Image: Qarhan Salt Lake

November 22, 2013
Credit: KARI/ESA

This false-colour composite image from the Kompsat-2 satellite shows part of the Qarhan Salt Lake on the Tibetan Plateau in China.

There are multiple salt lakes across this region, but Qarhan's 5850 sq km make it the largest. It holds an estimated 60 billion tonnes of salt, and is also a major production base for potassium and magnesium.

In this image, we can see division of the salt evaporation ponds. While the false colour makes them appear blue, salt ponds naturally range in colour depending on their algal concentration and salinity.

The nearest city, Golmud, sits about 50 km to the southwest (not pictured).

This image was acquired on 4 December 2008 by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute's Kompsat-2.

ESA supports Kompsat as a Third Party Mission, meaning it uses its ground infrastructure and expertise to acquire, process and distribute data to users.

Explore further: Earth from Space: Peruvian landscape

Related Stories

Earth from Space: 'Black hole'

March 25, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Holbox Island and the Yalahau Lagoon on the northeast corner of Mexico?s Yucatan Peninsula are featured in this satellite image.

Recommended for you

Multinationals act on ocean-clogging plastics

January 16, 2017

Forty of the world's biggest companies assembled in Davos agreed on Monday to come up with cleaner ways to make and consume plastic as waste threatens the global eco-system, especially in oceans.

Tracking Antarctic adaptations in diatoms

January 16, 2017

Diatoms are a common type of photosynthetic microorganism, found in many environments from marine to soil; in the oceans, they are responsible for more than a third of the global ocean carbon captured during photosynthesis. ...

Study tracks 'memory' of soil moisture

January 16, 2017

The top 2 inches of topsoil on all of Earth's landmasses contains an infinitesimal fraction of the planet's water—less than one-thousandth of a percent. Yet because of its position at the interface between the land and ...

How the darkness and the cold killed the dinosaurs

January 16, 2017

66 million years ago, the sudden extinction of the dinosaurs started the ascent of the mammals, ultimately resulting in humankind's reign on Earth. Climate scientists have now reconstructed how tiny droplets of sulfuric acid ...

Soil pores, carbon stores, and breathing microbes

January 16, 2017

Researchers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) recently studied how moisture influences soil heterotrophic respiration. That's the breathing-like process by which microbes convert dead organic carbon in the ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.