IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


19th April, 2023 Geography

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  • Biologists are worried that the Great Salt Lake is on the brink of ecological collapse.

Drying of Great Salt Lake and its implications

  • As temperatures get warmer, evaporation and depletion exceed the amount of water that’s making it into the lake.
  • Climate change has been making it increasingly difficult for the Great Salt Lake to fully bounce back.
  • The impacts of the drying Great Salt Lake are already widespread. It threatens critical habitat for endangered species as well as the state’s economy.

  • From the mineral industry to agriculture and recreation, the Great Salt Lake contributes $1.3 billion to the annual economy.
  • If the lake continues to dry up, the economic toll would range from $1.7 billion to $2.2 billion each year.
  • The rapid drying of the lake bed also exposes toxic dust that threatens human health.

Terminal lakes, like the Great Salt Lake, are ones where water can flow into but not out of the basin. And when strong winds blow over a drying lake bed, they kick up tiny particles that can be inhaled and damage the lungs and exacerbate other respiratory illnesses. These pollutants have been linked to health complications such as asthma, heart disease and chronic bronchitis.

Great Salt Lake 



  • It lies in the northern part of the S. state of Utah and has a substantial impact upon the local climate, particularly through lake-effect snow.


  • It is a remnant of Lake Bonneville, a prehistoric body of water that covered much of western Utah.


  • The lake's three major tributaries, the JordanWeber, and Bear rivers together deposit around 1.1 million tons of minerals in the lake per year. 


  • Since the lake has no outlet besides evaporation, these minerals accumulate and give the lake high salinity(far saltier than seawater) and density. This density causes swimming in the lake to feel similar to floating.




Endorheic lakes are a type of lake that has no outlet. You can find them typically at the terminal end of a water system. They are usually fed by rivers and rainfall, and in most cases, water only leaves the lake through evaporation. In some cases, water may also leave the lake through the bottom by sinking underground into aquifers or going into the groundwater supply. Some endorheic lakes also drain into nearby swamps or marshes. However, water from a true endorheic lake never makes it into the ocean. An endorheic lake that drains into a swamp or marsh that eventually drains into the ocean is called a cryptorheic lake.

Most endorheic lakes are saltwater lakes. In other types of lakes, minerals such as salt get washed away into the outlet of the lake, such as a river or the ocean. In an endorheic lake, the minerals are left behind in the evaporation process. Some endorheic lakes also have high levels of other minerals such as fluoride.




Q. Which one of the following is the correct arrangement of lakes from West to East direction?

a)    Lake Michigan- Great Salt lake- Lake Ontario-  Lake Huron.

b)    Great Salt lake - Lake Michigan - Lake Ontario-  Lake Huron.

c)    Great Salt lake - Lake Michigan - Lake Huron Lake Ontario.

d)    Lake Ontario-  Lake Huron-Lake Michigan- Great Salt lake.

Correct Answer: Option c