EPOD 20th - Aerial View of Danakil Depression

September 19, 2020


We’re celebrating 20 years of Earth Science Picture of the Day during the month of September! Today’s photo features a popular EPOD from the past. Thanks to all of our followers (on the blog, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) for supporting us. Thanks also to all of you who’ve submitted your photos. We’re most appreciative. This EPOD was originally published April 16, 2016.
Photographer: Joel Santos
Summary Author: Joel Santos

April 2016 Viewer's ChoiceShown above is an aerial photograph of the Danakil Depression region of Ethiopia showing patterns of harvested salt (top and bottom) and a caravan of miners and dromedaries (center) on their way to the salt extraction sites. At these sites chunks of salt are cut like bricks and then loaded on the camels. Note their shadows (traveling north) in the low Sun on the trail at right-center.

The ‪‎Danakil‬ Depression, also known as the Afar Depression, is located below sea level. Salt deposits here result from the Red Sea periodically flooding the depression and then evaporating. However, the most recent such flood occurred roughly 30,000 years ago. Click here to see the impressive, aerial video footage from this region. Photo taken on March 8, 2016.