Mono Lake is a very large but shallow lake found in California. This saline lake was formed thousands of years ago. It was once a basin of water, but it doesn’t go straight to the ocean. For this reason, the water is highly salty and very acidic at the same time. The lake has a good ecosystem where shrimps thrive in the water. For this reason, it been transformed into a nesting place for millions migratory birds. They are feeding on the creatures that are found on lake. This is considered to be the oldest body of water in America. The main water source of this lake is the Eastern Sierra streams. It only leaves the lake through the evaporation process. It results to the fact that a high amount of salts and minerals are left behind. During the 1940’s, the city of Los Angeles which is about 300 miles away began getting water from the basin. This move cut the water level in half; for this reason, the water becomes highly alkaline and highly salty in the same time. Environmentalists protested over it and the court came up with a decision that made the lake recover.
Mono Lake is said to have eight times the alkaline level of the ocean. It remains to be an extreme place where halophiles and alkaliphiles are thriving. Only few animals are living in Mono Lake. However those who thrive can occur quite in number. The place is a home of special species like Artemia and the Alkali fly; they are the dark deposits that surround the lake. Definitely this place is very interesting to a lot of scientists especially those who are interested on finding other life forms in planets.
Mono Lake is also known for its limestone towers. This was revealed when there was a decline in the level of the water. This tower was about 12 feet and it was called as Tufa. They are composed of calcium carbonate that was created underwater through the combination of calcium from fresh water and carbonates from the alkaline lake. The towers also serve as a source of fossil fuel record. There are some micro organisms that are left behind the towers. These towers are seen in Mars. They contain the same elements found in Tufa. Scientists wish to apply what they learned from the micro fossils since they are searching for life outside earth. Mono Lake is a must see placeif you are in California. This is true especially if you interested in science.
By Elsi H