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How Are Salt Flats Formed?

by Arthur "Art" Ryan

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Have you ever wondered how a salt flat was formed? What process elements are needed or avoided in order to produce this unique type of land formation? Well, this is the article for you.

This article can be interactive, if you wish. There is a little experiment discussed that can be put together to explain to yourself how a salt flat is formed. The materials needed are simple and can be found in the kitchen. I urge you to try it.
Take a pan filled with water and bring it to a boil. At that point, begin to add salt until total saturation is accomplished. This will be evident by the salt particles that are left at the bottom of the pan. When no additional salt will dissolve, the water will be holding all the salt it can.
Then put some of the mixture into two bowls. There need not be anything special about the bowls. They can be standard, the type a child uses to eat cereal.
One of the bowls can be left exposed on the kitchen counter or anywhere that it will be undisturbed at a temperature near 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The other, if the season is correct - winter, can be placed on a table out on your deck or patio, also exposed. An off-season alternative would be a space in the freezer. The experiment is now set into motion.
Nothing immediately happens. Days will elapse before anything interesting develops. So, this is an experiment that you set and forget for awhile. Easy!

Enough about the experiment’s setup. Now I will tell you about the results that you will observe.
The bowl that remains on the kitchen counter suffers from evaporation to the point of complete removal of the water. Nothing but salt remains. The bowl that is outside or in your freezer shows little effect of evaporation. However, it will still be filled with a saltwater mixture that will not succumb to freezing. It will still be in liquid form. That is not unexpected because saltwater does not freeze. The water needs to release the salt before it will turn solid.
What will be interesting is what will happen to the salt in the bowls. The bowl that is indoors and had totally evaporated shows signs of what I will call “Salt Creep“. It appears that the salt molecules have tried to hitch-hike with the water vapor as it rises out of the bowl. A crust layer will climb up and over the side of the bowl. Yes, the salt will have risen above the original water level and if you think to look for it, there may be salt on the counter-top around the bowl. Even more amazing will be the bottom of the bowl or more specifically, the remnants of salt at the bottom. The salt will not settle into a salt flat. In fact, the salt deposits left will be in the form of ever shrinking circles. This shrinking continues until the very middle is what appears to be a tiny, salt-walled cup that has barely a trace of salt in the center. Not a flat at all!

The saltwater filled bowl that is left exposed to the elements of the outside’s winter weather or in your freezer will show a greatly different result. Because there has been some evaporation, you can assume that some salt creep has taken place. However, the evidence of such will not be visually apparent. What will be apparent is the layer of salt that is at the bottom of the bowl. A salt flat will have formed. A very even surface of salt will be at the bottom with no evidence of a cupping form. It will be as flat as those found around the earth. Yes, there will still be water over it; but, a flat will have been created.
Additional time or a breaking of the bowl’s side would remove the remaining water. This creation will be caused when the water temperature drops and its saturation point changes. The water’s ability to keep salt in suspension will be reduced. Thus, the salt will return to its solid state and will sink to the bottom. The surface of the solid salt will become even in the same way that dirt settles in a pail of water that is used to clean floors. The heavier substance sinks. There will be no hills and valleys. There will be no ripples or any other defects. Like I said, a salt flat will be formed.

This experiment should confirm for you that evaporation of trapped seawater did not create our salt flats. If that process had been the cause of the phenomena, then there would be salt deposits up and over the mountains that surround the salt flats due to salt creep. These types of deposits are simply not there. The argument could be made that the rain washed the salt back into the low area. I offer that rain never erodes just one substance leaving all others. If erosion helped, then the flats would be made of salt and mud, throughout. Also, remember that the deposits are flat. The total evaporation process would have left a cupping effect as the water was removed and this effect would be compounded if rain washed salt back down the mountain and became vapor prior to reaching the center of the cupping form. Which would have happened due to the relatively small amounts of water that could have been present over such a vast area.

So, it becomes evident that in order for a salt flat to form, extreme low temperature need be present in the process. Thus, wherever there is a salt flat, there was once an exposure of saltwater to a freezing condition.
A video of the sea floor located under the Arctic Ice can be viewed at http://www.sciencedoubt.com/sub/06earth/passage.html  where you will watch a film clip that was shot while the Canadian Coast Guard made a transit through the now open Northwest Passage. The intent of the video is to draw attention to the shrinking Arctic ice and it inadvertently confirmed the prediction made in my book, Are We Worth Our Salt? that contended the salt for our Oceans was precipitating out in extreme cold regions. Salt flats existing strongly support the crust shift theory and my book further gives you the mechanical process required to initiate a shift. The book can be procured through http://www.sciencedoubt.com where you will find other interesting ideas about all types of science topics.

Copyright by Art Ryan
Presented with permission of the author

About the Author

Arthur “Art” Ryan is an independent researcher and author, who is a full-time employee supporting a major railroad and a small business owner of a process engineering consulting company, that enjoys all manner of things science. He is a baseball and football fan, who values his privacy and therefore writes under a pseudonym.

His book concerning Earth Changes is called “Are We Worth Our Salt?” which can be purchased through Lulu by visiting http://stores.lulu.com/arthurryan or Amazon and may be procured at you local Barnes and Noble store.

Art accepts constructive criticism about his ideas and welcomes evidence that support or dispute his thoughts. Questions and comments can be addressed to Art through his official website www.sciencedoubts.com

At his site, Art has opened a controlled, closed forum where intellectuals, professionals, academics, and aspiring amateurs can express their thoughts, findings, and alternate theories under pseudonyms; thereby avoiding possible damage to their careers or loss of existing funding. This site is to be driven by its users and will grow to fit the need. Those interested in writing on Science Doubt are invited to review the “Outstanding Questions” and “News Articles” sections for topic ideas or to contact the editor about your own.

Are We Worth Our Salt?

Have you ever wondered what is behind some of the World's mysteries? Do you ponder Earth changes and natural climate swings? If so, this is a book for you. Addressed herein is a primary thought that when first published by another author "electrified" Albert Einstein.
Yet, a cause for the theory was not previously given. This book will show the process steps needed to bring it to culmination. A cause and effect approach will be brought into play to solve this dramatic puzzle. Our Civilization is on the line and it requires your assistance to save it. Are you up to the challenge?

Also available here:
ISBN 978-0-6152-1270-8
ID: 2469512

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Keywords: The Grand Canyon Creation by Tectonic Movement,
Earth geology, Continental Drift, Polar Shift, Earth's Crust, sea floor, plate tectonics, Pangaea, crust shift, extinction, impact, sea, strange, unknown, google earth