Great Salt Lake, Lake Bonneville, & Bear Lake

Outline of ancient Lake Bonneville, modern Great Salt Lake, and associated modern features. (BSF = Bonneville Salt Flats).

PI-39:Commonly Asked Questions About Utah's Great Salt Lake and Ancient Lake Bonneville
Great Salt Lake
Lake Bonneville
Bear Lake


Microbialites take several forms: thinly layered (stromatolites), clotted (thrombolites), spherical (oncolites), and precipitated from mineral-rich springs (tufa or travertine). Stromatolites are currently growing on the gently sloping floor of Great Salt Lake at shallow water depths where the blue-green algae receives sufficient sunlight for photosynthesis.

Click here for additional information on microbialites in Oil & Gas.

Poster: Characterization of Microbialites in Bridger Bay, Antelope Island, Great Salt Lake, Utah (pdf)
Michael D, Vanden Berg, Thomas C. Chidsey, Jr., Davis E. Eby, and Wayne Kelln
Presented at the International Limnogeology Congress 2015, June 15-19, Reno, NV.

Antelope Island Bioherm Flyover video on Multimedia
UGS geologist Michael Vanden Berg teamed up with individuals from Loma Linda University to fly a drone/GoPro over the microbialites/bioherms in the shallow waters of Great Salt Lake on the northwestern tip of Antelope Island.

Survey Notes Articles

Glad You Asked: Is There Coral in Great Salt Lake?
from Survey Notes, v. 44 no. 1, January 2012

Technical Publications

Great Salt Lake

Lake Bonneville