Saturday, October 4, 2014

Great Salt Lake - A Miserly Warden of Water

The Great Salt Lake

Lake Bonneville was a prehistoric, landlocked basin that covered most of western Utah. During the last Ice Age, its banks were breached and a catastrophic flood ensued. Still lingering in the high desert, Great Salt Lake is a last remnant of that ancient ocean.

The covetous Great Salt Lake is a miserly warden of water. It's an endorheic basin, a terminal drainage where streams go to die. Channeled by three major rivers, aqua pura flows in freely but immediately becomes trapped in a saltine prison.

The Pacific will not be reached because outflow is not allowed although some fortunate fluid is permitted release through evaporation or seepage. After thousands of years, this egotistical effect has transformed the lethargic lake into a mineral stew.

In a region influenced by the Mormon religion, the rebellious reservoir remains defiant as it is virtually uninhabitable. Even though this destination is distinguished by turquoise water and white sand beaches, the place is not a tropical paradise. Wading into the warm water through a swarm of brine flies is sticky, stinky and strange.

Such a selfish nature is due to its extreme shallowness combined with a dangerous drought. Sadly, the Great Salt Lake's water level is in a dramatic decline. So, please don't judge our American Dead Sea. I, for one, hope this Wonder of the West lives for all eternity.

Landlocked in western Utah

Still lingering in the high desert

A last remnant of Lake Bonneville

An endorheic basin

The terminal lake is a saltine prison

It's a rebellious reservoir

The place is virtually uninhabitable

White sand beaches and bright blue water

The lake is extremely shallow

The American Dead Sea

A Wonder of the West

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