The Geology of a Desert Oasis

September 18, 2014


Photographer: Wendy Van Norden
Summary Authors: Wendy Van Norden; Jackie Phillips

The Desert Fans shown above are lined up along a natural spring in the Dos Palmas Preserve located east of the Salton Sea in California. Rain water from the Orocopia Mountains, shown in the background, seeps into the local aquifer through permeable layers of rock. Just below the mountain, in the plains, the layer of permeable rock containing the water is confined. The palms flourish in this otherwise desert region because of cracks in the San Andreas Fault. Water seeps up along the cracks from the artesian aquifer below, creating this desert oasis. Photo taken on January 20, 2013.

Photo details: Camera Maker: FUJIFILM; Camera Model: FinePix XP30; Focal Length: 25mm; Aperture: f/8.0; Exposure Time: 0.0036 s (1/280); ISO equiv: 100; Software: Digital Camera FinePix XP30 Ver1.01.