Salt lake
A salt lake or saline lake is a landlocked body of water
Water is a chemical substance with the chemical formula H2O. A water molecule contains one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms connected by covalent bonds. Water is a liquid at ambient conditions, but it often co-exists on Earth with its solid state, ice, and gaseous state . Water also exists in a...

 which has a concentration of salt
In chemistry, salts are ionic compounds that result from the neutralization reaction of an acid and a base. They are composed of cations and anions so that the product is electrically neutral...

s (mostly sodium chloride
Sodium chloride
Sodium chloride, also known as salt, common salt, table salt or halite, is an inorganic compound with the formula NaCl. Sodium chloride is the salt most responsible for the salinity of the ocean and of the extracellular fluid of many multicellular organisms...

) and other dissolved minerals significantly higher than most lake
A lake is a body of relatively still fresh or salt water of considerable size, localized in a basin, that is surrounded by land. Lakes are inland and not part of the ocean and therefore are distinct from lagoons, and are larger and deeper than ponds. Lakes can be contrasted with rivers or streams,...

s (often defined as at least three gram
The gram is a metric system unit of mass....

s of salt per liter). In some cases, salt lakes have a higher concentration of salt than sea water, but such lakes would also be termed hypersaline lakes
Hypersaline lake
A hypersaline lake is a landlocked body of water that contains significant concentrations of sodium chloride or other mineral salts, with saline levels surpassing that of ocean water . Specific microbial and crustacean species thrive in these high salinity environments that are otherwise...

. A salt lake that has a high content of sodium salts, especially chlorides and sulfates, is sometimes termed a soda lake.

Saline lake classification:
subsaline 0.5–3 ‰
hyposaline 3–20 ‰
mesosaline 20–50 ‰
hypersaline greater than 50 ‰


Salt lakes form when the water flowing into the lake, containing salt or minerals, cannot leave because the lake is endorheic (terminal). The water then evaporates, leaving behind any dissolved salts and thus increasing its salinity
Salinity is the saltiness or dissolved salt content of a body of water. It is a general term used to describe the levels of different salts such as sodium chloride, magnesium and calcium sulfates, and bicarbonates...

, making a salt lake an excellent place for salt production. High salinity will also lead to a unique flora and fauna in the lake in question; sometimes, in fact, the result may be an absence or near absence of life near the salt lake.

If the amount of water flowing into a lake is less than the amount evaporated, the lake will eventually disappear and leave a dry lake
Dry lake
Dry lakes are ephemeral lakebeds, or a remnant of an endorheic lake. Such flats consist of fine-grained sediments infused with alkali salts. Dry lakes are also referred to as alkali flats, sabkhas, playas or mud flats...

(also called playa or salt flat).
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