The evaporation ponds at the south end of the Dead Sea produce both sodium chloride and potassium salts. The pond size, and thus salt production, has expanded substantially in response to global demand for salts used in industrial processing.

Salt Ponds at the Dead Sea

Salt ponds photographed in March 2012. Photography credit: NASA

Salt ponds around the world have been expanding due to the demand for polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and other chemicals that are manufactured from salts. These particular ponds are located on the south end of the Dead Sea, with the western edge of the pond marking the Jordan-Israel border.

The complex was first photographed by Space Shuttle mission STS28 in August 1989.

Salt Ponds at the Dead Sea

Salt ponds photogarphed in August 1989. Image credit: NASA

When the next photograph was taken in March 2001 by the crew of STS102, a northern extension had been constructed, and the large polygonal ponds in the northwest and northeast were subdivided into smaller ponds by levees.

Salt Ponds at the Dead Sea

Salt ponds photographed in March 2001. Image credit: NASA

Not much changed in the intervening decade before the next photograph from March 2012.

Salt Ponds at the Dead Sea

Salt ponds photographed in March 2012. Photography credit: NASA

The Dead Sea salt ponds are a beautiful cyan blue, much different than the pale rose of the Botswana salt ponds, coloured pink by saline-loving algae.