Friday, April 02, 2010

Salt Flats at the Guadalupes

A shot of the salt flats taken on Hwy 62/180 just west of Guadalupe Mountains National Park by this week's featured photographer, Ted Bell of Little Rock, Arkansas.

The park's website says this about the Salt Flats:
"Upon approaching the Guadalupe Mountains from the west, visitors traveling from the El Paso area will pass through a landscape of barren beauty. The Salt Flats are a remnant of an ancient, shallow lake that once occupied this area during the Pleistocene Epoch, approximately 1.8 million years ago. Salt collected here as streams drained mineral-laden water into this basin. The basin, called a graben, formed about 26 million years ago as faulting lifted the Guadalupe Mountains and depressed the adjacent block of the Earth’s crust. At the end of the last ice age, approximately 10,000 years ago, the lake dried up as the climate became more arid. The salt deposits left behind would later become a precious resource to the people of the El Paso area."

Salt harvested in this location was the object of the El Paso Salt War.  You can read more about the Salt War, here.
The Park has salt dunes located further into the park.  You can read more about them here.

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