Great Salt Lake, Utah
October 12, 2011
Great Salt Lake, Utah, is featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 5 crewmember on the International Space Station (ISS). Great Salt Lake serves as a striking visual marker for crewmembers orbiting over North America. A sharp line across its center is caused by the restriction in water flow from the railroad causeway. The eye-catching colors of the lake stem from the fact that Great Salt Lake is hyper saline, typically 3-5 times saltier than the ocean, and the high salinities support sets of plants and animals that affect the light-absorbing qualities of the water. North of the causeway salinities are higher, and the water turns red from the pigments of halophilic bacteria. In the shallower corner of the lake, earthen dikes mark large salt evaporation works, which take on the jewel tones of turquoise, russet, tamber and pearl white.
Topics: Great Salt Lake, Extremophiles, Great Basin, Environment, Halophile, Salt Lake, Hospitality Recreation