To a really small scale factoring that everything will be done to a smaller scale.

If this is possible what would be the ideal size and how can it be accomplished and maintained.

  • $\begingroup$ Hello mik9373 here on StackExchange! Please have a look on the tour! Please narrow your question down, e.g. what kind of technology is allowed, where you want to create that new ocean and in what timeframe it should be completed. As it stands, your question might be flagged as "Too broad". Also, real life example: The Salton Sea $\endgroup$ – DarthDonut Sep 24 '18 at 14:24
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    $\begingroup$ What marine life do you want - bacteria or blue whale? Also, marine aquariums are a thing that exists, and here, scaling up usually lessens the technological overhead needed. $\endgroup$ – bukwyrm Sep 24 '18 at 14:34
  • $\begingroup$ I have suggested an edit that moves your question to the body of the post instead of the title. Please try to not ask the question in the title. The title is a short description for anyone reading over the list of questions. It should be short enough to read at a glance. $\endgroup$ – John Locke Sep 24 '18 at 15:02
  • $\begingroup$ 0.55 square km is only 30 hectares. That's a minor lake. $\endgroup$ – RonJohn Sep 25 '18 at 4:16

Kind of, the problem is that the salt tends to poison the land around it. Have a look at the effect that inland shrimp farming is having in Southern India and in Indonesia. The land around the farms can't grow anything because the salt kills crops that take it up in their roots. If you already have a highly saline environment to which you are adding water then the Salton Sea might be the more apt point of reference.

The "ideal size" is however much land you have the water to flood and keep flooded. This will depend greatly on where in the world you want this salt lake to be, that will dictate evaporation rates etc... and therefore limit the surface area you can maintain.

You could potentially use the brine from desalination plants as a salt source if you want to place the lake in an area without naturally occurring salt deposits but with plentiful water.

  • $\begingroup$ Salt lake seems to have problems maintaining a constant ecosystem. Its small size change in inflow can change salinity level a lot (and inflow does change, due to the river shifting). A better example might another salty lake mentioned in Salton's wiki: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Salt_Lake $\endgroup$ – Bald Bear Sep 24 '18 at 15:22
  • $\begingroup$ @BaldBear Most of those difficulties are due to draw downs on the natural water resources of the area by human populations; left to their own devices the Salton Sea and Great Salt Lake were stable over the long term. $\endgroup$ – Ash Sep 24 '18 at 15:26

Let's consider some Earth examples

  • The Dead Sea
  • The Great Salt Lake
  • Others

Many salt lakes are so salty that they cannot support significant marine life. The Great Salt Lake in Utah, for example, supports brine shrimp, but pretty much nothing else. Too salty.

But, let's consider Jellyfish Lake in Palau.

Jellyfish lake (and others in Palau) are salt water lakes isolated from the oceans. Or, at least, they don't have clear waterways other than seepage from the oceans. They are isolated enough to have unique ecologies and animal life. And they're small. Jellyfish Lake is only 0.05 km2.

But they're very close to oceans.

If you want a guaranteed isolated lake, you have a problem. There needs to be something that equalizes the salinity of the water. Thus, the first two examples. The Dead Sea and Great Salt Lake are 100% isolated from any ocean — and they are too salty to support marine life.

How could you fix this?

With an outlet. The two lakes are the way they are because there is nowhere else for water to go. The Dead Sea is below sea level. It can't drain. The Great Salt Lake is surrounded by mountain ranges. There's no way to drain the water.1

But if your inland ocean has a way to drain the water, slowly enough that salt accumulates in the body but doesn't rise too high, then you have your problem solved. The problem (not being a geologist or climatologist), I'm not sure how you could do that. The ocean gets away with it because it's so honking big that you really can't drop enough salt into it to affect it globally (locally, but not globally). A small lake doesn't have that benefit. Maybe if you had something like limestone, soapstone, or sandstone, that allowed the water to seep into the aquifer but not enough keep the water fresh....

1<soapbox>other than through the Great Salt Lake Pumps, installed at a time when some people felt high water threatened the Salt Lake airport back in the 80s. They weren't really needed then and haven't been used since.</soapbox>


The mediterranean sea has been isolated more than once for millions of years at a time.

You have a weak spreading center creating a basin that is connected to the ocean or not depending on sea level, during glacial periods it becomes isolated, during interglacial periods when sea level is higher it reconnects to the ocean, this resets its salinity. of course reconnecting often involves a massive flood that can carve away a lot of rock, so each time it floods it the sea level has to drop lower and lower to isolate it.

Note that latitude has a big effect on this, the mediterranean became very salty becasue it nearly dried up because it is is a very dry part of the Hadley cell, if your sea is in a wetter location however it may not experience much salinity rise.

the down side is the more salt stable you want your sea to be the bigger it has to be.


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