Salt farm at Shark Bay, Australia, from space, c 2006.
© National Aeronautics & Space Administration / Science & Society
Western Australia's coast as seen by the Expedition 10 crew on the International Space Station. This image shows large solar salt works developed in Useless Loop and Useless Inlet. The salt is produced when ponds are repeatedly flooded with seawater, which is progressively concentrated by evaporation. This particular salt farm opened in 1967 and expanded operations in the 1990s. Today, this salt farm comprises over 50 ponds, the newest pond in the outermost pond in Useless Inlet, which provides the first evaporation cycle to increase the salinity of the water prior to entering the next pond. Complex chemical and biological adjustments occur in the system each time the configuration of ponds is changed.