Salt lake

Salt lake

The salt lake or saline lake is a landlocked body of water which has a concentration of salts (mostly sodium chloride) and other minerals significantly higher than most lakes (often defined as at least 3,000 milligrams of salt per liter). In many cases, salt lakes have a higher concentration of salt than sea water.


Salt lakes form when the water flowing into the lake, containing salt or minerals, cannot leave because the lake is endorheic (terminal). The water then evaporates, leaving behind any dissolved salts and thus increasing its salinity, making a salt lake an excellent place for salt production. High salinity will also lead to a unique flora and fauna in the lake in question; sometimes, in fact, the result may be an absence or near absence of life near the salt lake.

If the amount of water flowing into a lake is less than the amount evaporated, the lake will eventually disappear and leave a salt flat or playa (sometimes also referred to as salt pan).

Notable lakes

In order, the three largest salt lakes in the world are the Caspian Sea, Aral Sea, and Lake Balkhash. The largest salt lake in the Western Hemisphere, the Great Salt Lake, is the fourth largest salt lake in the world.

The salt lake with the highest elevation is Namtso, and the one with the lowest elevation is the Dead Sea, which is also the lowest exposed point on the Earth's surface.

Since the 8th century, the salt of Lake Baskunchak in Russia was mined and distributed via the Silk Road. Nowadays the lake's salt of distinct purity (99.8 % NaCl) covers 80 % of the country's salt production. Depending on need, about 1.5 million to 5 million tons of salt are mined per year.

See also

* Salt pan
* Playa
* Salt evaporation pond


* [ Lecture notes on salt lakes]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Salt Lake — (spr. Sahlt Lehk), 1) so v.w. Great Salt Lake; 2) so v.w. Onondaga; 3) Grafschaft im Territory Utah (Nordamerika), im Osten von den Rocky Mountains, im Westen theilweis vom Großen Salzsee (Great Salt Lake) begrenzt, von den Green u. Bear Rivers… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Salt Lake — (spr. ßaolt lēk), s. Salzsee (der Große) …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Salt Lake — (spr. ßahlt lehk), in Utah, s. Salzsee …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Salt-lake — Salt lake, s. Utah …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • Salt Lake — Salt Lake, Great …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • salt lake — salt′ lake′ n. gel a body of water having no outlet to the sea and containing in solution a high concentration of salts • Etymology: 1755–65 …   From formal English to slang

  • Salt Lake — For a lake containing a high concentration of salt, see salt lake (geography).More specifically, Salt Lake may refer to:Cities, counties, towns etc.* Salt Lake, Hawaii, a neighborhood on the island of Oahu, Hawaii * Salt Lake City, Utah * Salt… …   Wikipedia

  • Salt Lake — Sp Sòlt Lekas Ap Salt Lake L JAV apyg. (Juta) …   Pasaulio vietovardžiai. Internetinė duomenų bazė

  • salt lake —    A lake containing high salt concentrations and usually not having any outflow [16] …   Lexicon of Cave and Karst Terminology

  • salt lake — noun Date: 1763 a landlocked body of water that has become salty through evaporation …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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