Great Salt Lake Facts
The Lucin Cutoff railroad trestle was built shortly after the turn of the 20th Century as rail traffic increased and the Promontory Line struggled to accommodate it. The Southern Pacific Railroad believed that a railroad could cross the Great Salt Lake and so the Lucin Cutoff railroad trestle was built to accommodate more trains heading to the West.
The Lucin Cutoff railroad trestle seen its last significant use as a trestle shortly after it was replaced by a solid fill causeway in 1959. This causeway divided the Great Salt Lake into three parts – the Southern arm, the Northwest arm and the northeast arm and three breaches measuring 100 feet prevent the water from mixing. The division in the lake has resulted in Northwest area becoming the most concentrated in salt and minerals and is uninhabited due to its remote location. Ojaván Products hand harvests mud and water from the Northwest and harvests salt from the Northeast.
The salt concentration of the Great Salt Lake is variable and depends on the lake’s level. It ranges from 5% to 27% (or 50-270 ppt). The salt concentration of the Dead Sea fluctuates around 30.4% and the average salinity of the world ocean is 3.5% (35ppt). The mineral concentration in the northern area of the Great Salt Lake is the greatest.
The Great Salt Lake’s waters are enriched in potassium and the color of the lake varies due to salinity differences. A phytoplankton community dominated by blue-green algae tint the water a greenish color where in other parts of the lake Dunaliella Salina, a species of algae, releases beta-carotene and haloarchaea which together give the water an red or purple color.
Over 250 million years old the Great Salt Lake, America’s Dead Sea, is a renewable source and its healing elements will never run out.