Aeolian Landforms (03.Dry Lake)

03.Dry Lake                                                                                                                                        Back to Aeolian Landforns

  • A dry lake is an ephemeral lakebed, or a remnant of an endorheic lake.
  • It consist of fine-grained sediments infused with alkali salts.
  •  Alternative names for the dry lake include alkali flat and playa.
  • A playa lake may cover a wide area, but it is never deep.
  •  Most water in it evaporates.
  •  leaving a layer of salt on the surface.
  •  These salt covered stretches are called saltpans.
  • If its basin is primarily salt then the dry lake is called a salt pans , pan, hardpan, or salt flat.
  • dry lake is typically dry, hard and rough during the dry season, but wet and very soft in the rainy season.
  • Dry lakes are generally small, round depressions in the surface of the landscape. 
  • A playa lake is formed when rain fills a round depression in the landscape, creating a small lake.
  •  The water is generally freshwater, When all of the water evaporates, a playa is formed. 
  • The playa appears as a flat bed of clay, generally encrusted with precipitated salts.
  • These evaporate minerals are a concentration of weathering products that have been left behind.
  •  Some examples of evaporite minerals are sodium carbonate, borax, and other salts. Playas are often found in bajadas, a depositional landform of desert environments.
  • Dry lakes are typically formed in semi-arid to arid regions of the world.
  • The largest concentration of dry lakes in the world (nearly 22,000) is in the southern High Plains of Texas and Eastern New Mexico. 


Death Valley California

Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia

    Racetrack Playa
  • High  Plains of Texas 
  • Eastern New Mexico
  • Potosi

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