The Great Salt Lake is the largest salt lake in North America and the largest in the hemisphere. It is located in the basin between the Nevada Mountains and the Wasaqi Mountains in the western United States. It belongs to the state of Utah. The lake is 40km away from the state capital, Salt Lake City. The east of the lake is the Rocky Mountains and the desert in the west.
The Great Salt Lake has formed 14,500 years ago and was called Bonneville Lake in ancient times. The Great Salt Lake is currently the northeastern part of the ancient lake, the residual water body of the Bonneville ancient lake, with only about one-tenth the size of Lake Bonneville.
The average salt content of the lake is 12%, while the salt content of seawater is only 3.5% so people will float in the Great Salt Lake, just like in the Dead Sea. Eleven small islands in the lake form a peninsula. Antelope Island is the largest island in the lake, which is also the best choice for viewing the scenery of the Great Salt Lake.
Great Salt Lake Introduction
The Great Salt Lake is the remnant lake of the Great Freshwater Lake in the Great Ice Age of the Pleistocene. The dry natural environment of the Great Salt Lake is similar to that of the famous Dead Sea, and the chemical characteristics of the lake water are the same as those of seawater. The area of the lake has changed greatly in history. In 1873, the area was 6,200 square kilometers; in 1963, it was only 2,460 square kilometers, and in the early 1970s, it was about 4,000 square kilometers.
The Great Salt Lake is rich in natural resources, with a salt reserve of 6 billion tons, of which table salt accounts for 3/4, as well as minerals such as magnesium, potassium, lithium, and boron. The Great Salt Lake has long been Utah's most famous tourist destination. Salt Lake City is the largest city and capital in the state, located on the lake's southeastern shore. There are two parks in the Great Salt Lake area: Antelope Island State Park and Great Salt Lake State Park. Antelope Island State Park has the best natural conditions, visitor center, and other supporting facilities. The Southern Pacific Railroad spans the Great Salt Lake.
Great Salt Lake Size
The lake's water volume depends on precipitation and evaporation, so the lake's area and water levels vary greatly. The Great Salt Lake extends from northwest to southeast, 120 kilometers long, 45 kilometers at the widest. According to the last record, it covers an area of about 2,460 kilometers (950 sq mi) as of 2021. The lake is located at 1,284 meters (4,212 feet) in the Rocky Mountains and is surrounded by mountains. The lake is high in the south and low in the north, and the low is 1277 meters (4191 feet). Its average depth is about 4.5 meters (15 feet).
The Great Salt Lake is a stagnant lake with no drains. The lake is replenished mainly from precipitation and melting alpine snow. However, due to its desert-type climate, the evaporation of the lake far exceeds the recharge, and the Great Salt Lake has become one of the most salinity inland lakes in the world. Rain and snow continuously flush minerals and trace elements from mountains and deserts into lakes. This natural ecological cycle has resulted in higher and higher concentrations of minerals and trace elements in salt lakes over hundreds of millions of years.
The lake has many scattered islands; Antilope Island is the most famous one, providing excellent natural conditions for raising waterfowl and sheep. The organisms in the lake are limited to brine shrimp, algae, etc. Shrimp seeds are one of the sources of tropical fish feed in the international market. The local area has a Utah Lake Park and a waterfowl and bird sanctuary. The Great Salt Lake has become a major tourist attraction in Utah due to the development of the rich minerals in the lake area, the development of water sports activities, and the establishment of wildlife sanctuaries to protect precious wild birds such as pelicans, herons, cormorants, and terns, etc.
Since the beginning of the 21st century, the lake area and water level of the Great Salt Lake have generally declined. By the end of July 2021, the Great Salt Lake in Utah has reached the lowest water level on record. The dried-up part of the salt lake is called the Bonneville Salt Flat. The flat salt ground is a good place for racing cars, airstrips, and spacecraft to land. If you come to Utah, don't miss the great natural beauty of the Great Salt Lake.