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Qarhan Salt Lake China
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Qarhan Salt Lake, China

November 26, 2013
This false-colour composite image from the Kompsat-2 satellite shows part of the Qarhan Salt Lake on the Tibetan Plateau in China. There are multiple salt lakes across this region, but Qarhan’s 5850 sq km make it the largest. It holds an estimated 60 billion tonnes of salt, and is also a major production base for potassium and magnesium. In this image, we can see division of the salt evaporation ponds. While the false colour makes them appear blue, salt ponds naturally range in colour depending on their algal concentration and salinity. The nearest city, Golmud, sits about 50 km to the southwest (not pictured). This image was acquired on 4 December 2008 by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute’s Kompsat-2. ESA supports Kompsat as a Third Party Mission, meaning it uses its ground infrastructure and expertise to acquire, process and distribute data to users. Copyright KARI/ESA