Three depositional settings are accumulating Quaternary-age evaporites: 1) Continental interior playas and salt lakes. 2) Seepage-fed marine-margin deposits. 3) Saline interior seaways. In terms of volume of evaporite salt accumulated, there are far greater volumes of salts in Quaternary continental salts than in marine-fed accumulations.
The table at the end of the localities listing illustrates climatic and physical properties for some of the Quaternary salt lakes discussed in this section. In the drainage basins of many of the continental lakes, especially those with the significant volumes of salt preserved in the lake sump, there are outcrops or subcrops of salt diapirs sourced in older salt layers that underlie or lay adjacent to the present-day drainage sumps.
Mane of the world larger salt lake ecosystems are located in interior drainage sumps or hydrographically closed (endoheic) basins. Because the waters in the basins' uplands are fresh, the feeder rivers and groundwater systems are heavily utilised for drinking water and irrigation. This leads to regional salinisation and falling water levels (click here for more information)
Sunset over Lake Eyre.