Utah stains

Cosmos - - Digest -

An as­tro­naut on the In­ter­na­tional Space Sta­tion took this pho­to­graph of so­lar evap­o­ra­tion ponds out­side the city of Moab, Utah, close to the Colorado River. The 23 colour­ful ponds spread across 162 hectares, are part of a large potas­sium chlo­ride mine. The colour of each pond in­di­cates a dif­fer­ent state of evap­o­ra­tion. The deep royal blue is caused by dye added to full ponds of potash brine and wa­ter, in or­der to in­crease the rate of heat ab­sorp­tion. Sea-foam greens in­di­cate shal­lower wa­ters that are well into the evap­o­ra­tion process. Tan ponds are nearly dry, and white zones com­prise the end prod­uct – crys­tals – await­ing har­vest.

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