“Beautiful” is certainly not an adjective with which tailing ponds are commonly associated. These often-controversial basins are formed as a result of water containing waste materials being drained into pools and can be damaging to the environment. And yet, particularly when they are seen from above, there is an undeniable aesthetic beauty about these latently destructive man-made creations. Tranquil and serene, they almost remind one of abstract paintings.
The images in this article all show tailing ponds for mineral mining refuse in rural Utah, in the United States. Although potentially toxic, the water forms landlocked lagoons in shades of turquoise, greenish or royal blue, azure and charcoal grey that contrast wonderfully with the red-colored soil around them.