Soda Dry Lake
February 11, 2010
Photographer: Barbara Traub
Summary Author: Barbara Traub; Jim Foster
The photo above shows a scenic view of Soda Dry Lake in the Mojave Desert of California. Soda Dry Lake is a playa, which is a shallow, more or less rounded lake or wetlands area filled by rainfall. Playas are formed in areas where there’s no outlet to a river or larger water body. Thus, the relief where they’re encountered is extremely flat – nearly level terrain. In the U.S. playas are found in the Basin and Range province, west of the Rocky Mountains, and in portions of the Great Plains. During periods when rainfall is particularly scarce, a crust of evaporite minerals is often observed on the surface and along the edge of playas. Capillary action draws the scant water from below the lake bed upward to the surface where it quickly evaporates. Note: because of the shading on the photo, the eye is tricked into believing that the surface is wetter than was actually the case. Photo taken late in the afternoon of January 10, 2010.
Coordinates for Mojave Desert: 35.008333, -115.475
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