Summer means road trips for us! On our recent journey we camped near Mono Lake CA, the oldest lake in North America! I have to share some of my photos and make you aware of this area!
Mono Lake’s history is interesting and illustrates once again how man can change an area – not necessarily for the better. It is a wonderful place to see nature thrive through adversity and extremes. If you would like to read about it, the following link to Wikipedia has good information. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mono_Lake
This shallow saline soda lake has no outlet to the ocean. There are high levels of salts that make the water alkaline with chemical reactions and there importance is explained in the following excerpt:
“The geology of Mono Lake is of particular interest to scientists searching for clues about life on other planets, such as Mars. Mono Lake has become known for its unusual limestone towers- revealed by the decline in water level and known to extend up to 12 feet. Tufa are towers of calcium carbonate created underwater by the chemical reaction of calcium from fresh water springs with carbonates of the alkaline lake. The rapid precipitation of minerals entombs microorganisms within the towers, leaving behind a microbial fossil record. This is significant to understanding how and where life may have originated and specifically if it would survive passage through space because meteorites from Mars have been found to contain carbonate globules similar to those of the Mono Lake tufa. Scientists hope to apply knowledge gained from analyzing the tufa microfossils to the search for signs of extraterrestrial life.” http://serc.carleton.edu/microbelife/topics/monolake/index.html
|Tufas -more than 12 ft tall in areas!|
The ecosystem is based on tiny brine shrimp and is a critical nesting habitat for 2 million migratory birds. This is a fascinating place!