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Great Salt Lake


❶The three major rivers are each fed directly or indirectly from the Uinta Mountain range in northeastern Utah.

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Beginning in November , artist and author Alfred Lambourne spent a year living on the remote Gunnison Island , where he wrote a book of musing and poetry, Our Inland Sea. From November to March , he was alone. In March, a few guano sifters arrived to harvest and sell the guano of the nesting birds as fertilizer. Lambourne included musings about these guano sifters in his work. Lambourne left the island early in the winter of along with the first group of guano sifters. The lake lies in parts of five counties: Salt Lake City and its suburbs are located to the south-east and east of the lake, between the lake and the Wasatch Mountains , but land around the north and west shores are almost uninhabited.

The Great Salt Lake is fed by three major rivers and several minor streams. The three major rivers are each fed directly or indirectly from the Uinta Mountain range in northeastern Utah. The river then turns south in southern Idaho and eventually flows into the northeast arm of the Great Salt Lake. The Weber River also starts on the north slope of the Uinta Mountains and flows into the east edge of the lake.

The Jordan River does not receive its water directly from the Uintas, rather it flows from freshwater Utah Lake , which itself is fed primarily by the Provo River ; the Provo River does originate in the Uintas, a few miles from the Weber and Bear.

Due to its shallowness, the water level can fall dramatically in dry years and rise during high-precipitation years, thereby reflecting prolonged drought or wet periods. The change in the level of lake level is strongly modulated by the Pacific Ocean through atmospheric circulations that fluctuate at low frequency. The mostly solid causeway supporting the railway divides the lake into three portions: Because no rivers, except a few minor streams, flow directly into the north-west arm, Gunnison Bay, is substantially saltier than the rest of the lake.

This saltier environment promotes different types of algae than those growing in the southern part of the lake, leading to a marked color difference on the two sides of the causeway. Categorically stating the number of islands is difficult, as the method used to determine what is an island is not necessarily the same in each source.

Since the water level of the lake can vary greatly between years, what may be considered an island in a high water year may be considered a peninsula in another, or an island in a low water year may be covered during another year.

According to the U. Department of the Interior and the U. Geological Survey , "there are eight named islands in the lake that have never been totally submerged during historic time. All have been connected to the mainland by exposed shoals during periods of low water. The Utah Geological Survey, on the other hand, states "the lake contains 11 recognized islands, although this number varies depending on the level of the lake.

Seven islands are in the southern portion of the lake and four in the northwestern portion. The size and whether they are counted as islands during any particular year depends mostly on the level of the lake. The rest are in the southern portion of the Great Salt Lake. Stansbury Island and Strongs Knob remain peninsulas unless the water level rises well-above the average.

Due to the warm waters of the Great Salt Lake, lake-effect snowfalls are frequent phenomena in the surrounding area. Cold north, north-west, or west winds generally blow across the lake following the passage of a cold front, and the temperature difference between the warm lake and the cool air can form clouds that lead to precipitation downwind of the lake.

It is typically heaviest in Tooele County to the east, and north into central Davis County , and can deposit excessive snowfall amounts, generally within a narrow band which is highly-dependent on the direction the wind is blowing. The lake-effect snowfalls are more likely to occur in late fall, early winter and spring, due to the higher temperature differences between the lake and the air above it.

During summer, the temperature differences can cause thunderstorms to form over the lake and drift eastward along the northern Wasatch Front. Some rainstorms may also be partially attributed to the lake effect in fall and spring. Because of its high salt concentration, the lake water is unusually dense , and most people can float more easily than in other bodies of water, particularly in Gunnison Bay, the saltier north arm of the lake.

Since the Great Salt Lake is a shallow lake with gently sloping shores around all edges except on the south side, small variations in the water level greatly affect the extent of the shoreline. The water level can rise dramatically in wet years and fall during dry years. The water level is also affected by the amount of water flow diverted for agricultural and urban uses. The Jordan and Weber rivers, in particular, are diverted for other uses. A study used tree rings collected in the watershed of the Great Salt Lake to create a year record of lake level reconstruction.

The Great Salt Lake differs in elevation between the south and north parts. The causeway for the Lucin Cutoff divides the lake into two parts. The water-surface elevation of the south part of the lake is usually 0.

