Saturday, 16 November 2013

The Majestic Tufa Towers of Mono Lake, California (USA)

Mono Lake is a shallow salt water lake located in the high desert on the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, in California in the United States. The lake has no outlet to the ocean causing high levels of salts to accumulate in the waters. As a consequence of its high salinity, no fish live in Mono Lake, but there are plenty of brine shrimp that thrive in its waters. Over two million annual migratory birds use Mono Lake as a stop over and resting place as they fly to South America or the tropical oceans. They feed on the shrimps, lay eggs and hatch their young ones here.
The most unusual feature of Mono Lake are its dramatic tufa towers emerging from the surface. These rock towers form when underwater springs rich in calcium mix with the waters of the lake, which are rich in carbonates. The resulting reaction forms limestone. Over time the buildup of limestone formed towers, and when the water level of the lake dropped the towers became exposed.

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