Travel - Rajesh Jyothiswaran

Great Salt Lake

Another blast from the past. I took this picture flying over the Great Salt Lake in Utah in 2015 while on a flight to Alaska. This was during my toddler stages of my short photography career. I just happened to see this brilliant red colored water on the northern tip of the Great Salt Lake to my right reflecting the clouds lit up by the rising sun. I shot this with a crop sensor Nikon D7000 and an one size fits all 18-300 zoom lens.

Utah is a landscape photographers paradise and I would like to visit again sometime.

Why is the Great Salt Lake Red?

The Great Salt Lake of northern Utah is a remnant of glacial Lake Bonneville that extended over much of present-day western Utah and into the neighboring states of Nevada and Idaho approximately 32,000 to 14,000 years ago. During this time, the peaks of adjacent ranges such as the Promontory and Lakeside Mountains were most likely islands. As climate warmed and precipitation decreased in the region, glaciers that fed meltwater to Lake Bonneville disappeared, and the lake began to dry up. The present-day Great Salt Lake is a terminal lake in that water does not flow out of the lake basin. Water loss through the year is due primarily to evaporation, and when this loss exceeds input of water from rivers, streams, precipitation, and groundwater, the lake level decreases. This is particularly evident during droughts. Evaporation and the relatively shallow water levels (maximum lake depth is around 33 feet), has led to increased salinity (dissolved salt content). The red algae Dunaliella salina and the bacterial species Halobacterium produce a pronounced reddish cast to the water. (Thanks to

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