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  Image: Geographic Location Direction Photo #: ISS011-E-9680 Date: Jun. 2005
Geographic Region: USA-CALIFORNIA
Feature: SEARLES LAKE, PLAYA, SLATE RANGE

Ordering information for space photography
 
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  Searles Lake, California

Searles Lake is known for the abundance of rare elements and evaporate minerals, such as trona, hanksite, and halite formed within its sediments. Evaporites are minerals that are left behind when saltwater evaporates. During the Pleistocene Epoch (beginning approximately 2 million years ago), Searles Lake was one of a chain of lakes fed by streamflow from the Sierra Nevada to the west. Lake levels rose and fell dependant on glacial outwash from the Sierra Nevada as climate shifted. Successive layers of sediment were deposited as lake levels fluctuated, preserving an important record of regional climate change. The lakes gradually dried up completely as climatic conditions became hotter and drier (as today), forming a string of playas—enclosed basins with no outlets.

This astronaut photograph depicts the Searles Lake playa (characterized by white surface mineral deposits) bounded by the Argus and Slate Mountains. The width of the playa is approximately 10 kilometers. The center of the image is dominated by mining operations that extract sodium- and potassium-rich minerals (primarily borax and salt) for industrial use. Minerals are primarily found in naturally occurring, subsurface brines, which are pumped to the surface and evaporated to crystallize the minerals. A large evaporation pond (black) is visible in the center of the image. Further processing concentrates the minerals and removes excess water.

 
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Images: All Available Images Low-Resolution 285k
Mission: ISS011  
Roll - Frame: E - 9680
Geographical Name: USA-CALIFORNIA  
Features: SEARLES LAKE, PLAYA, SLATE RANGE  
Center Lat x Lon: 35.5N x 117.5W
Film Exposure:   N=Normal exposure, U=Under exposed, O=Over exposed, F=out of Focus
Percentage of Cloud Cover-CLDP: 10
 
Camera: E4
 
Camera Tilt: 14   LO=Low Oblique, HO=High Oblique, NV=Near Vertical
Camera Focal Length: 180  
 
Nadir to Photo Center Direction: NW   The direction from the nadir to the center point, N=North, S=South, E=East, W=West
Stereo?:   Y=Yes there is an adjacent picture of the same area, N=No there isn't
Orbit Number: 1731  
 
Date: 20050627   YYYYMMDD
Time: 130354   GMT HHMMSS
Nadir Lat: 34.8N  
Latitude of suborbital point of spacecraft
Nadir Lon: 117.1W  
Longitude of suborbital point of spacecraft
Sun Azimuth: 64   Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point
Space Craft Altitude: 188   nautical miles
Sun Elevation: 4   Angle in degrees between the horizon and the sun, measured at the nadir point
Land Views:  
Water Views: LAKE, PLAYA, SEDIMENT  
Atmosphere Views:  
Man Made Views: MINING  
City Views:  
Photo is not associated with any sequences


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