The Great Salt Lake

Published 13 Jan 2017


The Great Salt Lake is the largest residue of the Bonneville Lake in Utah. It is one of the largest lakes in the world. The lake has a big impact within Utah. It plays a big role in the ecological balance of Northern Utah. Many forms of organisms are found in this lake. That make it a wildlife restoration area and for hydrological purposes in Utah.

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The said lake is composed of three rivers directed to many streams. This means that life in the lake is perse and abundant. And it is also surrounded by islands which are inhabited with wildlife and environmental resources which can be a great contribution in biopersity in the area.

In the field of Biology, The Great Salt Lake is a good interest for study because it has an excellent flora and fauna. It is a good example for ecological balance and preservation of wildlife.


Great Salt Lake as an ecosystem is only limited to some organisms species because of the salinity of the lake. Shrimps, flies and algae are commonly found and are abundant in the region. Brine flies have the largest population up to hundred million. This species of fly serves as food for some birds and attracts different species of birds to migrate in the region.

The lake has been a good sanctuary for the birds. According to a study there are private duck clubs, waterfowl management areas and a bird refuge all over the lake. These maintain the safety and protect the birds’ wildlife.

Islands in the lake have good vegetation and serve as nesting station for the different kinds of birds in the area. The green and rich islands in the lake are a good source for primary food to sustain the life of the many organisms that exist in it.

But fishes do not exist in the lake. The salinity of the water is not suitable for the existent of fishes in the area. Thus, the only aquatic animal found in the lake and has able to survive are the brine shrimp. And this species of shrimp have many important roles not only in the balance of ecosystem in the vicinity of the Great Salt Lake but also in other fields. These shrimps are imported to Asia and sold as feed for prawns in some of the large industries in the world. Brine shrimps are also used in testing toxicity like in drugs and other chemicals.

Because of the large area of the lake, its salinity is not the same to some of its parts and it contributes to the varying organisms found in an area. In the south-most region, there is a community of phytoplankton which consists of green and blue green algae and caused the water to look green. A lot of beta-carotene and haloarchaea releasing algae called Dunaliella salina are prominent the northern region. This type of algae makes the water look reddish.

In addition, the lake has its effect on the climate of the region and this is termed as the lake-effect snow. This can cause the deposition of large amounts of snowfall to Tooele Country and Davis Country.

But it has also its negative effects; the increasing vegetation of algae is a threat in the mercury level of the lake. But based from studies the mercury level is controlled and organisms like the birds feeding in the lake are still safe to eat.


From the gathered data and facts about The Great Salt Lake, I can say that The Great Salt Lake played an important function for biology especially in the area of biopersity due to its abundant wildlife and resources it can sustain life and preserve natural resources.

People of Utah must take good care of The Great Salt Lake because it is an asset for their city. And it can give a better sanctuary for the birds, an aquatic haven for the shrimp and algae, a home for green flora species, and also a wonder of nature to be proud of.


  • Czerny, Peter G. (1976). “The great Great Salt Lake.” Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University Press. ISBN 0-8425-1073-7
  • Jackson, R. (2004). “The Great Salt Lake.” Retrieved 23 April 2007 from Utah History Encyclopedia <>.
  • Morgan, Dale L. (1947). “The Great Salt Lake.” Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press. ISBN 0-87480-478-7
  • Stricker, N. (2006). “Science at Great Salt Lake: Program pairs grad students and schoolkids.” Retrieved 23 April 2007 from The Salt Lake Tribune.
  • W.R. Hassible and W.G. Keck (1993), “The Great Salt Lake.” U.S Department of the Interior / U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Government Printing Office: 1993 0 – 337-928 : QL 2
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