Stained-Glass Salt Ponds
If you're familiar with the crisp, white salt ponds of Ile de Re, France, or Tamil Nadu, India, then the vibrant colors of the in the San Francisco Bay Area will surprise you. Ranging in shades from blue green to chartreuse to magenta, these shallow extraction ponds look like stained-glass art from above. Their distinct colorings are a result of different salinity levels, each of which favors one of the three types of microorganisms—Synechococcus, Halobacteria, and Dunaliella—that reside within them. The presence of algae and brine shrimp adds to the varying hues.