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Journal/Book Title/Conference

Division of Forestry, Fire & State Lands Salt Lake City, UT

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Although the Great Salt Lake is frequently treated as if it were a single body of water, the natural bays and transportation causeways have divided it into a system of four bays. The bays, however, do not function independently because water, nutrients and other contaminants flow between them. The purpose of our study was to analyze the water quality in three of the bays (Farmington, Bear River and Gilbert), to determine fluxes of nutrients between them, and to determine how this was influencing brine shrimp populations in the lake. Discharge and nutrient concentrations were measured at constrictions separating the three bays from May through December of 2006. Phytoplankton and nutrients in the bays were sampled periodically to help understand factors controlling blooms of phytoplankton. Three synoptic analyses were done in May, June and December to look at water quality and plankton concentrations at 29 stations in the three bays. The synoptic work was coupled with an analysis of MODIS satellite imagery to determine spatial and temporal changes in the abundance of phytoplankton in the lake.