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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

Utah Geological Association


Geology of Northwest Utah, 2006
Pages 50-68

Gunnison Bay: Present Terminus of the Great Salt Lake Drainage Basin and Naturally Low Area of the Bonneville Basin

Genevieve Atwood


Gunnison Bay is the part of Great Salt Lake that lies west of the Promontory Mountains and north of the railroad causeway that connects Promontory Point and Lakeside. The railroad causeway separates the bay, both topographically and hydrologically, from Gilbert Bay to the south. Because of the railroad causeway, Gunnison Bay has become the terminal basin of the 34,100 sq mi (88,364 sq km) Great Salt Lake drainage. The bay naturally encompasses part of the naturally lowest region of the Bonneville Basin and Great Salt Lake drainage. As the terminus of the Great Salt Lake drainage, Gunnison Bay is the base level to which surface waters and brines of the region flow. The bay’s brines include a suite of salts and minerals of commercial interest, its sediments have potential to be among the most complete records of continental North American climate change of the Holocene, and its shorelines are evidence of processes of shallow, closed-basin lakes.

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