Salton Sea Salt Formations

December 27, 2018

Obsidian Butte  Salt Formations (1) (1)

Photographer: Cindy Todd
Summary Authors: Cindy Todd; Jim Foster

The Salton Sea, in southern California, was accidentally created when dikes diverting water from the Colorado River overran in 1905. It's the 4th largest man-made lake in the U.S and the largest water body in California. As a result of high evaporation rates, long-term drought and because no rivers feed it, the Salton Sea has been in serious decline for decades. This inland sea or lake has become more polluted and more saline nearly every year. It has a higher salinity level than the Pacific Ocean.

At the southern end of the sea, near Obsidian Butte, some odd salt formations are found, as shown above. Evaporation of the salt water from the ever-receding shoreline is at work here. Additionally, more resistant salt/sand areas have yet to be eroded, resulting in the lumpy appearance. Photo taken on November 13, 2018.

Photo Details: Camera: NIKON COOLPIX L610; Exposure Time: 0.0013s (1/800); Aperture: ƒ/4.5; ISO equivalent: 125; Focal Length (35mm): 78.