Most of the salts dissolved in the lake and deposited in the desert flats around it reflect the concentration of solutes by evaporation ; Lake Bonneville itself was fresh enough to support populations of fish. In the early s there was a project to dam off a third of the lake with dikes on the east side north of Salt Lake City to make a fresh water reservoir for drinking and irrigation. The project was abandoned before it got beyond the planning stage.

Record high water levels in the s caused a large amount of property damage for owners on the eastern side of the Great Salt Lake, and the water started to erode the base of Interstate This pumping project was designed to increase the surface area of the Great Salt Lake, and thus increase the rate of water evaporation.

The pumps drove some of the water of the Great Salt Lake into the , acre square kilometer Newfoundland Evaporation Basin in the desert west of the lake. A weir in the dike at the southern end of the Newfoundland Mountains regulated the level of water in the basin, and it sometimes returned salty water from the evaporation basin into the main body of the Great Salt Lake.

The project was shut down in June since the level of the lake had dropped by nearly six feet 1. The Utah Division of Water Resources credits the project with "over one-third of that decline". Although the pumps are no longer in use, they have been kept in place in case the level of the Great Salt Lake ever rises that high again. The high salinity in parts of the lake makes them uninhabitable for all but a few species, including brine shrimp , brine flies , and several forms of algae.

The brine flies have an estimated population of over one hundred billion and serve as the main source of food for many of the birds which migrate to the lake. Several islands in the lake provide critical nesting areas for various birds.

Access to Hat, Gunnison, and Cub islands is strictly limited by the State of Utah in an effort to protect nesting colonies of American white pelican Pelecanus erythrorhynchos. Some species may have been extirpated from the islands. For example, a number of explorers who visited the area in the mids e.

This species today occurs only in California, however, at that time the name C. This species occurs in Utah today, though apparently no longer on the islands of the Great Salt Lake. Their tiny, hard-walled eggs or cysts diameter about micrometers [46] are harvested in quantity during the fall and early winter. They are fed to prawns in Asia, [38] sold as novelty " Sea-Monkeys ," sold either live or dehydrated in pet stores as a fish food, and used in testing of toxins, drugs, and other chemicals.

Salinity differences between the sections of the lake separated by the railroad causeway result in significantly different biota. A phytoplankton community dominated by green algae or cyanobacteria blue-green algae tint the water south of the causeway a greenish color.

North of the causeway, the lake is dominated by Dunaliella salina , a species of algae which releases beta-carotene , and the bacteria-like haloarchaea , [48] which together give the water an unusual reddish or purplish color, [47] and the bacteria converts non-toxic mercury into toxic methyl mercury, which then flows into the Southern portion of the lake in a heavy brine layer through the causeway.

Although brine shrimp can be found in the arm of the lake north of the causeway, studies conducted by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources indicate that these are likely transient. Students will choose an organism in the Great Salt Lake ecosystem to research from the list provided. This activity will work best if each organism is chosen once. Portable microscopes may be valuable for the field trip. Containers to store lake samples may be taken also.

Class time and computer lab time to research as a class will also be provided. The field trip, class time and computer lab time may take class periods. The student will either draw the organism or find a picture of the organism.

The students will be creating information cards about the organism chosen. A picture of the organism will be on the front of the card and the information about the organism will be on the back of the card Finding out the students prior knowledge about food chains and the Great Salt Lake. To find out the students prior knowledge, as a class we develop a KWL chart.

We will talk about what we know about the Great Salt Lake and food chains, and what we would like to know about the Great Salt Lake and food chains. Upon completion of the unit we will fill in the what we learned portion of the KWL chart.

The students will also be keeping a lab book in which they can record this information, and any other questions, ideas, etc.

Such as what the organism eats, what it is eaten by, a description of the organism, where it lives, and any other connections it has to the Great Salt Lake. Once the students have collected information and a picture of their organism, the students will be making an information card on the organism chosen to wear around their neck while playing the game.

The students will be given a piece of heavy paper to make their card. On the back of the card, the students will be writing the facts about the organism. On the front of the card the students will glue or draw their picture of the organism.

The students will then color the picture and attach the yarn to the card to make a necklace. Sep 13, homework help great salt lake city since !

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The largest inland body of salt water in the Western Hemisphere is the Great Salt Lake in northern Utah. The lake’s basin is defined by the foothills of the Wasatch Range to the north, east, and south and by the Great Salt Lake Desert to the west. The lake is fed by the Bear, Weber, and Jordan.

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