Check out the Natural History Museum of Utah’s behind the scenes weekend in pictures. This gallery features an adventure to Great Salt Lake where researchers—including one of our geologists, Tom Chidsey and Michael Vanden Berg—pulled up microbialites for display at the museum.
Great Salt Lake’s North Arm is a little salty, even for Great Salt Lake. The Union Pacific railroad causeway is a factor in the build-up of salt crust in the north arm. The Railroad will be starting a bridge-building project to replace a part of the causeway, mitigating some of the water flow issues. Two of our geologists here at the UGS talk about the salt build up and how it’s affected the North Arm.
One of the strangest and most striking places in Utah — an enormous oddity that scientists say was created accidentally by human engineering — is getting a bit of a remodeling job.
Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!
Stansbury Mountains, Tooele County, Utah
Photographer: Gregg Beukelman; © 2015
Alpenglow illuminates the glacially sculpted Stansbury Mountains as seen from the shores of Great Salt Lake. Deseret Peak (11,031 feet), the leftmost high summit, is the range’s highest peak and is underlain by Cambrian-age Prospect Mountain Quartzite.
For those who have seen piles of white, pillowed foam along the shores of the Great Salt Lake and wondered what caused it, the Utah Geological Survey has an answer.
The shallow waters of Bridger Bay, on the northwestern tip of Antelope Island in the southern arm of hypersaline Great Salt Lake, support extensive microbial carbonate formation, especially in the north-northeast portion of the bay near Egg Island. Lake levels in the fall of 2014 were near 60-year lows (as low as 1278.1 m [4193.3 ft] AMSL, compared to the near-term historic average of about 1280 m [4200 ft]), giving unprecedented access to the microbial structures. Characterizing the microbialites of Bridger Bay, including facies delineation and aerial extent, can inform interpretations of similar deposits in the ancient rock record (e.g., Eocene Green River Formation), including potential petroleum reservoirs.
Headphone Activist – The Rainforest.
The Great Salt Lake is, right now, actually two lakes split in half by a long railroad causeway. A couple years ago the crumbling culverts that allowed flow between the north and south arms of the lake were closed for safety. Since then, scientists say, curious things are happening to the lake, especially as it approaches historic low levels.
By: Daren T. Nelson and Paul W. Jewell
The Hogup Bar quadrangle is located southeast of Park Valley, Utah, and west of the northwest arm of Great Salt Lake. Late Pleistocene Lake Bonneville sediments and related shorelines dominate the landscape, and record the transgression and regression of Lake Bonneville. Surficial deposits overlie Tertiary basalt and Permian-Pennsylvanian sedimentary bedrock.
Great Salt Lake may ebb and flow, however its current low levels give impetus to talk about water use, and how to use it more wisely in the desert. Andrew Rupke, a minerals specialist here at UGS, joins the conversation in this article. Check it out!
Not many states have a defining natural feature that locals actually discourage visitors from seeing.
While the weather has been warm, and there’s not a lot of snow or ice around, it’s a great time of year to look at the Ice Age animals of Utah. Did you know that Great Salt Lake is the remnant of Ice Age lake, Lake Bonneville? Read more about this different age in Utah in our “Popular Geology” subjects HERE.