Utah Water Science Center

Great Salt Lake

Filter Total Items: 5
Date published: January 23, 2018
Status: Active

Great Salt Lake Elevations

Great Salt Lake Elevations

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) has been collecting water-surface-elevation data from Great Salt Lake since 1875 and continuously since October 1902. The north part of the lake has been monitored since April 1966.

Get current and historical lake levels here....

Contacts: Mike Freeman
Date published: January 16, 2018

Earthshots 1972-2016: Satellite Images of Environmental Change

These images show the dramatic effects of the Great Salt Lake's high water levels in the 1980s. These effects included a great increase in the lake’s area, the opening of the causeway crossing the lake, and the creation of a new evaporation basin west of the lake. By 2016, years of drought and increased water use have brought the lake to record low levels. This low level of the lake can...

Contacts: Robert Baskin
Date published: May 1, 2017
Status: Active

Great Salt Lake

Great Salt Lake is located on a shallow playa. Consequently, small changes in the water-surface elevation result in large changes in the surface area of the lake. This is particularly evident when the lake spills into the west desert at an elevation of about 4,215 feet, greatly increasing its area. The satellite imagery shows changes in the area of the lake from 1972, through the high-runoff...

Contacts: Cory Angeroth
Date published: March 21, 2017
Status: Active

Deep Brine Layer

In 1959, a solid-fill railroad causeway was constructed across the middle of the Great Salt Lake. The construction of the causeway divided the lake into two parts; the north (Gunnison Bay) and the south (Gilbert Bay). By 2013, water flowed from one side to the other through only two culverts near the center of the causeway. In December 2013, concern about the structural integrity of the...

Date published: February 20, 2017

Great Salt Lake Nutrients: Inflows and Gilbert Bay

Great Salt Lake is a hypersaline terminal lake and is an important habitat for migratory waterfowl. It is sensitive to climate and human-induced changes, and both make the long-term outlook for the lake uncertain. Because Great Salt Lake is near a populated area, there is an increased demand for the water that feeds the lake, and there is an increased risk for elevated concentrations of...