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World's largest salt plain

This 100m false-colour Proba-V image, acquired on 05 April 2017, shows the salt plains on Salar de Uyuni as 'white area'.

Salar de Uyuni is the world's largest salt plain with an area of about 10,500 km2. It is located in south-western Bolivia at an altitude of 3,650 m and is extremely flat, with average elevation variations of 01 meter over the entire plains area.

The salt plains were formed 42,000 – 30,000 years ago as a result of transformations between several prehistoric lakes. The crusty top layer, which is up to several meters thick, overlays a brine rich in lithium (containing 50 – 70% of the world's reserves), potassium, and magnesium.

Small rectangular patches in the south of plains, indicate a large lithium mining area.

Brazil deforestation

© ESA-BELSPO 2017, produced by VITO
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