Saturday, October 15, 2011

Salt Flat Facts

This is information I am gleaning through while I am thinking about a design inspired by the Salt Flats. The Salt Flats were created when Lake Bonneville receded and left large concentrations of dissolved minerals. The minerals include potash and halite (table salt) but the Bonneville Salt Flats are about 90% salt.

Now ground water flows in from the surrounding mountains and it picks up salt and minerals along the way. The water then percolates up to the surface and then evaporates leaving the minerals to form a salt crust. The layers of salt are almost 5 feet thick near the center and just a few inches along the edges.

Salt crystals on a dry lake bed

Halite is formed in isometric crystals that give it a distinctive cube structure. I spent a lot of time learning about the different types of isometric crystals (fascinating) but probably boring so I won’t go into detail here. 

Halite crystal

Some information from the BLM Website

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