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Pardon my no-knowledge of the topic but I am curious about following characteristics of sea water evaporation:

  1. is it more efficient to have thinner ponds to which water is re-added or deeper ponds?
  2. as the salinity of water dictates the evaporation is it more efficient to arrange ponds based on salinity and move water around, or just keep a pond until it evaporate?
  3. when sea water evaporates, does crystal salt fall down or remain on top?
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up vote 1 down vote accepted

1: If you have the real estate available, then it is more efficient to have large, shallow ponds. This way you maximize the surface area that is irradiated by the sun. Thus, more heat is transferred to the water.

2: The pond layout you describe seems complex and it would definitely require some level of control. The simplest way is simply to fill the ponds and wait for the water to evaporate. However, I have no clue if you could accelerate salt production with your scheme or if it is economically feasible.

3: The salt starts to crystalize on some sort of crystal nucleus. This can be any solid particle. The need for seed nuclei is common in all sort of crystallisation processes. Only the water evaporates, the salt never leaves the pond. Thus, it can not fall down to the top.

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Dohn Joe, thank You. Exactly to the point. Just few details, for 1, does vertical stacking of shallow ponds make sense to You? and what sort of material would ponds best be used of? And for 3, I didn't understand last sentence, You mean it never comes to top? – Velletti Jul 19 '14 at 11:50
The water evaporates at the very top layer, thus, salt crystals will grow on the top layer of the pond. Maybe, there was some misunderstanding on my part. – Dohn Joe Jul 21 '14 at 6:42

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