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Great Salt Lake

Great Salt Lake

The Great Salt Lake, located in the northern part of the U.S. state of Utah, is the largest salt water lake in the Western Hemisphere, and the eighth-largest terminal lake in the world. In an average year the lake covers an area of around 1,700 square miles (4,400 km2), but the lake's size fluctuates substantially due to its shallowness. For ins...

The Great Salt Lake, located in the northern part of the U.S. state of Utah, is the largest salt water lake in the Western Hemisphere, and the eighth-largest terminal lake in the world. In an average year the lake covers an area of around 1,700 square miles (4,400 km2), but the lake's size fluctuates substantially due to its shallowness. For instance, in 1963 it reached its lowest recorded size at 950 square miles (2,460 km2), but in 1988 the surface area was at the historic high of 3,300 square miles (8,500 km2). In terms of surface area, it is the largest lake in the United States that is not part of the Great Lakes region. 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) and its mineral content is steadily increasing. Due to the high density resulting from its mineral content, swimming in the Great Salt Lake is similar to floating. 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.

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Theresa Braine
July 28, 2021
phys.org
The southern portion of Great Salt Lake in Utah is at its lowest levels since recording began in 1847, as the state reels in extreme drought that doesn't seem poised to let up.
Associated Press
July 26, 2021
the Guardian
Level likely to drop further in coming months, official says, with millions of birds reliant on lake and boats left high and dry
Matt McGrath - Environment correspondent
July 8, 2021
news.yahoo.com
Without global warming, the searing heat seen in the western US and Canada "just doesn't occur," say scientists.
Helen Briggs - BBC Environment correspondent
July 8, 2021
news.yahoo.com
Experts are heartened by a new found interest in the "underappreciated and under-threat" insects.
Associated Press
July 6, 2021
the Guardian
The receding water is affecting wildlife and could send arsenic-laced dust into the air that millions breathe
July 6, 2021
The Indian Express
The waves have been replaced by dry, gravelly lakebed that's grown to 1,942 square kilometers. Winds can whip up dust from the dry lakebed that is laced with naturally occurring arsenic.
By LINDSAY WHITEHURST, Associated Press
July 6, 2021
Chron
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- The silvery blue waters of the Great Salt Lake sprawl across the...
Lindsay Whitehurst
July 6, 2021
phys.org
The silvery blue waters of the Great Salt Lake sprawl across the Utah desert, having covered an area nearly the size of Delaware for much of history. For years, though, the largest natural lake west of the Mississippi River has been shrinking. And a drought gripping the American West could make this year the worst yet.
By LINDSAY WHITEHURST
July 6, 2021
AP NEWS
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- The silvery blue waters of the Great Salt Lake sprawl across the Utah desert, having covered an area nearly the size of Delaware for much of history. For years, though, the largest natural lake west of the Mississippi River has been shrinking.
James Rogers
May 28, 2020
Fox News
A storm has revealed a 120-year-old shipwreck in Utah's Great Salt Lake.
Christopher Carbone
January 17, 2020
Fox News
Mounds of a rare crystalline mineral emerged above the surface of Utah's Great Salt Lake.
By LINDSAY WHITEHURST, Associated Press
January 10, 2020
Houston Chronicle
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Rare salt formations have been documented for the first time on the shores of the Great Salt Lake, and they could yield insights about salt structures found on Mars before they disappear for good. They're showing up now in part because water levels at the largest natural lake west of the Mississippi have been lowered by drought and water diversion, exposing more shoreline. It's a story that's playing out throughout the American West as a growing population puts more demand on scarce water resources. Along the high-salinity waters Great Salt Lake, the expanded shoreline means there are more places where water can bubble up to the surface from warm, sulfate-rich springs. When it hits the cold air, a mineral called Glauber's salt, or mirabilite, separates out. "It has to be exposed to just the right conditions," said park ranger Allison Thompson, who first saw them in October. The tiny crystals have built up over the last several months, eventually creating flat terraces stacked atop one another like the travertine rimstone and dam terraces at Yellowstone's Mammoth Hot Springs. From far away, the mounds can blend into the snowy landscape along the flat blue of the lake edged by distant mountains. From above, though, the cascading terraces are like an enormous piece of lace laid over the sandy earth. An up-close look reveals long, spire-like crystals clustered jaggedly together like something out of science fiction. There are now four mounds at the Great Salt Lake beach, growing up to 3 feet (1 meter) tall and several yards wide. Mirabilite mounds are seen more often in places such as the Antarctic, bolstered by the constantly cold temperatures. There are also indications of similar structures on Mars, so study of the mounds in Utah...

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