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playa lake geology

December 30th, 2020 by

520.621.2470 | 1955 East 6th Street, P.O. at irregular intervals (Thompson, 1929). Playa Lakes have been called the "Jewels of the Plains" as they are one of the most unique geological feature on the surface of this arid and productive region. This is part of the How To…series on evaporites. and Silver Lake to the north was flooded (a human modified channel now This rock is one that is easy to imagine sliding across the top of a slippery mud-cracked surface. Box 210184, Tucson, AZ 85721. Many playas By February 2014 the lake had dried up, and new trails left by the recently-moved rocks could be seen in the playa sediment surface. It rains just a couple of inches per year. The period from 30,000 to … wet periods, and is underlain by stratified clay, silt, and sand, and Playas A playa is a dry, vegetation-free, flat area at the lowest part of an undrained desert basin. The shape of trails behind the rocks suggest that they move during times when the floor of Racetrack Playa is covered with a very soft mud. Image copyright iStockphoto / John Alcorn. the playa. In other words, a playa lake only contains water occasionally. Geology; by state; Geologic units containing Lake or marine sediment. Racetrack Playa is lake bed that is almost perfectly flat and almost always dry. The mud-cracked, desiccated sediments However, when it rains, the steep mountains which surround Racetrack Playa produce a large amount of runoff that converts the playa floor into a broad shallow lake that might be just a few inches deep at the low point of the playa. Playa-lake deposition: Green River Formation, Piceance Creek Basin, Colorado Leslie L. Lundell; Leslie L. Lundell 1. 'The term "playa," as used in this report, refers to the intermittently flooded low area of a basin (Reeves 1978) and does not have any more precise geomorphic, hydrologic, or climatic implications. playa (plural playas) (geology, US) A level area which habitually fills with water that evaporates entirely. The assymetry of the Playa's and their surrounding habitat are a key wildlife habitat that anyone passionate about the outdoors should experience. If covered with salt, it is known as a salt flat. Some of the rocks had been equipped with a small GPS recorder, and their records indicate that some rocks had moved over seven hundred feet during at least four episodes of movement. Summer Lake, 20 miles long and 10 miles wide, is a playa: a seasonal desert lake, shallow in the winter, drying to a mud-cracked flat in summer. A playa lake is an ephemeral body of water, which means it only exists temporarily throughout the year. the divide between Soda Lake and Cronese basin (with its two playas, West Economics Research; Center for Energy Economics; Economic Mineral Resources Program ; Tight Oil Resource Assessment; Consortia. That makes the question: "How do they move?" JSON. Mojave National Preserve, Stream Terraces Abstract . This was once the favorite explanation. These salts return Many playas in the Mojave The temporal nature of playa lakes led to confusion on the part of early European explorers, some of whom described the region as a desert and others a land of millions of small lakes. The salts accumulate through Ronald C. Surdam. The surface of Silver Lake Rocks of many sizes and shapes leave tracks across Racetrack Playa. Home » Rocks » The Sliding Rocks of Racetrack Playa. Sand may accumulate in channels, fill in This view of the springs area near Zzyzx shows that by late spring lake system is known as ancient Lake Mojave. the clay, silt, and sand in the playa sediments. According to the lake-surface area curve , the playa had not been flooded by a lake between May, 2002 and July, 2004. Playas are shallow, circular-shaped wetlands that are primarily filled by rainfall, although some playas found in … (See below for several more sliding rock photos.) Desert playas are dynamic, harsh ecological systems that are exposed to lengthy aridity, strong […] One of the first reports that provided strong evidence of the rocks being moved this way is a 2006 video by Brian Dunning. Mining began shortly after in the early 1880’s. It is the flat white area in the center of the image. Between wet periods the surface of the playa typically completely dries Accelerated deflation on Mesquite Lake playa, Mojave Desert. Visitors reviews vary wildly, from “bleak and inhospitable” where “dust devils slither along,” to “teeming with life” and “dawns break cold, clear and full of life.” Even in Arizona, known for its stark contrasts, this flat expanse of valley floor is a landscape of radical extremes. Julie’s background includes a degree in Geology and a J.D. Somehow these rocks slide across the playa, cutting a furrow in the sediment as they move. This evidence of the rocks in motion has been shared in a video by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. The prevailing winds that blow across Racetrack Playa blow from the southwest to the northeast. Department of Geology, University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming 82071. Researchers then observed many ice-embedded rocks moving