Living in a desert basin
An astronaut aboard the International Space Station looked west from more than 400 miles away and focused on the shorelines of Utah Lake to capture this image on 5 September 2016. Shorelines are easy to see from space and often show interesting centres of human activity.
Utah Lake is so shallow that surface waves stir up light-toned muds from the bottom, giving the lake a light green-blue hue. Across the middle of the image, grey tones show the Provo-Orem metropolitan area that fringes the length of the lake, which is 20 miles long. The lake's only outlet is the Jordan River (right), which leads water to the Great Salt Lake.
Most of the green tones that fringe the cities are farms stretching right to the water's edge. The lower part of the image shows the thickly wooded Wasatch Range, rising so high above the city that it captures rain.
Finding water for a population of 527,000 people and for local farming has always been problematic in Utah. Luckily, snow and rainfall on the Wasatch Range nearby provide enough water. The main water supplies come from wells and springs, as well as the reservoirs on the east side of the mountains.
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Credit: NASA Earth Observatory - Additional editing by the eoPortal team.