Monday, March 22, 2010

Badwater Basin - Death Valley

One of the great spots in Death Valley to photograph (or just see) a sunrise is at Badwater Basin - 17 miles east of Furnace Creek. Be warned that the color only lasts for 45 minutes on a good day depending on the previous days weather conditions. After the rains there are wonderful reflections for those willing to get down to a lower angle in the salt. On this particular day we had just experienced two rather warm days prior, the ice had melted into large pools of water over the mud below.The good news is that Badwater Basin is never the same from one day to another - we caught high winds (30-35 MPH) one day, and 61 degrees and calm the next. 'Mother Nature' at her finest......

Badwater is 282 feet below sea level - there is a marker up on the mountain behind the main parking lot that let you know that. Wikipedia says this is the second lowest elevation in the Western Hemisphere - the first being in Argentina at Laguna del Carbon which is 344 feet below sea level.

From Wikipedia:

At Badwater, significant rainstorms flood the valley bottom periodically, covering the salt pan with a thin sheet of standing water. Each newly-formed lake does not last long though, because the 1.9 inches (48 mm) of average rainfall is overwhelmed by a 150-inch annual evaporation rate. This, the United States' greatest evaporation potential, means that even a 12-foot-deep, 30-mile-long lake would dry up in a single year. While the basin is flooded, some of the salt is dissolved; it is redeposited as clean crystals when the water evaporates.

Just another of Death Valley's mysteries....

1 comment:

  1. The work you have been doing lately is very nice Harry. Wow!

    I love the way the colors work in this one!