Salar de Uyuni Bolivia is the world’s largest salt flat at 10,582 square kilometers. It is located in the Daniel Campos Province in Potosí in southwest Bolivia, near the crest of the Andes. The Salar was formed as a result of transformations between several prehistoric lakes. It is covered by a few meters of salt crust, which has an extraordinary flatness with the average elevation variations within one meter over the entire area of the Salar.
The crust serves as a source of salt and covers a pool of brine, which is exceptionally rich in lithium. It contains 50 to 70% of the world’s known lithium reserves, which is in the process of being extracted.The large area, clear skies, and exceptional flatness of the surface make the Salar an ideal object for calibrating the altimeters of Earth observation satellites.
The salt is over 10 meters thick in the center. In the dry season, the salt plains are a completely flat expanse of dry salt, but in the wet season, it is covered with a thin sheet of water that is still drivable.
Salar de Uyuni serves as the major transport route across the Bolivian Altiplano and is a major breeding ground for several species of flamingos. It is also a climatological transitional zone since the towering tropical clouds that form in the eastern part of the salt flat during the summer cannot permeate beyond its drier western edges, near the Chilean border and the Atacama Desert.
Interesting Facts About Salar de Uyuni Bolivia
1. Salar-de-Uyuni is the world’s largest salt flat, located in Bolivia. Photographers flock here to capture the unique landscape.
2. The salt is over 10 meters thick in the center. In the dry season, the salt plains are a completely flat expanse of dry salt, but in the wet season, it is covered with a thin sheet of water that is still drivable.
3. The center of the Salar contains a “few islands”, the remains of the tops of ancient volcanoes submerged during the era of Lake Minchin.
4. The Salar contains a large amount of sodium, potassium, lithium, and magnesium, as well as borax.
5. Salar de Uyuni Bolivia is estimated to contain 10 billion tons of salt, of which less than 25,000 tons is extracted annually.