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New Breach Allows Flow on the Great Salt Lake

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Detailed Description

The new Great Salt Lake breach was opened on Dec. 1 by the Union Pacific Railroad Company. This created a new opening between the north and the south arm of the lake, allowing water to flow between the two sides. This time-lapse video shows the breach opening, which took about two hours. Before the new breach was opened, the north arm of the Great Salt Lake was at an historic low. Water had stopped flowing through the old Great Salt Lake causeway breach, preventing water to travel between the southern and northern portions. Water levels in the south arm were approximately 3.3 feet higher than the north arm when the breach was opened. The USGS will begin to monitor discharge through the new breech in cooperation with Utah Department of Environmental Quality. The USGS provides real-time lake elevation readings for both the north arm (Great Salt Lake near Saline, UT) and south arm (Great Salt Lake at Saltair Boat Marina, UT) of the Great Salt Lake. These gauging stations will be a valuable resource to observe the water level changes as the two portions of the lake combine and even out. The USGS maintains a record of Great Salt Lake elevations dating back to 1847 and has continuously measured the elevation of the lake since 1938. 




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