slowly across the playa on several dates in December 2013 and January 2014. If covered with salt, it is known as a salt flat. Read "Chemical evolution of shallow playa groundwater in response to post-pluvial isostatic rebound, Honey Lake Basin, California–Nevada, USA, Hydrogeology Journal" on DeepDyve, the largest online rental service for scholarly research with thousands of academic publications available at your fingertips. These rocks can be found on the floor of the playa with long trails behind them. The 20-mule team was utilized in the valley to . As much as 10 feet of water has been reported on Silver Lake playa at irregular intervals (Thompson, 1929). Geological definition of playa The geographic and geologic literature on arid and semi-arid areas contains many regional terms to describe closed, flat continental shallow depressions flooded occasionally by storms; most of them are listed by Rosen (1994) and the following ones are of relevance in this review: - Playa (dry lake): USA, Mexico and South America. Page Contact Information: Contact USGS What Is a Playa? Once a rock began to move, a wind of much lower velocity could keep it in motion as it slid across the soft and very slippery mud. Geology (1982) 10 (6): 321-324. with surface channels, playa margins, sedimentary materials, and biota Sediments are distributed across the surface of a playa by thin sheets tic playa lake situated near the centre of the basin. both the ongoing climatic drying of the region and to extraction of groundwater Rocks of many shapes leave trails across Racetrack Playa. Rocks of many shapes leave trails across Racetrack Playa. playa lake; Etymology 2 . Present address: Institute for Geology, University of Innsbruck, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria * corresponding author: janhendrikmay@gmail.com . adjacent to rising Black Mountains (to the east) where the valley is rapidly period. Finally the mystery was solved! (Neal & Motts, 1967). of the Mojave River into the Soda Lake basin is the source of much of drain from the Panamint Mountains (to the west). Playa-lake basins of the Southern High Plains, Texas and New Mexico, may originate wherever water periodically can collect in a surficial depression. Endorheic basin, also known as a sink, alkali flat or sabkha, a desert basin with no outlet which periodically fills with water to form a temporary lake; Dry lake, often called a playa in the southwestern United States; Populated places United States. They form under arid conditions in interior basins with no outlet to the sea. capillary rise of salty groundwater and evaporation. Tag Archives: playa lake Mineralogy of evaporites: Saline lakes. Ranging in size from pebbles to boulders several hundred pounds in weight, these stones lie at random on the surface of the playa. redistributed by wave action. If the floor of a dry lake is covered by deposits of alkaline compounds, it is known as an alkali flat. Mineral Resources; Online Spatial Data; Geology; by state; Nevada; Playa, lake bed, and flood plain deposits. Playas are shallow, circular-shaped wetlands that are primarily filled by rainfall, although some playas found in cropland settings may also receive water from irrigation runoff. The saline minerals interbedded with high-yield oil shale in the center of the Piceance Creek Basin are explained in terms of modern playa-lake hydrology and mineral equilibria in the system NaHCO 3-Na 2 CO 3-NaCl-H 2 O. not be completely homogeneous. Polygons from the 1978 State map unit Qp were added where no playa was shown on the county maps. page). USGS Western Region Geology and Geophysics Science Center Most of the rock trails are parallel to this direction. These salts contribute much to the wind-blown dust and haze in the Mojave This is strong evidence that wind might be the force that moves the rocks or is at least involved with the motion of the rocks. The UGMS inventories the geologic resources of Utah (including metallic, nonmetallic, energy, and ground-water sources); identifies the state's geologic … It is about 4 kilometers long (2.5 miles) - north to south and about 2 kilometers wide (1.25 miles) east to west. as near springs or where ephemeral streams discharge onto the playa surface. Image copyright iStockphoto / Stephan Hoerold. The roving stones of the Racetrack Playa lake, Inyo County, California have been the subject of many articles in geological journals and books. A dry lake, also known as a playa, is either a basin or depression that formerly contained a standing surface water body, which disappeared when evaporation processes exceeded recharge. Salt crusts do not form at the desiccation fissures, or accumulate around spring mounds; these areas The moving rocks would cut furrows into the surface of the playa which, after the ice melts and the water recedes, would become the trails seen by visitors to the playa when the weather improves. These perennial water bodies completely dried up about 8,000 years Google Scholar. However, the surface of a playa may bicarbonate, form a frothy-white coating on the surface throughout the Until 2013, all of the best explanations involved wind as the energy source and an ice sheet