Earth from Space: Salt Lake

2 December 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 shallow waters and dry air make the lake an excellent place for salt harvesting.

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.

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.

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