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Water and salt balance of Great Salt Lake, Utah, and simulation of water and salt movement through the causeway

Water Supply Paper 2450

Prepared in cooperation with the Utah Department of Natural Resources, Division of State Lands and Forestry
By:
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Abstract

The water and salt balance of Great Salt Lake primarily depends on the amount of inflow from tributary streams and the conveyance properties of a causeway constructed during 1957-59 that divides the lake into the south and north parts. The conveyance properties of the causeway originally included two culverts, each 15 feet wide, and the permeable rock-fill material.

During 1980-86, the salt balance changed as a result of record high inflow that averaged 4,627,000 acre-feet annually and modifications made to the conveyance properties of the causeway that included opening a 300-foot-wide breach. In this study, a model developed in 1973 by Waddell and Bolke to simulate the water and salt balance of the lake was revised to accommodate the high water-surface altitude and modifications made to the causeway. This study, done by the U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the Utah Department of Natural Resources, Division of State Lands and Forestry, updates the model with monitoring data collected during 1980-86. This report describes the calibration of the model and presents the results of simulations for three hypothetical 10-year periods.

During January 1, 1980, to July 31, 1984, a net load of 0.5 billion tons of dissolved salt flowed from the south to the north part of the lake primarily as a result of record inflows. From August 1, 1984, when the breach was opened, to December 31,1986, a net load of 0.3 billion tons of dissolved salt flowed from the north to the south part of the lake primarily as a result of the breach.

For simulated inflow rates during a hypothetical 10-year period resulting in the water-surface altitude decreasing from about 4,200 to 4,192 feet, there was a net movement of about 1.0 billion tons of dissolved salt from the south to the north part, and about 1.7 billion tons of salt precipitated in the north part. For simulated inflow rates during a hypothetical 10-year period resulting in a rise in water-surface altitude from about 4,200 to 4,212 feet, there was a net movement of about 0.2 billion tons of dissolved salt from the south to the north part and no salt was precipitated in the north part of the lake.

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Water and salt balance of Great Salt Lake, Utah, and simulation of water and salt movement through the causeway
Series title:
Water Supply Paper
Series number:
2450
ISBN:
0-607-86822-8
Year Published:
1997
Language:
English
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location:
Denver, CO
Contributing office(s):
Utah Water Science Center
Description:
vi, 64 p.
Country:
United States
State:
Utah
Other Geospatial:
Great Salt Lake