This document is intended as a source of general information and facts about Great Salt Lake, Utah. This U.S. Geological Survey information sheet answers frequently asked questions about Great Salt Lake. Topics include: History, salinity, brine shrimp, brine flies, migratory birds, and recreation. Great Salt Lake, the shrunken remnant of prehistoric Lake Bonneville, has no outlet. Dissolved salts accumulate in the lake by evaporation. Salinity south of the causeway has ranged from 6 percent to 27 percent over a period of 22 years (2 to 7 times saltier than the ocean). The high salinity supports a mineral industry that extracts about 2 million tons of salt from the lake each year. The aquatic ecosystem consists of more than 30 species of organisms. Harvest of its best-known species, the brine shrimp, annually supplies millions of pounds of food for the aquaculture industry worldwide. The lake is used extensively by millions of migratory and nesting birds and is a place of solitude for people. All this occurs in a lake that is located at the bottom of a 35,000-square-mile drainage basin that has a human population of more than 1.5 million.