Evaporation Ponds of the Great Salt Lake, Utah, USA – June 6th, 200941.1N 112.6W
The Great Salt Lake in northern Utah, USA, is the largest salt lake in the western hemisphere, famous for its very high salinity that makes its water far saltier than that of the sea.
Salt Lake City and its suburbs are located to the southeast and east of the lake, between the lake and the Wasatch Mountains, but land around the north and west shores is almost uninhabited.
Of particular interest in this ASAR image are the salt evaporation ponds on the northeastern and southwestern parts of the lake. Salt evaporation ponds are shallow man-made ponds designed to produce salts from sea water, or in this case, highly saline lake water.
The salty water is fed into large ponds and water is drawn out through natural evaporation, which allows the salt to be subsequently harvested. The ponds are commonly separated by levees, which are visible here as white lines across the black water.
The close-up of the southwestern area shows evaporation ponds between the shoreline of Lakeside Valley (left) and Stansbury Island (right). The two mountain ranges visible are the similarly named Lakeside Mountains (left) and the Stansbury Mountains (bottom). The various mountain ranges seen here are very sharp and detailed, as the image has been orthorectified.
The other close-up focuses on the evaporation ponds in the northeastern area, between Bear River Bay (left) and Willard Bay (right). The mountain range jutting into the lake is called the Promontory Mountains, with Fremont Island below. The long, white long stretching from the mainland, crossing the southern end of Promontory Peninsula, and then heading westward, is a railway line on a long causeway called the Lucin Cutoff.