Great Salt Lake

8 to 15 islands

The Great Salt Lake ( engl. Great Salt Lake ) is a salt lake in northern Utah in the USA, where the salinity exceeds that of the sea far. The induced salinity coloring makes the lake also an eye-catcher from space.


The lake is at about 1,280 meters above sea level, with a length of about 120 kilometers and 48-80 kilometers in width. It covers an area of ​​about 4,400 this square kilometers. The depth of the lake is about an average of 4.5 meters, the deepest place at about 9 meters. It is a remnant of the prehistoric Lake Bonneville Lake in the Great Basin. According to him the city of Salt Lake City was named the city and its suburbs are located on the east coast of the lake. In the west and southwest of the Great Salt Lake Desert adjoins.

The lake has three major tributaries: the Bear River and Weber River flow to from the Wasatch and Uinta Mountains, and from the southerly flow of the Jordan River to Utahsee. The three rivers flow all in the southern part ( Gilbert Bay), thus is the northern half of the lake (Gunnison Bay) significantly saltier. The salt content is located in the south at about 9 percent, in the northern part at about 25 Halophilic bacteria give the northern part of a distinct red color. The lake is in many places difficult to reach because it is bordered by Watts.

Main component of the dissolved salts is sodium chloride, so salt, which is obtained in shallow artificial ponds for trading purposes. It has been estimated that the lake contains about five billion tons of sodium chloride in solution.

Water level

The water level of the lake can vary greatly depending on the weather. On one hand, annual fluctuations determine which depend on the seasons - so the lake in autumn has its annual low. But there are also longer-term fluctuations to pursue. In very wet years, the water content in dry it can, however, decrease rapidly as water is used for urban and agriculture.

The lowest so far measured water level (1963 ) was at 1,277 meters above sea level. NN. , The highest contrast, with 1,284 meters above sea level. NN. in 1986 and 1987, about 7 feet higher. In recent years (2002/2003), the level is, however, strongly declined. Thus, the salt mines are partially become islands in the middle of a salt desert. The level of the lake is a good indicator of the local climate.


Despite the salinity of up to 27 percent more species were found of marine life in the lake, including many different saltwater shrimp. In addition Kiemenfußkrebse are like the brine shrimp available. The brine shrimp is harvested since the 1950s, in large numbers, in this context also called Sea Monkey, and sold in stores such as fish food. From it many water birds, such as the Kaliforniermöwe and also insects feed.


The lake is used commercially in several ways. This involves the removal of salts and minerals, such as potassium sulfate, magnesium chloride, and table salt. Next brine shrimp are harvested. The adjacent cities and agriculture related water from the lake. Through the town and the agriculture of the lake, however, was very dirty. The lake attracts tourists; there is also the opportunity to sail on the lake.

The Great Salt Lake is also the site of Robert Smithson's Spiral Jetty Landscape Art (1970).

Railway embankment Lucin Cutoff

By the lake of the Lucin Cutoff, a railroad line, the dam bisects the lake runs. The connection between Ogden and Lucin was originally put into operation on March 8, 1904. 103 -mile route was a 12 miles ( about 19 ​​km) long wooden bridge which was at that time the longest in the world. In July 1959, the bridge was replaced by a parallel dam.