salt pan

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salt pan A basin in a semi-arid region where chemical precipitates (evaporites) are deposited, owing to the concentration by evaporation of natural solutions of salts. The least soluble salts (calcium and magnesium carbonates) are precipitated first, on the outside of the pan, followed by sodium and potassium sulphates. Finally, in the centre, sodium and potassium chlorides and magnesium sulphate are deposited. This pattern, slightly distorted through tilting, is seen in Death Valley, California, USA.

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salt pan A basin in a semi-arid region where chemical precipitates (evaporites) are deposited due to the concentration by evaporation of natural solutions of salts. The least soluble salts (calcium and magnesium carbonates) precipitate first, on the outside of the pan, followed by sodium and potassium sulphates. Finally, in the centre, sodium and potassium chlorides and magnesium sulphate are deposited. This pattern, slightly distorted through tilting, is seen in Death Valley, California, USA.

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salt pan • n. a shallow container or depression in the ground in which salt water evaporates to leave a deposit of salt.