san francisco’s salt ponds

Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket
How INSANE are these beautiful technicolor salt ponds in the southern portion of the San Francisco Bay? Holy f**K mother nature!

So how does the coloring work?

“The palette of colors that makes the salt ponds such a vibrant sight reflects a complex ecosystem. Colors in salt ponds range from pale green to deep coral pink, and indicate the salinity of the ponds. Microorganisms create these spectacular colors, changing their own hues in response to increasing salinity. In low-to mid-salinity ponds, green algae proliferate, lending the water a green cast. As the salinity increases, an algae called Dunaliella out-competes the other microorganisms in the pond, and the color shifts to an even lighter shade of green. In mid-to high-salinity ponds, high salt concentrations actually cause the Dunaliella to produce a red pigment. Millions of tiny brine shrimp in mid-salinity ponds contribute an orange cast to the water. Halophilic (salt-loving) bacteria such as Stichococcus also contribute red tints to high-salinity brine. Weather can affect the colors of the ponds. When wind creates choppy conditions, the colors appear murkier. Heavy rain can dilute the brine, causing the colors to shift toward the hues found in lower-salinity ponds or even turn the water clear” – Kite Aerial Photography

p.s. these patterns would make for great prints. #imthinkinprabal #justsayin

Photos: Jerry Ting, apdonovan and webmink via Environmental Graffiti

You may also like


  1. I live here. It's much better flying over it than driving through it. Driving through it looks like muddy water… LOL. >_<

    I love this, though. I've never seen the south bay look so pretty! Makes me appreciate it that much more.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *