Response of Great Salt Lake to Climate Variability

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by Paul A. Kay, Univ of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA,
Henry F. Diaz, Univ of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Water Forum '86: World Water Issues in Evolution

Abstract: Levels of Great Salt Lake, Utah, have fluctuated through a range of 6. 2 m in the historic record since the 1840s. In water years 1983-1984, the lake rose 2. 9 m in response to record precipitation in the basin. Recent (1931-1984) seasonal changes in lake volumes are regressed on seasonal temperature and precipitation in the climatic divisions from which the lake receives input. Seasonal volumetric increase is controlled by autumn, winter and spring precipitation; seasonal volumetric decrease is controlled inversely by summer precipitation. Atmospheric circulation controls of the seasonal precipitation are discussed.

Subject Headings: Climate change | Lakes | Salts | Precipitation | Seasonal variations | Water circulation | Basins | Utah | North America | United States

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