|NASA Photo ID||ISS010-E-6681|
|Time taken||06:38:53 GMT|
latitude/longitude of image
features and other details
information about camera used
|Kodak DCS760c Electronic Still Camera|
|3060E: 3060 x 2036 pixel CCD, RGBG array|
|540 pixels||719 pixels||Yes||Yes||Earth From Space collection||Download Image|
|1000 pixels||1332 pixels||No||Yes||NASA's Earth Observatory web site||Download Image|
|3032 pixels||2064 pixels||No||No||Download Image|
|639 pixels||435 pixels||No||No||Download Image|
This image shows large solar salt works developed in Useless Loop and Useless Inlet, Shark Bay, Western Australia (for a regional image of Shark Bay, see Phytoplankton in Shark Bay ). The salt (sodium chloride) is produced when ponds are repeatedly flooded with seawater, which is progressively concentrated by evaporation. This particular salt farm opened in 1967 and expanded operations in the 1990s. Today, this salt farm comprises over 50 ponds'the newest pond is the outermost pond in Useless Inlet, which provides the first evaporation cycle to increase the salinity of the water prior to entering the next pond. Complex chemical and biological adjustments occur in the system each time the configuration of ponds is changed.
Solar salt production has increased along the world's arid coastal regions. Global demand for salt is on the rise, primarily because salt is a basic feedstock to the chemical industry (the largest salt consumer). Commercial solar salt ponds are frequently controversial components of coastal ecosystems. The hypersaline conditions are toxic to preexisting ecosystems in and around the converted land, and valuable coastal wetlands may be impacted by flooding, changing water levels and salinities. However, salt ponds have also been successfully converted to wetlands, and the shallow ponds can support shellfish and bird populations.