Utah Water Science Center

Great Salt Lake

The Great Salt Lake is a kaliedascope of colors and conditions that change with every setting sun and rising moon. You may never see the same thing twice as the stars never line up the same but you will never forget each moment you are there. It is a remnant of its former self, Lake Bonneville, and patriarch to its future self. Visit the lake and it will never cease to amaze. 

Great Salt Lake Reaches New Historic Low

Filter Total Items: 5
Date published: July 24, 2021
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.

In July 2021, the southern portion of the Great Salt Lake reached a new historic low, with average daily water...

Contacts: Ryan C Rowland
Date published: July 24, 2021
Status: Active

Quantifying Nutrient Mass and Internal Cycling in Great Salt Lake

The Great Salt Lake (GSL) is an indispensable economic and ecological resource.  It provides critical habitat and food for millions of migratory birds, and generates nearly $200 million per year from recreational activities and the brine shrimp harvest industry (Bioeconomics, 2012).  These uses, habitat and aquaculture, rely on a balanced supply of nutrients in the Great Salt Lake to support...

Date published: July 24, 2021
Status: Active

Great Salt Lake General Information, Facts, News, Publications and Partners

In July 2021, the southern portion of the Great Salt Lake reached a new historic low, with average daily water levels dropping about an inch below the previous record set in 1963, according to U.S. Geological Survey information collected at the SaltAir gage.  

-Find all news releases associated with the Great Salt Lake...

Contacts: Ryan C Rowland
Date published: January 16, 2018
Status: Completed

Earthshots 1972-2016: Satellite Images of Environmental Change

Dramatic changes in lake levels are observed in these images from 1972-2016. The completion of the Railroad Causeway in 1959 divided the Great Salt Lake in half. Because all of the freshwater inflows enter the southern part of the lake and evaporation is greater in the northern part, the north arm became much more saline than the south; well defined in the satellite images. Several years of...

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...