laguna De Felipa covering 13 sq. km. The main problem for Mar Chiquita is the water withdrawal from the Dulce River for irrigation purposes.