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Salt Lake Utah
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Salt Lake, Utah

December 6, 2011
This Envisat radar composite image shows Salt Lake City and the nearby Great Salt Lake in the US state of Utah. It is the largest salt water lake in the western hemisphere. Owing to its unusually high salt concentration – saltier than oceans and seas – it is very easy for swimmers to float on the water here. The line running across the Great Salt Lake is the Lucin Cutoff railway. The causeway supporting the railway divides the lake and prevents the normal mixing of waters. In the top-left corner of the image we see Clyman Bay. The shallow waters and dry air make this an excellent place for salt harvesting. The lower-left portion of the image shows Salt Lake City with marshlands and mudflats separating it from the water. This area is also home to the Jordan River Subbasin, where the river drains into the lake. This image is a compilation of three passes by Envisat’s radar on 6 April, 5 June and 5 July 2011. Each is assigned a colour (red, green and blue) and combined to produce this representation. New colours reveal changes in the surface between Envisat’s passes. The Image of the Week is featured on ESA Web-TV, broadcast online every Friday at 10:00 CET. Published as IOW on 2 December 2011