Sabkha deposits can accumulate into thick crusts. Early settlers collected sabkha minerals to use in baking or laundry detergent. In the 19th century, a tiny town appeared nearby called Soda City. Residents collected and pressed the minerals into blocks that were shipped by train to be sold as washing soda. Few traces are left of the town today.
forms where sand is seasonally saturated by rising ground water. When the water evaporates away in late summer, minerals similar to baking soda cement sand grains together into a hard, white crust. Areas of sabkha can be found throughout western portions of the sand sheet, wherever the water table meets the surface. Some wetlands in the sabkha
are deeper with plentiful plants and animals, while others are shallow and salty.