The Great Salt Lake in Utah is a large body of water bordered on the west by barren desert and on the east by a major metropolitan area. It is the fourth largest terminal lake in the world, covering about 2,300 square miles in 1986. Since its historic low elevation of 4,191.35 feet in 1963, the lake rose to a new historic high elevation of 4,211.85 feet in 1986. Most of this increase (12.2 feet) occurred after 1982. The rise has caused $285 million of damage to lakeside industries, transportation, farming, and wildlife. Accompanying the rapid rise in lake level has been a decrease in salinity--from 28 percent in 1963 to about 6 percent in 1986. This has resulted in changes in the biota of the lake from obligate halophiles to opportunistic forms, such as blue-green algae and, most recently, a brackish-water fish.
Additional Publication Details
USGS Numbered Series
Hydrologic characteristics of the Great Salt Lake, Utah, 1847-1986
Water Supply Paper
U.S. G.P.O. ;
For sale by the Books and Open-File Reports Section, U.S. Geological Survey,
v, 32 p. :ill. (some col.), maps (some col.) ;29 cm.; 1 plate in pocket