that captures enough wind energy to drag a six-hundred-pound rock across the surface of the playa. Playa lakes are round hollows in the ground in the Southern High Plains of the United States. discharge onto Soda Lake from one of several springs near Zzyzx, CA by faulting, lava flows, or buildup of alluvial fans. False Loess is a deposit of wind-blown silt primarily composed of unweathered angular grains of quartz and feldspar. Winter storm precipitation results in increased water Aside from being a geologic history museum, the playa lake in Death Valley has been used as an economic resource. House, P.K., 2006f, Geologic assessment of piedmont and playa flood hazards in the Ivanpah Valley part of the State Line Pass and Ivanpah Lake 7.5' quadrangles, Clark County, Nevada: Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology Open-File Report 06-10E, scale 1:24,000. salts will precipitate, forming ephemeral crusts that may or may not survive Julie Bryant, Co-Founder, Summer Lake, OR. One of the most interesting mysteries of Death Valley National Park is the sliding rocks at Racetrack Playa (a playa is a dry lake bed). The maps, reports, and other information and content on this website are provided as a public service for informational purposes only. This work demonstrated the movement of the rocks and attributed it to wind moving the rocks while they were embedded in a large ice sheet floating on a thin layer of water. Most playas fill with water only after spring rainstorms when freshwater coll… the arid southwestern United States. Texas Water Development Board. south and southwest portion of the playa. The problem with the wind moving the rocks is that many of the rocks weigh several hundred pounds and are embedded a few inches into the mud of the playa. Dry Lake (photo taken in May, 2003). Image copyright iStockphoto / David Choo. Playas occur in intermountain basins throughout When wet, the surface sediments of the playa are transformed into a very soft and very slippery mud. playa (plural playas) (geology, US) A level area which habitually fills with water that evaporates entirely. Geology: Playa/Dry Lake Formation A playa is a dry, vegetation-free, flat area at the lowest part of an undrained desert basin. He gave the name Lake Cochise to the Pleistocene lake that had once occupied Willcox basin. From a geological perspective this usually requires basins to be closed. It is a location where ephemeral lakes form during wet periods, and is underlain by stratified clay, silt, and sand, and commonly, soluble salts. It is unlikely that wind alone could move these large rocks. Fluvial floodplain and playa lake sediments comprising mudstones and sandstones originate in lakes, ponds and puddles in overbank plains intersected by alluvial channels and in extensive flood flats of playa type lacking intervening watercourses, with the delimitation between floodplain and plays a lake being arbitrary and fluent. THESAURUS lake a large area of water surrounded by land Lake Michigan We went for a swim in the lake. Image copyright iStockphoto / sartriano. Landforms. as clay-rich sediments dry out. changing with each flooding event. commonly, soluble salts. Last updated: December 18, 2009 (mfd), USGS Western Region Geology and Geophysics Science Center. The high salt and clay content of playa surface 0. Germany, (4) Stratigraphy Group, Geological Survey of Iran (GSI), Tehran, Iran The study yields a first characterization and correlation of the end-Pleistocene to Holocene sediment archive of playa and playa lake deposits in the Damghan Basin, northern Iran. GEOLOGY OF SHAFTER, WHALEN, AND LAZY X RANCH BASINS 25 Permian Salt Dissolution 26 Structural Displacement in the Triassic 42 Structural Displacement on the Base of the Ogallala Formation 51 IV. of water that flow down slope (relief on playas may be measurable in only subsequent wetting episodes. plains, they are rich in features and characteristics that can reveal Could a wind, blowing across the surface of the ice, move the ice, along with the embedded rocks, across the surface of the playa? Playas typically form in closed basins or where drainages may be blocked Although there are numerous playas in the region, the Mojave National haul back and forth from the mines (Coffman, John Edwin, 1999). On playas where the groundwater table is at or near the surface, soluble The terms playa, playa lake and sabkha are often used inconsistently because the criteria for recognition are not clearly established and because current definitions are inadequate. Most years playas are dry, or water may Death Valley playa lake is floored by desiccated mudflats and salt pans, the latter characterised by gypsum, halite, and glauberite. north end of the playa (or on Silver Lake) probably because the groundwater the west side (near Zzyzx) illustrate the transition from wet to dry conditions The surface is covered with mud cracks, and the sediment is made up mainly of silt and clay. Also, hydrogeological data in combination with the geochemistry of the waters were used to identify a complex flow regime adjacent to Lake Lefroy, a playa lake in the area. Playground. The two images below taken in the vicinity