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Uyuni, Salar de

Uyuni, Salar de (sälärˈ dā ōyōˈnē) [key], salt flats (c.4,250 sq mi/11,000 sq km), Potosí dept., SW Bolivia, in the altiplano. The Río Grande de Lípez flows into the flats in the southeast, and brine can cover portions of the salt flats during the rainy season. Salt is mined, and there is tourism, including hotels made of salt. The salt flats are a remnant of extinct Lake Minchin, which covered some 16,600 sq mi (43,000 sq km) during the Late Pleistocene. Salar de Uyuni is separated from the smaller Salar de Coipasa to the north by the Cordillera de Llica.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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