Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Mono Lake Tufa

Mono Lake is just outside the Yosemite National Park boundry but we still do some interpretive programs around the lake. Here is an interesting feature of the lake I thought you might appreciate. These vertical columns are called Tufa. Tufa forms under Mono Lake's waters. When fresh water springs rich in calcium bubble up through the cabonate rich lake water, the calcium and carbonates react to form a calcium-carbonate salt deposit called Tufa. This solid limestone-like material continues to develop, eventually forming vertical towers with spring waters persolating up through them. The city of LA robbed water from the lake causing the water level to drastically receed to expose these Tufa. The lake is now in a state of restoration so hopefully the Tufa will one day be submerged again and functioning properly.

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