Near Green River in Sweetwater County, Wyoming — The American West (Mountains)
All Because of an Ancient Lake
Trona Trail Historic Mine Byway
Lake Gosiute Creates Trona
Around 50 million years ago, Lake Gosiute began to form during the early-to-middle Eocene Epoch. Over 4 million years, the lake expanded and contracted, and changed from freshwater to saline. The lake also experienced tectonic changes and absorbed volcanic ash from northwest Wyoming and locations further west. All of these events contributed to conditions that deposited trona on the bottom of the lake in sedimentary beds up to 37 feet thick. Today, these trona beds are all that remain of Lake Gosiute.
Side-bar on the right
Extent of Lake Gosiute
At its furthest reaches, Lake Gosiute many have covered 15,500 square miles and been slightly larger than Connecticut. At is smallest, the lake is estimated to have encompassed 4,000 square miles and been slightly smaller than the Island of Hawaii.
Side-bar on the left
Trona (Na2CO3•NaHCO3•2H3O) is a water-bearing sodium sesquicarbonate. Its appearance varies from brown to gold to white. "Pure" trona is white. Trona is processed into soda ash and used for a variety of things from glassmaking to water treatment to paper manufacturing. The mineable beds of Lake Gosiute hold more than 100 billion tons of trona. This is enough trona to supply customers for at least 2,000 years.
Erected by Wyoming State Parks & Cultural Resources.
Location. 41° 26.184′ N, 109° 31.896′ W. Marker is near Green River, Wyoming, in Sweetwater County. Marker is on State Highway 530 near Peru Cutoff Road (County Route 37), on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Green River WY 82935, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Barren Land? (a few steps from this marker); The Overland Stage (approx. 6½ miles away); The Overland Stage Station Route (approx. 6½ miles away); Sodium Carbonate Brine (approx. 6.7 miles away); William Manly - 1849 (approx. 6.8 miles away); The Great Unknown (approx. 6.8 miles away); William Ashley - 1825 (approx. 6.8 miles away); John Wesley Powell, 1871 (approx. 6.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Green River.
Also see . . . Trona - Wikipedia. (Submitted on October 30, 2015, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.)
Categories. • Industry & Commerce • Natural Resources • Paleontology •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 30, 2015, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 251 times since then and 42 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on October 30, 2015, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.