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Author Topic: Are we shooting ourselves in the foot ?  (Read 3615 times)

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Offline Old-N-Slow

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Are we shooting ourselves in the foot ?
« on: May 30, 2020, 02:29:21 PM »
Is it time to re-visit the role of Intrepid Potash in the
way we as racers use the Bonneville salt flats?

Are we shooting ourselves in the foot ?


There seems to be a strong consensus that the salt on the salt flats is going away.  WHERE the salt is going occupies a lot of our speculation ? especially since we are agreed that we are just about OUT of the salt that makes the track usable.

The salt flats are the remainder of an ancient inland lake that was initially part of the rest of the world?s oceans.  When the ocean levels fell, the ?lake? that Bonneville became kept the dissolved salts in place in Utah.  Since the lake had no normal outlet, the rain water ? and the salt ? remained at Bonneville.  The only economical ways to remove that water ? and the salt - is by pumping.  This is actually one of the cheapest ways to do ?extraction,? just spread out the brine in a ?pan? and let the sun evaporate the excess water.

Much of our negative thinking ? with some justification ? gets focused on the potash removal to the ?south side? of the interstate, where it is concentrated and eventually sold.  Some of the sodium chloride ? table salt- which is a byproduct, is sold for winter road use.  Most of us believe there is a HUGE amount of sodium chloride remaining ? essentially useless to Intrepid ? below I-10.

The common knowledge is that Intrepid gathers the salts by pumping brine from the North side to the South side involves a lot of salt ? but 5-10 times as much water is also pumped.  Intrepid doesn?t want the water, but they can?t economically harvest the salt without having to also take the water the salt is dissolved in.

Reportedly, Intrepid did NOT pump more salty brine ?south? in 2019 because the spring was so wet, there was insufficient drying time to concentrate the salts enough to make an efficient harvest.

 
When Intrepid pumps south, the pumping creates a ?cone of depression? in the subsurface water.  With long term pumping, this deficit becomes larger.  Over a number of years, the ?reach? of this cone of depression can be MILES from the physical location of the actual pump.  Many pumps create additional cones ? sometimes interacting with each other.
 
More pumps means less ground water, and a lowered water table.  Does a lowered water table actually help us race on the salt flats?  Does the water sink in better, and allow the track to ?recover? from rain more quickly?  Does Intrepid?s pumping actually HELP the racers?

Perhaps part of 2019?s wet salt was due to Intrepid NOT pumping salt brine south.

As the winter and spring rains flooded the race track, and the water table had moved back toward the surface ? due to the lack of pumping ? and that the pre-race showers would have less ?space? to sink into the track.  Since the pumping had not created this ?thirsty? top layer of salt, the track remained wet for the season.

More reading:  https://geology.utah.gov/map-pub/survey-notes/history-of-potash-production-from-the-salduro-salt-marsh-bonneville-salt-flats-tooele-county/

Have we created our own problems by insisting that Intrepid stop pumping from the salt flats  ?
« Last Edit: May 30, 2020, 02:41:52 PM by Old-N-Slow »

Offline salt

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Re: Are we shooting ourselves in the foot ?
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2020, 03:30:43 PM »
You're making an interesting point.
I believe the scenario you're outlining could indeed play a small role in the permanently sub-par salt conditions we are facing now that the salt crust is almost gone.
However, if we could somehow apply about 20 Million tons of salt to the racing surface and not pump any brine out thereafter, we would most likely be in much better shape. With no salt added, we're fogged.
But what do I know?  Ask people like Kiwi Sid, or Russ and Eric Eyres.
2 Cents from:
Willi
Who Has More Fun?

Offline maj

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Re: Are we shooting ourselves in the foot ?
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2020, 04:00:12 PM »
Sure your going to get more years where the salt is wet if the pumps stop, much like our salt which can look hard and dry but still leave a good wet drip off the wheel arches and slicks up more if you rub your foot on the surface ,

Should the race track be on the other side of the highway in a long controlled environment pond

Offline Stan Back

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Re: Are we shooting ourselves in the foot ?
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2020, 05:21:58 PM »
Any comments on the geologist (that I understand the BLM is listening to) who says we're the ones causing the damage?
Past Member of the San Berdoo Roadsters -- "California's Most-Exclusive Roadster Club" -- Fifty-Seven Years of Leadership  Is Enough

Offline manta22

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Re: Are we shooting ourselves in the foot ?
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2020, 07:21:40 PM »
Any comments on the geologist (that I understand the BLM is listening to) who says we're the ones causing the damage?

