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Posts tagged Salt Flats

Green and White Coloring of Etosha Pan, Namibia

18.7S 16.4E

May 4th, 2012 Category: Salt Flats

Namibia - April 28th, 2012

The Etosha pan is a large endorheic salt pan, forming part of the Kalahari Basin in the north of Namibia. The salt desert supports very little plant life except for the blue-green algae that gives the Etosha its characteristic colouring, and grasses like Sporobolus spicatus which quickly grow in the wet mud following a rain. Here, the eastern part of the pan appears greenish, while the western side is white in color.

This harsh dry land with little vegetation and small amounts of salty water, when it is present at all, supports little wildlife all year round but is used by a large number of migratory birds. The hypersaline pan supports brine shrimp and a number of extremophile micro-organisms tolerant of the high saline conditions.

Salt Flats of Rann of Kutch and Sun Glint on Gulf of Khambhat, India

21.8N 72.0E

May 2nd, 2012 Category: Salt Flats

India - April 28th, 2012

Sun glint gives a bright, silvery white color to the Gulf of Khambhat, an inlet of the Arabian Sea along the west coast of India, in the state of Gujarat. Some white areas can also be observed further inland, to the northwest; however, this coloring is due to the white salt flats of the Rann of Kutch, by the India-Pakistan border.

Green and White Surface of Etosha Pan, Namibia

18.7S 16.4E

April 28th, 2012 Category: Salt Flats

Namibia - April 15th, 2012

The Etosha pan is a large endorheic salt pan, forming part of the Kalahari Basin in the north of Namibia. The 120-kilometre-long (75-mile-long) dry lakebed and its surroundings are protected as Etosha National Park, one of Namibia’s largest wildlife parks.┬áThe area exhibits a characteristic white and greenish surface, which spreads over hundreds of kilometres.

The pan is mostly dry but after a heavy rain it will acquire a thin layer of water, which is heavily salted by the mineral deposits on the surface of the pan, which most of the year is dry mud coated with salt that splits into hexagonal shapes as it dries and cracks. Today it is seldom seen with even a thin sheet of water covering it.

Basins of the Shrinking Aral Sea

46.7N 61.6E

April 25th, 2012 Category: Lakes, Salt Flats

Aral Sea - April 14th, 2012

The Aral Sea has divided into three basins due to its incredible decrease in water levels over the last fifty years. Much of the area once covered by water is now covered by salt flats. Here, the southeastern basin shows the lowest water levels. The northern basin is partially covered by ice, best observed in the full image.

Salt Crust of the Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

20.1S 67.5W

April 17th, 2012 Category: Salt Flats

Bolivia - April 14th, 2012

The large white expanse in the lower part of this image of Bolivia is the Salar de Uyuni, the largest salt flat in the world. It has a surface area of 10,582 square kilometers (4,086 sq mi) and is in southwest Bolivia, near the crest of the Andes, at an elevation of 3,656 meters (11,995 ft) above the mean sea level.

The salar 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. The crust serves as a source of salt and covers a pool of brine, which is exceptionally rich in lithium. The large area, clear skies and exceptional surface flatness make the Salar an ideal object for calibrating the altimeters of the Earth observation satellites.