Geosynthetics June/July 2022 - 15

rainfall, hailstorms and wind speed. It
is ideal to have meteorological stations
on-site where the extraction process is
carried out (Lopez et al. 2019).
The brine and the climate
Groundwater brine deposits are a result
of a combination of geological events
across time. The geographic position
of salt flats-in Bolivia, Argentina and
Chile, as well as in China and some
parts of Australia-meets the geological
conditions for massive groundwater
brines with high content of lithium salts.
Studies carried out in the United
States by the U.S. Geological Survey
(Bradley et al. 2013) showed that the
typical climate for salt flats is between
semiarid and hyperarid. In terms of
geographic classification, climate
categorization is based on temperature,
wind speed, latitude and elevation,
all of which help determine the
UV index and precipitation levels
(Christopherson 1994). Table 1 summarizes
the characteristics at the Salar
de Atacama in Chile, Salar de Uyuni
in Bolivia, and Salinas Grandes in
Point near every salar
Argentina: temperature, wind speed, UV
index and precipitation.
In the Lithium Triangle, there is wide
variation between high and low temperatures.
This means a PVC geomembrane
must withstand extreme temperatures
once installed. Even if the air temperature
is not overly hot compared to that in
other deserts around the world, a PVC
geomembrane absorbs infrared energy
from the sun. The film increases its temperature
at noon up to 158˚F (70˚C). In
winter, air temperatures can drop as low
as 14˚F (-10˚C).
Precipitation levels in the Lithium
Triangle are very low, especially in summer.
Typically, the evaporation rates
are higher than the precipitation level.
Because of the low level of precipitation
in Salar de Atacama in Chile, there are no
expected failures due to plasticizer leaching
in geomembranes deployed there and,
consequently, the loss of geomembrane
elongation. In contrast, the precipitation
rates are higher at Salar de Uyuni in
Bolivia and Salinas Grandes in Argentina.
Wind is important for intensifying
water evaporation. However, wind also
promotes plasticizer loss, which increases
Property
Temperature max. to min. (˚C)
Wind speed max. to min. (kph)
Salar de Atacama, Chile (2,300 m.a.s.l)
UV index
Precipitation max. to min. (mm)
Temperature max. to min. (˚C)
Wind speed max. to min. (kph)
Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia (3,804 m.a.s.l)
UV index
Precipitation max. to min. (mm)
Temperature max. to min. (˚C)
Wind speed max. to min. (kph)
Salinas Grandes, Argentina (1,411 m.a.s.l.)
UV index
Precipitation max. to min. (mm)
12
199 to 141
5
6 to 2
12
139 to 58
GeosyntheticsMagazine.com
15
12
70 to 40
30 to 17
18 to 15
8
20 to 6
40 to 24
12
30 to 0
30 to 17
20 to 18
12
22 to 5
18 to 1
42 to 40
6
13 to -13
55 to 52
12
3 to 1
20 to -1
45 to 42
January-February
24 to 10
44 to 42
June-July
16 to 0
45 to 41
TABLE 1 Some climate
characteristics for locations near
three South American salares
November-December
24 to 9
42 to 41
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Geosynthetics June/July 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Geosynthetics June/July 2022

Geosynthetics June/July 2022 - Cover1
Geosynthetics June/July 2022 - Cover2
Geosynthetics June/July 2022 - 1
Geosynthetics June/July 2022 - 2
Geosynthetics June/July 2022 - 3
Geosynthetics June/July 2022 - 4
Geosynthetics June/July 2022 - 5
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Geosynthetics June/July 2022 - Cover3
Geosynthetics June/July 2022 - Cover4
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