Gilbert noted that the shorelines which formed when the lake was at the Bonneville and Provo levels are now at considerably higher elevations in the central part of the lake basin than they are around its edges. He correctly concluded that the weight of the water in the deep lake had depressed the earth's surface when the shorelines were formed. When the water was removed, what geologists call "crustal rebound" elevated the shoreline in the central part of the basin. Gilbert noted that an excess of evaporation over inflow must have drawn the lake down from the Provo Shoreline. His final report on Lake Bonneville was published in 1890 as U.S. Geological Survey Monograph 1. For the next half century very little was added to the understanding of the lake developed by Gilbert.
Since the 1940s, numerous studies using new topographic maps, aerial photographs, new techniques for soil and lake-bed studies, and new techniques for dating sediments and archaeological materials have contributed to a rapidly growing body of information on Great Salt Lake and Lake Bonneville. These studies have confirmed much of Gilbert's general history of Lake Bonneville. They have also refined the chronology of major deep-lake events and are leading to a better understanding of many of the lower lake stages that postdate Lake Bonneville.