Great Salt Lake

Great Salt Lake is the largest salt water lake in the Western Hemisphere and also the largest lake in the United States which is not a part of the Great Lakes region. This lake covers a surface area of 4,400 square kilometers. The average depth of the lake is 14 feet and at the deepest point, it is 33 feet deep which makes it relatively shallow.

This is the reason that a slight rise in water lever expands the surface area of the lake considerably. In 1849, scientific measurements of the lake were taken for the first time and since then its level has varied by 20 feet and the shoreline has been shifted as much as 15 miles.


Quick Facts: –

  • The total watershed area of the Great Salt Lake is approximately 21,000 square miles.
  • Its salinity ranges somewhere from 5 to 27% which makes it too saline to support fish and other aquatic creatures.
  • Its maximum length is 120 kilometers and maximum width is 45 kilometers.
  • It is a remnant of a great ice age lake named as Lake Bonneville which rose from a saline lake 30,000 years ago.
  • It is sometimes referred to as America’s Dead Sea as it exists within an arid environment and has chemical characteristics similar to that of the oceans.
  • Because of the shallowness of the Great Salt Lake, just one foot of water loss can make a big difference in its size.
  • The water level can fall dramatically in dry years and rise during high precipitation years.
  • It receives water from numerous perennial and intermittent streams that originate in the surrounding mountains.