Originally posted by gregthebunny
wow thats crazy,now i can also understand better why they do bomb tests there:
1:because its a secret area[duh]
2:because the ground is so strong if it makes a huge impact such as the sedan crater the effect of the blast could be bigger in a normal
[edit on 10/7/2006 by gregthebunny]
This particular dry lake is typical of the desert dry lakes I've been on and I expect Groom Lake would be no different.
When dry, the surface is quite hard and 3/4 ton pickups - Ford 250 and the like - with large campers don't sink into the dry surface.
They just smooth out the cracked areas and leave tracks that aren't very deep.
Perhaps 1/8" - 1/4" and an area with lots of traffic getes smooth, but the smooth areas aren't very deep and still about parallel with the
undisturbed areas next to the well traveled areas.
This particular lake floods over most rainy seasons, but it dries up quite hard.
When it's wet, you can get stuck very quickly.
There can be slight differences mineral-wise between the dry lakes, but for the most part their makeup is fairly similar.
I'm sure ShadowHawk could elaborate on that.
I do know that when you cross the edges of some of them that are still wet or have running water on the edge, the liquid will discolor aluminum such
as found on a dirt bike's spoked wheels.
Our guess is that the water is quite alkaline and that's what does the number on aluminum.
Aside from the famed 20 Mule Teams of the Borax Corporation that bring in borax - from hills that have washed down to the lake bed and left deposits
from what I understand - dry lake beds are also mined for talcum.
One thing I've always thought about these lake beds and I'm hoping ShadowHawk will elaborate upon is that they are the first stages of a salt
Enough evaporation of rainwaters over millennia seems like it would eventually start to lay down a layer of salt.
Said salt can be quite deep.
Bonneville Salt Flats are fairly thin in places due to potash mining over the years, but there is an effort that's underway and has been for several
years now to restore the lakebed.
They are gaining salt thickness, but as you would expect, not very fast.
If I remember right, Bonneville's salt crust used to range from 3' - 6' thick.
Lake Gairdner in Australia - about 20 x 100 miles in size has salt deposits ranging down to 10' deep and beyond from what I understand.
The hot rodders in Oz trek to Lake Gairdner every year for their Land Speed Trials.
And like many things Australian, it's a tough trek with the last 200 miles being very unimproved dirt road . . . not to mention the black flies when
you get there.
Things in Oz - like major cities - are a long way apart.
About 2000 miles between major cities in most cases and in one instance I believe the distance is 3000 miles.
Roads between these cities are fairly well maintained gravel roads and are not paved like you'd find in the US.
The distances quoted may be in kilometers as are most things in Oz, but my Australian friend who quoted the distances did say miles . . . probably for
my benefit since I don't use the metric system much at all.