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South Beach, Mono Lake (1994)

A beach in the South Tufa Area of Mono Lake, California. The small bits of tufa are actually pumice from a volcanic eruption some 1,700 years ago. As they floated in the lake and then beached on the shoreline, they developed a coating of calcium carbonate similar to the tufa towers on the islet in the background.

The low water level at the time I took this picture created the islet and its bridge to the shore. More than 20 years after a California Water Resources Control Board decision to greatly reduce the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s diversion of the streams that feed Mono Lake, this scene is now almost certainly underwater.


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