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Posts tagged Salar de Tunupa

Salar de Uyuni and Salar de Coipasa, Bolivia and Chile

20.1S 67.5W

January 30th, 2010 Category: Mountains

Bolivia - January 5th, 2010

Bolivia - January 5th, 2010

While clouds dot the skies over and around the Andes Mountains and above the Pacific Ocean, the white areas in the center of this image focusing on Bolivia and Chile are two large salt flats: the Salar de Uyuni and the Salar de Coipasa.

The former, also known as the Salar de Tunupa, is the largest salt flat in the world, with a surface area of 10,582 km2 (4,085 square miles). Located near the crest of the Andes, it has an elevation of 3,656 meters above the mean sea level. It is covered by a few meters of salt crust, which has an extraordinary flatness with the average altitude variations within one meter over the entire area of the Salar.

Just northwest of the Salar de Uyuni is the smaller Salar de Coipasa, at an elevation of 3657 m. It is about 70 km long by 50 km wide and has a surface area of 2.218 km², of which 2.193 are located in Bolivia, making it the second largest salar in the country. The rocks surrounding the salar are mainly of volcanic origin.

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.