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Salt marshes

"Pink saline" ©Magali CHESNEL

I am fascinated by the salt marshes.  

By observing them from above, you can behold the spectacular designs of Mother Nature. The intricate patterns, the actions and reactions of the elements which all blend together to form a canvas that never fails to impress.  

Influenced and inspired by Rothko’s principles: relying on the primacy of raw emotion, to push the boundaries of form and color to make photos appear as "painting-like" as possible. At the same time showcasing nature’s natural magnificence through the simplest processes.  

The harvesting of one of our natural resources: salt, on the salt marsh of Gruissan - France, is executed in a way that respects the harmony of nature preserving the biodiversity of its plants and birds.

Its salt is harvested directly from sea water and his types of salt extraction is the solar evaporation. 

My aerial photo shows how the salt for de-icing the highways, streets..., is harvested during the summer time.

More than 15,000 tons of salt will be harvested in a few weeks for the road salt, as we can see here, some 200 tons, for human consumption and 30 tons to be sold as 'Flower of salt’. 

Île Saint Martin - Gruissan

At the approach of the equinox, the salt worker (the guide of the waters) of the Saline of Gruissan empties one by one the tables, to collect the crystals of salt. This drying makes visible the salt layer which can vary from 4 to 7 cm of thickness.

Then comes the moment of manual and mechanical harvesting of the salt. More than 15,000 tons of industrial salt will be harvested in a few weeks, as well as a small production of heritage salt (200 tons of food salt) and 30 of Flower of salt.
Here, a tractor breaking the salt layer, giving birth to pastel color rails blooming with the Dunaliella salina, an algae rich in beta-carotene.

In 2018, the quality of the salt obtained the eco-label Value Natural Regional Natural Park, the first one in France.

À l'approche de l'équinoxe, le saunier (le guide des eaux) vide une à une les tables de leur saumure, pour récolter les cristaux de sel.

Cet assèchement rend alors visible la couche de sel qui peut varier de 4 à 7 cm d'épaisseur. Vient alors le moment de la "récolte mécanique", pour le sel industriel, qui peut être utilisé de 14 000 façons différentes : salage des routes, adoucisseurs d’eau, alimentation, cosmétique…

Ici, un tracteur brise la couche de sel, faisant naître des rails de couleurs grâce à la Dunaliella salina, une algue riche en béta-carotène.

Plus de 15000 tonnes de sel industriel seront récoltées en quelques semaines, une petite production de sel patrimonial (200 tonnes de sel alimentaire) et 30 de fleur de sel.

 En 2018, le Salin a reçu l'éco-label Valeur Parc Naturel Régional Naturel, le premier de France!

Photo taken with my drone above the salt marsh of Gruissan -France

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