Year of 2017

Potash evaporation ponds near Moab, Utah

Potash evaporation ponds dot the landscape near Moab, Utah. The water is dyed blue, which helps speed evaporation, and is probably quite useful for spotting the work sites from afar. What is potash? It’s a group of potassium-based compounds that has been mined by humans for centuries. The potassium is water soluble, so an evaporation pond is an ideal way to extract the useful chemicals from the deposits in the soil.

Evaporation ponds are artificial ponds with very large surface areas that are designed to efficiently evaporate water by sunlight and exposure to the ambient temperatures. Evaporation ponds have several uses. Salt evaporation ponds produce salt from seawater. They are also used to dispose of brine from desalination plants. Mines use ponds to separate ore from water.
Dead Sea, taken in August 1989 by U.S. Space Shuttle mission STS-28.
An aerial view of the evaporation ponds to the south of the Dead Sea operated by the Dead Sea Works