- The different colours are due to difference in levels of salinity of water
- Utah's Great Salt lake is bearing the impact of environmental degradation
- Mineral extraction, shrimp industry of the Great Salt Lake fetches USD 1 billion in annual revenue
It is said that there is profound beauty in nature and the latest visuals from the Great Salt Lake in Utah, USA prove it once again. The saltwater lake turned into two different colours, separated by a railway line. The stunning visuals were captured and widely shared on social media and led people to gasp over nature's beauty.
A Twitter thread also explained the reason behind this phenomenon. It happens due to different levels of salinity in water. "This is Utah's Great Salt Lake. Parts of this lake up to 10 times saltier than the ocean. Split into two by a rail causeway, different levels of salinity on either side produced a striking visual. The north side is completely cut off. The algae Dunaliella salina and the bacterial species Halobacterium thrive in this highly concentrated environment, giving the water a pink hue. Whereas south of the causeway, the watercolor is dominated by green algae such as Dunaliella viridis," read the social media post.
As per keur.org, the color differences of the Great Salt Lake can be witnessed from levels miles above the ground in the United States. The northern part, to the right of the frame, has a much higher salinity than the southern part of the lake.
The report further shares the impact Great Salt Lake has witnessed due to environmental degradation. Water diversions and the region’s historic drought have shrunk the lake to its lowest level in recorded history. Scientists say there will be dire consequences for the people and the environment.
The exposed lakebed will produce toxic dust that will blow into some of our most vulnerable urban areas. That will mean an increased risk of cancers, respiratory diseases and other ailments. That same dust will lead to faster snowmelt, creating more challenges for a ski industry already facing the impacts of climate change.
The lake itself is home to a USD 70-100 million brine shrimp industry and mineral extraction that brings in more than USD 1 billion in annual revenue to Utah. There are also recreation and tourism dollars that add to the total economic impact.