Laguna Salada (Mexico)

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Laguna Salada (Spanish, "salty lagoon") is a vast dry lake some 10 meters below sea level in the Sonoran Desert of Baja California, 30 km (19 mi) southwest of Mexicali.[1] The lake's shape vaguely resembles a rhombus. When dry, the flatness of the exposed lake bed sediments makes it a favoured location for recreational driving. It is also notorious for its dust storms (when dry), usually the result of monsoonal thunderstorms during the summer. During times of significant rain the lagoon can fill completely with water, leaving the unpaved road along its west bank as the only means of traversing the area. Flanked by the Sierra de Los Cucapah and the Sierra de Juárez mountain ranges, the lake is approximately 60 km (37 mi) long and 17 km (11 mi) at its widest point.

Laguna Salada
Laguna Salada.jpg
Laguna Salada is located in Baja California
Laguna Salada
Laguna Salada
Location in Baja California
Laguna Salada is located in Mexico
Laguna Salada
Laguna Salada
Location in Mexico
LocationSonoran Desert
Mexicali Municipality, Baja California
Coordinates32°22′N 115°39′W / 32.36°N 115.65°W / 32.36; -115.65Coordinates: 32°22′N 115°39′W / 32.36°N 115.65°W / 32.36; -115.65
Lake typeEndorheic basin
EtymologySalty lagoon in Spanish
Primary inflowsrain dependent
Primary outflowsTerminal (evaporation)
Basin countriesMexico
Max. length60 km (37 mi)
Max. width17 km (11 mi)
Shore length1250 km (160 mi)
1 Shore length is not a well-defined measure.

Tectonic activityEdit

The lake itself is located on the bottom of a shallow depression, a graben, which is linked to the San Andreas Fault, and the East Pacific Rise as part of the Laguna Salada Fault. This fault is connected to the Salton Trough fault which holds a similar depression, the Salton Sink. This sink is bigger than Laguna Salada and contains the Salton Sea.[2] The 2010 Baja California earthquake occurred here.


  1. ^ "Land Below Sea Level". By David K. Lynch, Thule Scientific.
  2. ^ "Geology of the Salton Trough" (PDF). David L. Alles, Western Washington University.

External linksEdit