Salt pan (geology)

Salt pan (geology)

Natural salt pans are flat expanses of ground covered with salt and other minerals, usually shining white under the sun. They are found in deserts, and should not be confused with man-made salt evaporation ponds.

A salt pan is formed where water pools. A salt pan would be a lake or a pond if it were located in a climate where the rate of water evaporation were not faster than the rate of water precipitation, i.e., if it were not in a desert. If the water is unable to drain into the ground, it remains on the surface until it evaporates, leaving behind whatever minerals were dissolved. Over thousands of years, the minerals (usually salts) accumulate on the surface.Fact|date=May 2008

Salt pans can be dangerous. The crust of salt can conceal a quagmire of mud that can engulf a truck. The Qattara Depression in the eastern Sahara desert contains many such traps which served as strategic barriers during World War II.Fact|date=May 2008

The Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, where many land speed records have been set, is a well-known salt pan in the arid regions of the western United States.

The Etosha Pan in the Etosha National Park in Namibia is another prominent example of a salt pan.

Devil's Golf Course in the Death Valley is the largest salt pan in United States of America.Fact|date=May 2008

See also

* Salt lake
* Playa
* Salt evaporation pond

Natural salt pans are flat expanses of ground covered with salt and other minerals, usually shining white under the sun. They are found in deserts, and should not be confused with man-made salt evaporation ponds.

A salt pan is formed where water pools have evaporated.A salt pan would be a lake or a pond if it were located in a climate where the rate of water evaporation were not faster than the rate of water precipitation, i.e., if it were not in a desert. If the water is unable to drain into the ground, it remains on the surface until it evaporates, leaving behind whatever minerals were dissolved. Over thousands of years, the minerals (usually salts) accumulate on the surface. Salt pans can be dangerous. The crust of salt can conceal a quagmire of mud that can engulf a truck. The Qattara Depression in the eastern Sahara desert contains many such traps which served as strategic barriers during World War II.The Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, where many land speed records have been set, is a well-known salt pan in the arid regions of the western United States.

The Etosha Pan in the Etosha National Park in Namibia is another prominent example of a salt pan.

Devil's Golf Course in the Death Valley is the largest salt pan in United States of America. [

References

* cite journal
last = Briere
first = Peter R.
year = 2002
month = May
title = Playa, playa lake, sabkha: Proposed definitions for old terms
journal = Journal of Arid Environments
volume = 45
issue = 1
pages = 1–7
publisher = Elsevier
doi = 10.1006/jare.2000.0633
accessdate = 2008-05-20

* cite journal
last = Lowenstein
first = Tim K.
coauthor = Lawrence A. Hardie
year = 1985
month = October
title = Criteria for the recognition of salt-pan evaporites
journal = Sedimentation
volume = 32
issue = 5
pages = 627–644
publisher =
doi = 10.1111/j.1365-3091.1985.tb00478.x
accessdate = 2008-05-20


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