The Electric Blue Lake in the Middle of the Utah Desert

By on July 17, 2014

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There is a gorgeous lake that exists for some reason in the middle of Moab, Utah. (Check it out on Google Maps) It doesn’t quite make sense that it is there though. However, it isn’t magic, or aliens, or anything conspiracy-related at all (unfortunately.)

According to Gizmodo:

“There is a series of evaporation ponds for potash, or salts that contain potassium used for fertilizer. But potash is actually found deep under the surface—where ancient lakes or inland seas have dried up—and these evaporations ponds are only the most visible tip of a long, elaborate mining operation.

The actual potash mine is the small smudge of white at the top center of the top photo. Here, a briny solution of salt and water is pumped into deep injection wells. Brine is used instead of water to preferentially dissolve the potash, leaving other minerals in the rock 2,400 to 4,000 feet underground undisturbed. Then the brine, now heavy with dissolved potash, is pumped back up into the evaporation pools.

The pools themselves are dyed dark blue to absorb and retain heat from the sun. In the hot, dry desert climate, it takes about 300 days for the brine to dry into salt and potash crystals. Machines scrape up these crystals from the bottom of these rubber-lined ponds, and they’re sent off for processing. In other photos, you can see the ponds in varying shades of color as water evaporates.”

So here is where it gets interesting. The mine in Utah was initially built in 1963 by the Texas Sulphur Company. It was a conventional mine but then it exploded. 25 men were trapped underground and eventually 18 men were killed. The mines would be eventually converted into a solution mining system that they use today. Yay for humans not going underground anymore!

More pictures below:

Potash pond near Moab 784184943135021607

About Darth Sarah

Sarah is a journalist and an artist who lives in the city. She loves movies and television. She reads early and often. She also secretly hopes the Doctor will come and take her away, though she realizes he probably already has a dedicated companion at the moment. Sarah also helps out over at BSCkids.com, Optionated.com and our other sites!

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