If you ever fly over San Francisco Bay, California, be sure to peer out of the window to catch a glimpse of one of the world's most incredibly colored landscapes which is a result of salt evaporation ponds, as shown in this overview offered by Customaps. Salt evaporation ponds are shallow artificial ponds that are meant to produce salts from the seawater. Once the seawater is fed into these large ponds, the water is then extracted by natural evaporation which allows the salt to be harvested.
The colors of the salt ponds range from blue green to deep magenta and are due to all the microorganisms that thrive as salinity levels increase. Their ever-changing pigments always stand out when seen from above and even serve as a visual benchmark for astronauts. The bay water is moved from one evaporation pond to another over the course of the five years it takes for it to mature into salt brine. During final stages, when the brine has become fully saturated, it is pumped into the crystallizer where a bed of salt 5 to 8 inches (12-20 cm) thick is ready for harvest.
Image © Mapbox, DigitalGloble, Inc.
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