Tufa columns at Mono Lake, California
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Location: Mono Mono Lake is located just off Highway 395 near the town of Lee Vining, California.
Mono Lake is naturally salty and alkaline because it has no outlet. The only way water leaves is via evaporation. The Sierra streams that flow into the lake contain only trace amounts of minerals and salts but those minerals and salts stay and their concentrations grow over the years.
Perhaps the most intriguing of Mono Lake’s phenomena are the tufa towers visible along much of its shoreline. Tufa are made from calcium carbonate which makes its way into the lake from underground springs. The calcium and carbonate combine to form limestone which builds up over time around the lake bottom spring openings. Declining lake levels have exposed the tufa towers that you can see today, some of which are up to 30 feet high.
The lake is backed by views across to the High Sierra making this a fabulous spot for photography. It is very famous for its sunsets but we were not lucky to see one whilst we were there as the skies were largely cloudless (NOT a complaint)!! But we did see a number of Ospreys nesting on the towers which was a real treat.
Technical SpecificationsCanon EOS 5D MK 11, Canon 24 - 105 mm lens, 1/125 @ f11, ISO 100, 0.3 Lee ND Grad filter
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