Morton Salt Mine - Glendale, Arizona
N 33° 32.196 W 112° 20.198
12S E 375894 N 3711576
Quick Description: A working salt mine within the greater Phoenix metro area.
Location: Arizona, United States
Date Posted: 6/16/2010 11:23:16 PM
Waymark Code: WM927V
The Phoenix area was formed as part of the Basin and Range disturbance, which means that in between the mountains such as the Estrellas, Camelback Mountain and Mummy Mountain, there are deep valleys that have filled in with soil over time. In the west valley, a salt deposit known as the Luke Salt Deposit, contains over 15 cubic miles of salt. It may be as thick as 10,000 feet. No one has drilled to its bottom yet to be sure.
Forming a roughly triangular shape, the deposit’s southwest corner is near Cotton and Indian School, the northern corner is in El Mirage, and the southeastern corner is near 99th Avenue and McDowell Road. The center, where it is at its deepest, is Glendale and Dysart Roads. Not surprisingly, Morton Salt has a mining operation there. The plant pumps water into the salt deposit. Morton Salt purchased the salt mine from Southwest Salt in 1985, Southwest Salt had been mining salt here since 1969.
Two active brine wells were drilled 3,600 feet below ground level. Water is pumped or injected from five water wells down the inner tubing of each well, where it dissolves the salt and returns it up the outer casing and back to the surface as saturated brine. The brine is pumped out into solar evaporation ponds 4-5 feet deep. The salt from this operation is used for industrial purposes and not as table salt.
Mine Type: Working Mine
Mineral Collecting: Not Known
Material Mined: Salt
Operation: Underground Mine
Surface Features: Yes
None, the mine is not open to the public.
Any associated website: [Web Link]
Any Other information:
Two earthcaches discuss the details of the salt deposit and the mine. The associated website lists one of them. The other is below.
Optional photograph welcomed.