Saturday, May 1, 2010

Dispatches from the Road: Far Western Section Conference in Bishop, California

A few preliminary views from the road at the joint NAGT/CalESTA field conference at Bishop California. One of our stops: the Mono Lake Tufa Towers. The tufa is made of calcium carbonate, and forms near freshwater springs in the intensely salty and alkaline lake.
The lake supports brine shrimp and brine flies which in turn provide sustenance for millions of migrating birds. The lake has been threatened by water diversions that caused to shrink to a shadow of its former size, but lawsuits and legal agreements are stabilizing lake levels.

The lake formed in a volcanic-tectonic depression, and active volcanoes are found in and near the lakeshore. The white island in the distance is formed by uplift of the lake sediments by volcanic intrusions.

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