Contemporary - The Great Salt Lake

Since the last Lake Bonneville stage (Gilbert), the Great Salt Lake has fluctuated between lows of 1277m (4191 ft) and highs of 1285m (4217 ft) above sea level. Low levels within the lake have been found by shallow-water sediments in cores from the bed of the lake, and by polygonal networks of giant desiccation cracks which cover extensive areas of the lake bottom. The 1285m high stand level is controlled by a pair of low topographic divides that separate the Great Salt Lake (GSL) and the GSL Desert basin to the west. At the 1285m elevation the area of the GSL increases from its average 4506 square km (2800 sq mi) to 5955 sq km (3700 sq mi.)

Because the GSL basin is topographically closed the only outlet for water when it was at its highest stages was through the Red Rock Pass, now the only outlet is through evaporation.

  This image shows the outlines of the Great Salt Lake at its low of 4191 meters above sea level and high of 4217 meters above sea level, in dark and light blue respectively.

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