Art

Watery Salt Flats

A natural color satellite image showing the Salar de Uyuni salt flat in Bolivia.

Unusually high rainfall in Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni turned the world’s largest salt flat into a shallow salt lake. These natural-color satellite images show the area in late January 2022. If you zoom in on the full resolution image, there are incredible detailed swirls in the water. It’s like peering at an abstract or Impressionist painting. The many colors are attributable to several sources, including volcanic sediments, runoff, and a variety of microbes and algae thriving in the mineral-filled waters. (Image credit: L. Dauphin; via NASA Earth Observatory)

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