Bonneville Salt Flats may be shrinking

Bonneville Salt Flats may be shrinking
Credit: Associated Press

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The Bonneville Salt Flats may be shrinking and this is causing problems for tourists and motorists every year who flock there to watch and race in the races that occur every August at the Bonneville Speedway.

The Bonneville Salt Flats are located to the west of Salt Lake City in Utah. The salt flats are densely packed salt which over time flatten and give the land a glass look due to its smoothness.

Last year's Bonneville races and this years have been canceled due to wet weather. But this cancellation is causing debate on whether or not it is the rain causing the issue or nearby mining depleting the slat flats.

Racers say they've worried for decades that mining is draining an aquifer that helps replenish the flats each year, leaving smaller amounts of the smooth, hard salt that makes for a nearly glass-like surface for cars racing across the landscape.

But Federal land managers who oversee the flats say they don't have any evidence that the salt is being depleted and point to the heavy rains around the time of the event this year and last year.

The race track used to be 13 miles in length, now it is only seven miles. These cars can get up to 400 miles per hour on this track and the world record for fastest land speed is held here.

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