Copyright © 2010 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.
B+W Cir Polarizer
Nikkor 17-35mm f2.8AF-S
As the sun rose higher in the East making its trek west the colors over Mono Lake changed to this rosy, golden glow. The reflections in the lake were so intense and the snow capped Sierras reminded me of
PP- a little recovery, clarity, vibrance, curves for the mid-tone, a wee crop off the top and bottom, and resized.
Mono Lake is believed to have formed at least 760,000 years ago, dating back to the Long Valley eruption. Sediments located below the ash layer hint that Mono Lake could be a remnant of a larger and older lake that once covered a large part of Nevada and Utah, making it among the oldest lakes in North America. At its height during the last ice age, the lake may have been 900 feet (270 m) deep; prominent old shore lines, called strandlines by geologists, can be seen above Lee Vining (near the white “LV”) and along volcanic hills northeast of the current lake.
It is the Endorheic basin, the terminal lake, in a watershed fed by melting runoff, with no outlet to the ocean. Dissolved salts in the runoff thus remain in the lake and raise the water’s pH levels and salt concentration. The Mono Lake tributaries include Lee Vining Creek and Rush Creek.
The lake is in a geologically active area at the north end of the Mono-Inyo Craters volcanic chain and is close to Long Valley Caldera. Geological activity is caused by faulting at the base of the Sierra Nevada, and is associated with the crustal stretching of the Basin and Range Province.
Volcanic activity continues in the Mono Lake vicinity: the most recent eruption occurred 350 years ago at Paoha Island in Mono Lake. Panum Crater (on the south shore of the lake) is an excellent example of a combined rhyolite dome and cinder cone.