Back To The Salt Mines

Discussion in 'Science & Nature' started by Nancy Hart, Oct 16, 2018.

  1. Nancy Hart

    Nancy Hart Very Well-Known Member
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    When I was a kid, we would drive by a place in the middle of town almost, that looked like a huge swamp, with little short derricks all over. My father said it was a salt mine. I was skeptical, but never dared question. There was no internet back then, so now I'm wondering if it was true, or was he pulling my leg. There is no picture of that place. :(

    Salt deposits across the U.S., so it's possible. NE Ohio is covered.

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    I could not find any picture that looked even close to what I remember. Modern salt mine in Detroit is the closest.

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    Old picture of elaborate bamboo pipelines sending natural gas to operate salt mines in China.

    [​IMG]

    Does anyone remember salt mines?
     
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  2. Beatrice Taylor

    Beatrice Taylor Very Well-Known Member
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    We had brine wells in the area where I grew up.
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Before that, they used solar vats and brine houses with boilers to evaporate the water from salt springs and produce salt. They had a big bell on the roof of a local store that was rung when it looked like rain and all of the salt workers would scramble to put covers over the solar vats. The store was eventually transformed into a modern dairy store but the bell is still on the roof.

    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
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  3. Nancy Hart

    Nancy Hart Very Well-Known Member
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    Thank you! Those look similar except it was flat land, and the derricks were shorter. So far the only fibs I've caught my parents in are Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy. :D
     
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  4. Bill Boggs

    Bill Boggs Veteran Member
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  5. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    I believe "Salt Flats", as well as "dry lakes" are actually deposits of many minerals, including "salt"; there are technically zillions of salts, by the chemical definition. I applied for "Plant Engineer" with Kerr-McGee Corp. in Trona, CA. They "mine" salts from below the surface by forcing hot water under pressure into holes bored deeply into the lakebed. The place was eerie to behold, in the middle of absolutely nowhere, to the extent that the plant generated it's own electrical power! It looks like this:

    [​IMG]
    Trona, California abuts northwest of the dry Searles Lake bed.

    "Searles Lake is an endorheic dry lake in the Searles Valley of the Mojave Desert, in northwestern San Bernardino County, California.

    The mining community of Trona is on its western shore. The evaporite basin is approximately 19 km (12 mi) long and 13 km (8.1 mi) at its widest point, yielding 1.7 million tons annually of industrial minerals within the basin to the Searles Valley Minerals mining operations. Searles Lake is bounded by the Argus and Slate Mountains."

    "Searles Lake is a huge resource of sodium and potassium minerals of the carbonate, sulfate, borate and halide classes of mineralogy. The manufacture of industrial minerals involves a complex solution mining operation in which naturally occurring brines are pumped from wells completed in several salt beds. The brine wells range in depth from near-surface to over 100 meters below the salt pan. A network of production wells, injection wells, solar ponds and piping are used in the production and treatment of the brines."

    See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Searles_Lake

    [​IMG]
    Searles Lake playa bounded by the Argus and Slate Mountains

    Note that white deposit, the "lake", is approximately 12 miles by 8 miles, a huge area!

    I was offered a job at a level of compensation I deemed inadequate.
    Frank
     
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  6. Nancy Hart

    Nancy Hart Very Well-Known Member
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  7. Bill Boggs

    Bill Boggs Veteran Member
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    "I've got to get back to the salt mine" is a saying often used in my lpart of the world to indicate a person has to get back to work, perhaps in an undesirable job.
     
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  8. Bill Boggs

    Bill Boggs Veteran Member
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    I have been there. It is off the main Highway east of El Paso. I have driven passed it numerous times. Literally out in the middle of nowhere. A few families lived in Salt Flat who worked in the salt business. South of Salt Flat is ranch country.
     
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  9. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    When it rains, it pours!
    upload_2018-10-18_7-28-49.jpeg
     
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  10. Nancy Hart

    Nancy Hart Very Well-Known Member
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    I remember seeing the salt flats just outside of Salt Lake City as a kid, from a car window, either 1953 or 1955. This picture from 2018 Google Streetview is exactly how it looked back then.

    saltflatsslcut.jpg

    I think it was close to the Bonneville Speedway, but you couldn't see that from the highway.

    Has anyone been to the Speedway?
     
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  11. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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  12. Bill Boggs

    Bill Boggs Veteran Member
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    Never been to the Speedway. Driven past the Salt Lake at Salt Lake City, Utah several times. Never paid much attention to it. I have been four hundred feet down in a salt mine in New Mexico as an Area Sales manager. Usually there are salt mines near about where potash mines are located, or so I've been told by the potash people.
     
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  13. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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  14. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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  15. Nancy Hart

    Nancy Hart Very Well-Known Member
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    Beautiful scenes in that salt mine, and a nice James Taylor song to boot. I've never heard that one before. Ananas in French means "pineapple." :cool: ... (Looked it up. I don't speak French)
     
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    Last edited: Oct 18, 2018

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