STS040-80-43 Mono Lake, California, U.S.A. June 1991
Nestled in a basin between the high, snow-covered Sierra Nevada Mountains to the west and the lower, barren Excelsior Mountains to the east, Mono Lake is captured in this near-vertical photograph. Highly saline Mono Lake, almost 14 miles (23 kilometers) long and 9 miles (14 kilometers) wide, is located at an elevation of 6425 feet (1959 meters). Fed by springs that rise through beds of saline sands, the lake supplies water for the growing population of Los Angeles. During the last 20 years, the lake's total volume has been halved, and its salinity has doubled. Without measures to conserve the water volume, the ecosystem of the lake and its surrounding habitat are endangered.
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