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The World’s Largest Salt Flat: Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

April 29th, 2009 Category: Snapshots

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia - April 13th, 2009

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia - April 13th, 2009

Close-up

Close-up

The Salar de Uyuni (or Salar de Tunupa) is the world’s largest salt flat at 10,582 km² (4,085 square miles).

It is located in the Potosí and Oruro departments in southwest Bolivia, near the crest of the Andes, at an altitude of 3,650 meters. As it is so flat it serves as a major transport route across the Bolivian Altiplano.

The countries of Chile (lower left), Peru (upper left) and Brazil (upper right) are also visible around Bolivia in the main image.

The Salar de Uyuni is estimated to contain 10 billion tons of salt, of which less than 25,000 tons is extracted annually. The major minerals found in the salar are halite and gypsum.

Also, the Salar de Uyuni holds half of the world’s reserves of lithium, a metal which is used in high energy density batteries.

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