SALT MINERALS AT WADI EL NATRUN SALINE LAKES, EGYPT. NEW IMPLICATIONS FROM REMOTE SENSING DATA
The salts of Wadi El Natrun saline lakes are made up of sodium chloride (NaCl, halite), sodium sulfate (Na2SO4, thenardite) and sodium carbonate (Na2CO3.10H2O, natron) deposited on the bottom of the Lakes and surrounding sabkhas. The lakes of El Raizonia, Umm Risha, El Fasda, El Beida and El Gaar are the most potential lakes for economic halite salts. Furthermore, El Beida Lake contains Na2SO4 salts, mixed with halite, and Umm Risha and El Fasda lakes are characterized by natron salt showings. The chemical analysis of the saline water revealed dominant Cl-, Na+, Ca2+, CO32-, and HCO3- as major ions; while Mg2+, SO42- and NO3- are defined as minor ions. Chemical analysis of the salt deposits of these lakes shows similarity in the mineral composition with that of the saline water indicating that the water of such lakes is the main source of the realized salt minerals.