Stan, you're referring to Brenda, the Smirking Scientist?
Regards, Neil  Tucson, AZ

Offline kiwi belly tank

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Re: Are we shooting ourselves in the foot ?
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2020, 08:33:21 PM »
Last year was a heavy snow pack year followed by an extremely wet spring with cool temperatures that rolled right into summer. The water table was saturated & there wasn't our usual hot temperatures to evaporate the surface moisture. A week before SW I knew it wasn't going to be a very good year for us & then it pi$$ed down on Thursday & Friday so everyone stood around for a few days with their finger up their aktion086 waiting for a shot at the Bonneville Goat Track.

It's not rocket science, it's slurry mining. It lakes water to move the salt out of there & lots of hot days to turn it back into a solid so Intrepid can process the $hit. The BLM has done a great job of confusing the facts to throw doubt into the salt depletion situation over the years because the last thing they want is to lose the swillion dollar paycheck from lease rights & product percentage! Their last act with the U of U Associate Professor Brenda Bowen & "her feasibility study" was worthy an Oscar nomination. "No conclusive evidence found". Oh really! & this coming from a one-eyed money receiver who suggested the sun was removing salt through evaporation! Whaaaat.........

The Bureau of Land Mismanagement has lost sight of why they're here in the first place, & that was to manage & protect "PUBLIC" lands but they are systematically closing off land to the public for profit! As usual, follow the money!!!!!!!

Count Willi  :-D knows the score, how much longer will it be usable for us, as in salt condition or the gate is closed. My hope is that the profit goes out of it for Intrepid & they shut it down before there is nothing left.
  Sid.     



Offline Stan Back

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Re: Are we shooting ourselves in the foot ?
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2020, 09:00:04 PM »
I'm not dialed in on BLM practices ? but it seems to me that beside their supposed mission of caring for public lands, they also seem to stimulate the lawmakers when they can turn a dollar or two.  Like grazing, drilling, fracking, mining and more.

To me, most of these operations don't fall under the guise of protecting our national lands.  But most do not enhance the the natural state of those properties.  To me, driving on a solid, hard salt pan ain't hurting it. 

Since my first days being there in the early 70's (mind you ? now almost 50 years ago) I've wondered about those daily "coal cars" leaving.  If you're taking something out of the mix, how in the fuke can you claim to be preserving it.  I don't know what glues the salt together, but the recipe seemed to work years ago.
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Offline will6er

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Re: Are we shooting ourselves in the foot ?
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2020, 09:41:48 PM »
If the salt is dissolved in the "standing" water, it seems to me that any pumping would pull most of this solution through the system and back to the pumps, leaving little for racing. The only thing that puts salt on the surface is evaporation.
Does this make sense???

Will Willis
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Offline jl222

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Re: Are we shooting ourselves in the foot ?
« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2020, 11:00:28 PM »
.
  That's what Kiwi Belly Tank has been saying for YEARS.


            JL222

Offline panic

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Re: Are we shooting ourselves in the foot ?
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2020, 08:31:29 AM »
BLM is not merely indifferent to automobile sports, they are actively opposed, based on their behavior over the last 30 years.

Offline SPARKY

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Re: Are we shooting ourselves in the foot ?
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2020, 10:33:22 AM »
haul it back, spread it around, and quit pumping----when the water below the surface becomes saturated to the point it can not absorb anymore salt then the salt will start building back up---Intrepid doesn't want this because it will dilute the potash percentage when rainwater percolates from surface to subsurface

MY SWAG is the surface salt without potash doesn't set up as hard or is less durable and stable 
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Offline kiwi belly tank

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Re: Are we shooting ourselves in the foot ?
« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2020, 11:22:22 AM »
I'm not dialed in on BLM practices ? but it seems to me that beside their supposed mission of caring for public lands, they also seem to stimulate the lawmakers when they can turn a dollar or two.  Like grazing, drilling, fracking, mining and more.

