Rock 365 : Day 8 : Chile Saltpeter #365photos


Day 8 : Chile Saltpeter (or Salitre) is a deposit of sodium nitrate
found in the Atacama Desert region of Chile. It is used in the making
of of fertilizers, explosives, solid rocket propellants and food
preservatives. It was quarried extensively prior to World War 1 and
its economic significance was so great that it was the basis of the
“Saltpeter War” (1879-84) between Chile, Peru and Bolivia. The white
sodium nitrate forms as a caliche deposit by the leaching of salts and
evaporation of ground water drawn to the surface by capillary action.


~ by hypocentre on January 8, 2010.

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