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Great Salt Lake- Hydrosphere

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The map shown above is a local scaled map, which shows Great Salt
Lake. This lake is located in the northern part of the United States of
Utah, and it is one of the largest salt lake water in the Western
Hemisphere. Also it is one of the fourth largest terminal lakes in the
world. This lake has very frequent changing conditions, which makes it
hard for plants, animals, and microbes to adapt. This lake has a high
salt concentration, which makes it 3.5 to 8 times saltier than the
ocean. Regarding the biosphere, Salt Lake is not habitable for most
species except certain algae forms, brine flies and shrimp. The Salt
Lake is salty primarily due to lack of an outlet into the ocean. As a
result, water evaporates at a very high rate from the lake, leaving the
salt behind. Dryness of this area and deposition of minerals from
nearby mountains like Wasatch Range by streams contribute to
accumulation of salt. It is a major remnant of a prehistoric lake, named
Lake Bonneville. Bear, Weber and Provo/Jordan are the three major
rivers that drain into the Great Salt Lake.


The regional map shows three divided areas in the Great Salt Lake, the
first section is the Famington Bay, which is the red dot, and is between
the north and south causeways of the Antelope Island. The Famington
Bay contains about 5 percent of salt. The yellow dot is the location of
the second section Gilbert Bay, which is located in the north Antelope
Island and south of the railroad causeway. Most of the recreation of the
lake takes place in the Gilbert Bay. The Gilbert Bay contains about 14
percent of salt. The third section is located in the north arm of the
Great Salt Lake and it is the saltier part of the lake containing 26
percent of salt. The green dot is the location of Gunnison Bay with 28
percent salinity is not habitable for many organisms that thrive in
Gilbert Bay. The prominent aquatic species found here are the
photosynthetic sulfur bacteria, which gives a reddish purple
appearance to the water.


The global map shows that not all drains lead to the ocean. Great Salt
Lake is very broad and flat it sits on the bottom of a “close basin”. A
close basin means that there is no outlet for the water to flow out.
There is a red line drawn around Great Salt Lake that shows that it
does not have any streams to release water. These lakes are called
Terminal lakes and the only way that water can flow out is through
evaporation. Practically anything that flows inside this lake stay in the
lake. Great Salt Lake also has a high mineral content and has very salty
water. Although the water that flows in the lake is fresh is still contains
a small amount of dissolved mineral. When water evaporation occurs
there is still plenty of minerals that stay behind. Minerals have
accumulated for thousand of years to very high levels.