Methods Manual for Salt Lake Studies/Scope and Introduction

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Scope and Introduction[edit]

Salt lakes provide an excellent opportunity to study systems that are relatively unstudied. The unique features of these lakes - the arid environments in which they occur, the varied ionic composition of their brines, and the ephemericity of many of these lakes, provide challenges for the researcher.

Methods developed for use in freshwater environments may not provide usable, or reliable, results in saline systems. Many analyses require dilution of samples to reduce salt effects, and this reduces the sensitivity of the analysis, sometimes to the point of uselessness. The challenges of measuring the characteristics of saline and hypersaline systems have been addressed by many authors over the years, however the modified methods they have proposed are scattered throughout the literature.

It is hoped that this manual will provide researchers and students of salt lakes with a comprehensive reference to methods used in salt lake studies.