STS094-712-021 Sambhar Salt Lake, India July 1997 The elongated Sambhar Salt Lake, situated in a depression of the low, northeast-southwest trending Aravalli Mountains (a few faint ridgelines are visible in the upper left quadrant), is recognizable at the center of the image. The general region is on the eastern fringe of the Great Indian (Thar) Desert and the western edge of the semiarid climate of northwest India. The lake is just west of the Indian city of Jaipur. This ephemeral salt lake measures approximately 20 miles (32 km) in an east-west direction. Several distinct sections of the lake can be identified. For example a couple of areas of standing water are visible (uniform, tan-looking) as well as the highly mineralized, dry surface (whitish-looking area). The lake is used intensively for the commercial mining of salt. Water levels in the lake fluctuates dramatically, depending on how much precipitation the region receives in a given year.