Weird colored land in Utah desert discussion
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Weird colored land in Utah desert
Weird colored land in Utah near Dead Horse State Park. Anyone know what's going on here?
My guess would be potash mining. This is a process whereby they pump salt water out of the ground, and then allow it to dry in shallow ponds and recover the various salts from it. Many of these salts consist partly of Potassium salts such as Potassium Perchlorate, which is used as an oxidizer in solid fuel rocket propellants. Casual vernacular for potassiuim-bearing compounds is "potash". Hence the appelation: "potash mining".
The various colors are a result of the water depth, and the concentration of the salts in the shallow pools.
You can see that there is a water collection and cleaning plant in the north and a system of aqueducts ( running from the top boundry of valleys ) bringing the water to the drying fields which are in various colors .. probably changing color as per the concentration of dissolved mineral particles.
The aqueducts pour water into every compartment separated by solid black walls.
Mines viewable from cliffs above
If you ever visit the north unit of Canyonlands National Park (aka Island in the Sky) you will be able to look down on these potash mines (and associated roads) that clutter the natural landscape. Dead Horse State Park is attached to the east side of Island in the Sky.
The area looks an artist workout place.