Monte Kali (Heringen)

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Monte Kali
Salzberg kaliwerk wintershall heringen.jpg
Monte Kali and Hornungskuppe hill
Highest point
Elevation 530 m (1,740 ft) [1]
Prominence 250 m (820 ft)
Coordinates 50°54′17″N 9°59′20″E / 50.90472°N 9.98889°E / 50.90472; 9.98889Coordinates: 50°54′17″N 9°59′20″E / 50.90472°N 9.98889°E / 50.90472; 9.98889
Geography
Location Heringen, Hesse, Germany

Monte Kali and Kalimanjaro are local colloquial names for the spoil heap or spoil tip that towers over the town of Heringen, Hesse, Germany. It is one of a number of sites where the K+S chemical company dumps sodium chloride (common table salt), a byproduct of potash mining and processing, a major industry in the area.

The names are puns of Kali (shorthand for Kalisalz, German for "potash") on "Monte Carlo" and "Kilimanjaro." The heap lies directly next to the border with the state of Thuringia, and hence next to the former inner German border with what was once East Germany.[2]

Monte Kali and Heringen; in the background, a similar heap at Philippsthal

The heap rises over 250 metres (820 ft) above the surrounding land, its summit reaching 530 metres (1,740 ft) above sea level.[1] According to the Werra Potash Mining Museum in Heringen, Monte Kali has been in operation since 1976; as of August 2016, it covered 98 hectares (240 acres) and contained approximately 201 million tonnes of salt, with another 900 tonnes being added every hour and 7.2 million tonnes a year.[3]

Ecological impact[edit]

The amount of salt that goes to the region's soil and rivers is enormous. The Werra river has become so salty (up to 2.5 g/L chloride ions, which is saltier than parts of the Baltic Sea) that few freshwater organisms can survive in it. The groundwater has become salty as well.[4] K+S are licensed to keep dumping salt at the facility until 2030.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Ungewöhnliche Bergtour mit Weitblick – Eine Besichtigung des Monte Kali" [An Unusual Mountain Tour with a Far-Reaching View – A Visit to Monte Kali] (in German). Stadt Heringen (Werra) – Tourismus [City of Heringen (Werra) – Tourism]. Retrieved 2014-09-24. 
  2. ^ Monte Kali on Google Satellite Maps
  3. ^ a b "Information und Zahlen zum Monte Kali" [Information and Figures about Monte Kali] (in German). Werra Kalibergbau Museum, Heringen. January 2014. Retrieved 2014-09-24. 
  4. ^ "Kali Bergbau und Versalzung" [Potash Mining and Salination] (in German). Das Projekt Lebendige Werra (The Living Werra Project). Retrieved 2014-09-24. 

External links[edit]

  • Media related to Monte Kali at Wikimedia Commons