The Uyuni Salt Flats In Bolivia Are Truly A Wonder To Behold
May 4, 2015
The Uyuni flats are less than 3 feet in elevation throughout the entire area, although the thickness of the salt crust itself can vary from a few inches to several feet. This flatness is achieved by annual flooding of the area with rainwater and runoff water from nearby lakes, which dissolves and re-levels the salt bed again.
The Uyuni Salt Flats in Bolivia (known locally as "Salar de Uyuni") are the largest salt flats in the world. Spreading over 4,000 square miles, they're roughly 100 times the size of the famous Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. Geologists believe the flats were the result of the merging and drying of several prehistoric lakes. They are now comprised of a thick salt crust, underneath which is a pool of muddy brine. This brine is exceptionally rich in lithium (crucial for batteries used in cell phones, laptops, etc.), and Uyuni accounts for a majority of the world's supply.