To me, most of these operations don't fall under the guise of protecting our national lands.  But most do not enhance the the natural state of those properties.  To me, driving on a solid, hard salt pan ain't hurting it. 

Since my first days being there in the early 70's (mind you ? now almost 50 years ago) I've wondered about those daily "coal cars" leaving.  If you're taking something out of the mix, how in the fuke can you claim to be preserving it.  I don't know what glues the salt together, but the recipe seemed to work years ago.
Stan brings up a relevant point here that I've been talking about for a while now & most of the long time racers like us recognize once it's pointed out.
When the pumping program started back in the 90's, the first thing that was obvious was the change in the surface salt from the brilliant white color to a yellow-ish white. The next thing we noticed was how easily we could bang in a tent peg for our shade & a few days later they would fall out. Before the pumping you were having trouble banging them in & it took two men & a boy to get them back out again a week later.
The structure of the salt had changed like the binder was gone from the mix & back then that threw up a flag on the pumping program to me. It was supposed to be returning salt to the flats from the Mine tailings but like I said back then, this has just loosened up the salt to make it easier to move right back down the drain to the Mine.
It's not rocket science here! Filling up the tub with water, letting it saturate with salt & then pulling the plug is not a depositing program, it's a removal program. If it was pumped in from the ponds & left to evaporate, that would be a depositing program.
 
Some of you will remember when I located what I thought was the heart of the salt flats in that green solid crystal section & in the two years of checking it I wasn't sure if it was moving or depleting. The last time I was trying to plot it I got rained out of the place & never really came up with an answer. I did ask Brenda Bowen about this & she looked at me like I was from another planet (no wise cracks please) & just changed the subject. With all this knowledge in hand I had a lot of questions to ask directly at the public meeting to be held after the public salt tour with the BLM, Intrepid, UT Gov, U of U, Save The Salt & the TV camera. That "public meeting" became a private meeting & I wasn't included, imagine that! Previously I had been contacted by certain people from our side of this salt problem who wanted me to not rock the boat so to speak.
That was the point I decided those long trips to the salt when I was the only one there & maybe an occasional terrorist were over.
The salt is dying & our racing legacy might die with it. My only hope is that the profit margin goes out of mining potash from the Bonneville Salt Flats before it becomes an unusable wast land like the Magcorp mess at the Knolls exit on I-80.
 Be safe, see you when ever, hopefully!
  Sid. 

Offline gowing

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Re: Are we shooting ourselves in the foot ?
« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2020, 12:31:35 PM »
I don't see either BLM or Intrepid changing anything until they milk the cow completely dry.

  In my ideal world, I see a group/trust/co-op/whatever of high net worth individuals
acquiring Intrepid and operating it responsibly and in the best interest of the salt.

  If Intrepid was operated just enough to pay it's bills and fund the restoration efforts, how long would the salt last?
 Restoration is probably not possible, so management of what is left should be a priority.

  I believe that the mine could be a very effective resource in "saving the salt" instead of a tool to destroy a national treasure in the name of profit.
  All it takes is gaining control of the business.  In reality........All that takes is money.

  Unfortunately, I don't have enough in the piggy bank to buy it,  the majority of us don't.
individually that is....... but together, I see a way out.

  We can all bitch and complain about the government not looking out for the best interests of
the land, or we can act ourselves. 

  Not by paying for "awareness" or lobbyist, lawyers and delays, but by actually grabbing the reins and leading.
 
Put your money where your mouth is.

 


Offline jl222

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Re: Are we shooting ourselves in the foot ?
« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2020, 01:19:36 PM »

  How much money mouth you talking about?

       JL222

Offline gowing

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Re: Are we shooting ourselves in the foot ?
« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2020, 02:08:43 PM »
The price?
Waaay more than us normal broke racers could ever afford,
but maybe not so much for a successful hedge fund manager looking for a write-off.