STS059-154-160 Sierra Nevada Mountains and Mono Lake, California, U.S.A. April 1994 The snow-covered central Sierra Nevada Mountains are featured in this low-oblique, west-looking photograph. Spring-fed, saline Mono Lake is visible near the lower right. Abundant snowmelt in the spring and early summer is important for filling rivers, lakes, and reservoirs that provide the state's drinking and agricultural water supplies. Runoffs east of the range provide irrigation for small agriculture tracts in the western portions of Nevada.
View is oriented with Mono Lake, California at the lower right; then the view is westward across the Sierra Nevada into the San Joaquin River drainage. A tine network of ski trails can be seen on the Mono Lake side of the Sierras, on a line between Mono Lake and the snow-free San Joaquin headwaters. The ski trails mark Mammoth Mountain, where Space Radar Laboratory (SRL) investigators are studying microwave measurements of the water content of snowpacks.