When you think of deserts, you don’t typically think of bright jewel tones. What are these massive pools of color doing here?
These electric blue shapes in the brown desert are potash evaporation ponds managed by Intrepid Potash, Inc the United States’ largest producer of potassium chloride, and are located along the Colorado River, about 30 km west of Moab, Utah.
The bizarre ponds provide a brilliantly blue contrast to the barren, red, Moab desert that surround them, with the colour providing the optimum aid for the absorption of sunlight and evaporation.
These man-made ponds are for collecting potash, a potassium-containing salt used in farm fertilizers.Workers pump the potash from way below the Earth’s surface into the ground-level ponds, where sun evaporates the pond water and leaves potash behind.
The water is dyed an eye-catching blue so that it’ll absorb heat and evaporate more quickly, a process that typically takes about 300 days.
The potash source comes from the Paradox Basin, which has been there for an estimated 300 million years and sits 3,000 feet below the ground.