acquired March 23, 2022
A Salty Sanctuary in Baja California Sur
- Landsat 8 - OLI
- Data Date: March 23, 2022
- Visualization Date: April 21, 2022
Laguna Ojo de Liebre on the Pacific coast of Mexico is the site of one of the largest saltworks in the world. The lagoon and saltworks lie near the town of Guerrero Negro, about halfway between the U.S-Mexico border and the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula.
The saltworks was founded here in 1954. Each year, workers extract 9 million metric tons of salt by evaporating and crystallizing seawater in collection ponds that cover 33,000 hectares (82,000 acres). The evaporation and crystallization ponds surrounding Laguna Ojo de Liebre are featured in this natural-color image, which was acquired on March 23, 2022, by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8.
In addition to salt production, the area also supports commercial fisheries and ecotourism. The lagoon is part of the Vizcaíno Biosphere Reserve. This UNESCO World Heritage Site, the largest protected area in Mexico, is an important whale sanctuary for the North Pacific grey whale. The whales migrate between their winter nursery grounds in the lagoons and their summer feeding grounds in the Chukchi, Beaufort, and Bering seas. Between January and March, some coastal towns host festivals celebrating the gray whales as they come to birth calves after their long migration. The lagoons also host countless other marine species and migrating birds.
- McLean, H., et al. (1987) The Geology of West-Central Baja California Sur, Mexico, U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 1579.
- NASA Earth Observatory (2012, March 25) Vizcaíno Biosphere Reserve.
- NASA Earth Observatory (2009, September 27) Laguna Ojo de Liebre, Mexico.
- NASA Earth Observatory (2008, December 23) Volcanoes on Baja California Peninsula.
- NASA Earth Observatory (2005, December 19) Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur, Mexico.
- Rhoda, R. & Burton, T. (2010) Companion website for Geo-Mexico: The Geography and Dynamics of Modern Mexico, Sombrero Books, 274 pp.
- Salinas-Zavala, F., et al. (2000) Coastal Management at Ojo de Liebre, Baja California Sur, in Land Stewardship in the 21st Century: The Contributions of Watershed Management USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station Proceedings RMRS-P-13, p. 389.