THE GREAT SALT LAKE

The Great Salt Lake is an inland sea in northwestern Utah, next to Salt Lake City. Its absolute location is 41°N, 112°W at an elevation of 4,210 feet. Its area is approximately 2,328 mi² (on average). At its widest point, the lake is 80 miles by 50 miles. At its deepest point, the lake is 44 feet deep. The area of the lake varies greatly. In the winter when evaporation is slower, the lake gets a lot bigger.

The salt content of the lake is an approximate average of 11.5%, much higher than the Pacific Ocean's 3-3.5%. This happens since the lake is fed by many (freshwater) streams that bring in minerals. Also, the Great Basin, the area the lake is situated in, is an area of interior drainage. That means no water flows out. When the lake dries up in the summer, it leaves 200,000 tons of easy-to-gather salt. There is so much salt (and other minerals) that the shores of the lake are actually white.

There are no fish residing in the Great Salt Lake. However, there is a small brine shrimp in the lake. The larvae of a particular insect whose name i cannot recall also lives in the lake until it matures into its adult form.

Scientists believe that there was once a gigantic freshwater lake called Lake Bonneville. This lake was larger than all the Great Lakes combined. Lake Bonneville eventually dried up into many smaller lakes, the Great Salt Lake being the largest remaining one. This theory is much debated, however.

So, there you have it, a Who, What, When, Where, Why (and How) on the Great Salt Lake.

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