The Salar de Coipasa, located in the Altiplano region of western Bolivia, covers an area of approximately 2,500 square kilometers (960 square miles). “Salar” describes arid, closed basins in which evaporation of mineral-rich waters leads to the formation of thick, flat salt deposits. Image credit: Expedition 33 crew/ISS
Salar de Coipasa is located to the southwest of the saline Lake Poopo and northwest of the largest salt flat in the world, Salar de Uyuni. At Coipasa, a crust composed of halite—common table salt—provides the brilliant white coloration characteristic of the Altiplano salars.
Image credit Wikimedia
While the environment of Salar de Coipasa is arid, it does receive constant water from the Lauca River flowing in from the north. The Lauca feeds Lake (Lago) Coipasa, which covers the northern end of the basin with shallow water. However, the water flow can drop off sharply during periods of drought.
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