What Is the Largest Salt Lake In the United States and Why Is the Great Salt Lake In Utah So Salty?

The Great Salt Lake In Utah is the largest salt lake in the United States.

Water from freshwater streams flows into the Great Salt Lake, but it never flows back out.

When it evaporates, salt (sodium chloride) and other minerals are left behind, making the water salty.

The amount of salt in the lake varies, depending on how much water is present.

The southern section contains 5 to 14 percent salt and the northern section about 16 to 27 percent salt. In comparison, ocean water is about 3.5 percent salt.

If you go swimming in the lake, you’ll float quite easily.

Don’t plan on going fishing, though; fish can’t survive in such salty conditions, although brine shrimp live there.

In dry weather the lake can shrink in size because much of the water evaporates.

On average, the Great Salt Lake is about 75 miles (121 km) long and 30 miles (48 km) wide.

Geologists believe that the Great Salt Lake was once part of a huge ancient freshwater lake they call Lake Bonneville.

Today, at the international speedway on the Bonneville Salt Flats, part of the dried-up bed of that ancient lake, race cars have set world speed records, with some vehicles exceeding 600 miles per hour (966 km/hr).

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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