Air Date: Week of March 26, 1999
This week, facts about... the largest inland body of salt water in the western hemisphere, Utah's Great Salt Lake.
CURWOOD: Great Salt Lake in Utah is the largest inland body of salt water in the Western Hemisphere. It's a remnant of a prehistoric lake which covered 20,000 square miles of what is now Utah, Nevada, and Idaho. The surrounding mountains are still ringed like a bathtub by the shorelines that existed 25,000 years ago. And the lake continues to shrink as water from its rivers is diverted for irrigation. The Great Salt Lake is about 5 times saltier than the oceans. That's because the rivers that dump into it contain water that's high in mineral salts. And since it doesn't have an outlet to the sea, the minerals get trapped. The lake today holds about 400 million tons of salts. Though local legends place a school of whales and a bellowing monster in the lake, the only things known to live in it are microscopic brine shrimp and bluegreen algae. But millions of birds nest on the shores and islands of the Great Salt Lake. And on its largest island, antelope and buffalo indeed do roam. And for this week, that's the Living on Earth Almanac.
Living on Earth wants to hear from you!
P.O. Box 990007
Boston, MA, USA 02199
Donate to Living on Earth!
Living on Earth is an independent media program and relies entirely on contributions from listeners and institutions supporting public service. Please donate now to preserve an independent environmental voice.
Sailors For The Sea: Be the change you want to sea.
Innovating to make the world a better, more sustainable place to live. Listen to the race to 9 billion
The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment: Committed to protecting and improving the health of the global environment.
Energy Foundation: Serving the public interest by helping to build a strong, clean energy economy.
Contribute to Living on Earth and receive, as our gift to you, an archival print of one of Mark Seth Lender's extraordinary wildlife photographs. Follow the link to see Mark's current collection of photographs.
Buy a signed copy of Mark Seth Lender's book Smeagull the Seagull & support Living on Earth