Great Salt Lake : Utah
The Great Salt Lake is the largest salt water lake in the Western Hemisphere and the eighth-largest terminal lake in the world.
The lake is the largest remnant of Lake Bonneville, a prehistoric pluvial lake that once covered much of western Utah. The three major tributaries to the lake, the Jordan, Weber, and Bear rivers together deposit around 1.1 million tons of minerals in the lake each year. As it is endorheic (has no outlet besides evaporation), it has very high salinity, far saltier than seawater, which makes swimming similar to floating, and its mineral content is steadily increasing. Its shallow, warm waters cause frequent, sometimes heavy lake-effect snows from late fall through spring.
Although it has been called "America's Dead Sea", the lake provides habitat for millions of native birds, brine shrimp, shorebirds, and waterfowl, including the largest staging population of Wilson's phalarope in the world.
It contributes an estimated $1.3 billion annually to Utah's economy, including $1.1 billion from industry (primarily mineral extraction), $136 million from recreation, and $57 million from the harvest of brine shrimp.
Solar evaporation ponds (CENTER) at the edges of the lake produce salts and brine.
Morton Salt, Cargill Salt, Broken Arrow Salt and the Renco Group's U.S. Magnesium each extract minerals from the southern bay, and could benefit from a more natural mixture of water between the two sides of the lake.
The causeway (Bottom) running across the lake was built in the 1950s by the Morrison-Knudsen construction company for the Southern Pacific Railroad as a replacement to a previously built wooden trestle. About 15 trains cross the 20-mile causeway each day. Because water flow is so constrained by the causeway, it has a significant impact on various industries.
- Geo-Historical Text : Wikipedia
- Calculations : WolframAlpha Pro
- Satellite Imagery: ESRI ArcGIS
Overlay Source Image: NASA Johnson