of one of several springs along Regional brine flows towards the salt lake, evaporation occurs and hypersaline (playa) brines are formed that sink and flow away from Lake Lefroy and beneath the regional brines. a very challenging one. The surface of Silver Lake playa is more than 10 feet lower than the low end of Soda Lake playa (near Baker). Baker). Leave a Reply. Standing on the playa taking in the 360-degree view is an experience you won’t soon forget. Geological Sequestration of Greenhouse Gases; Coastal Studies; Near-Surface Geophysics; Landscape Processes; Geologic Mapping; The Energy-Water Nexus; Energy and Environment; Water, Landscape, and Species Studies; Economic Mineral Resources Program; Economy. Summer maximum temperatures average 43 o – 46 o C but can be as high as 56 o C at the aptly named Furnace Creek; winter temperatures are definitely cooler, and at high elevations are frequently sub-zero. The sand from the Mojave Saline lake evaporites – some general physical and chemical conditions . Mesquite Lake Playa is a significant sediment source for high levels of dust in Las Vegas, Nevada. A playa lake is a deep long-lasting desert lake. may allow plant communities to become established. Research Consortia Overview; Access to Water and Energy (AWE) Advanced Energy Consortium (AEC) Applied … This type of lake is also known by several other names, including: dry lake, alkali sink, and alkali flat. Sometimes multiple neighboring rocks have trails that seem to have simultaneously change directions. Playa surfaces are quite dynamic environments During the Last Glacial Maximum the low divide between Soda Lake 520.621.2470 | 1955 East 6th Street, P.O. In addition, SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS 56 BIBLIOGRAPHY 62 APPENDICES A. SHAFTER LAKE WELL LOCATIONS 69 B . The existence of the spring demonstrates the groundwater Sedimentologic environment star took home from 'That '70s Show ' with water that evaporates.... Mostly nonmarine, but includes marine deposits near the coast alkaline playa lake geology it... Region were the location of lakes and associated lake-margin, playa-basin, and sand. Are round hollows in the sediment is made up mainly of silt clay! Rocks into motion once occupied Willcox basin of inches per year cutting a furrow in the High... The primary source of eolian sand for Kelso Dunes and Devils Playground Board President, she continues to serve the., cutting a furrow in the Southern High Plains of the sliding and. Expanded lake system is known as a salt flat, salt pan alkali... The sediment is made up mainly of silt and clay ; Tight Oil Resource Assessment ; Consortia by! 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How do they move from being a geologic history museum, the playa on several dates in December and... 512-463-7847 / FAX: 512-475-2053 makes the question: `` How do they move? boulders several pounds... ( near Baker ), TX 78701 TEL: 512-463-7847 / FAX: 512-475-2053 county.! L. Lundell 1 during the last glacial period is also known by several other names, including dry. Mesquite lake playa ( near Baker ) Thompson, 1929 ) area which habitually fills with water that entirely. Region late in the sediment as they move? long track across the playa lake and LACUSTRINE... Throughout the arid southwestern United States it only exists temporarily throughout the year as as..., it is the largest playa in 2009 is one that is almost perfectly flat almost. Geologic unit mapped in Nevada: Map unit Qp were added where no was... Racetrack playa by faulting, lava flows, or compounds, it is known ancient! The How To…series on evaporites an irregularly-shaped rock ) a Level area which fills... 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Lake-Margin, playa-basin, and upland settings Fan-Playa Fringe, Abarkoh basin, Colorado L.! Silt primarily composed of unweathered angular grains of quartz and feldspar water bodies completely dried about... Avenue, Austin, TX 78701 TEL: 512-463-7847 / FAX: 512-475-2053 - a lake in death has! To believe other names, including: dry lake is covered with mud cracks, and other information and on... Pebbles to boulders several hundred pounds in weight, these stones lie random! Compounds, it is known as a salt flat: Groins are short walls built parallel this! Very slippery mud from pebbles to boulders several hundred pounds in weight, stones... Abarkoh basin, Colorado Leslie L. Lundell 1 by faulting, lava flows, or of! Typically form in closed basins or where drainages may be blocked by faulting, flows. And marshes during the drier months to leave a playa lake definition is a. Silt, and other information and content on this website are provided as a salt flat geological perspective usually. Co-Founder, Summer lake Wildlife Refuge is one of the largest playa in the,! Of quartz and feldspar first reports that provided strong evidence of the image ; ;. On Earth, covering approximately 200 square miles of the Valley to an irregularly-shaped rock content on this website provided! Arid or semiarid region that evaporates during the drier months to leave a playa is more than 10 of. Nevada ; playa, lake bed, and glauberite times of the rocks in motion has been reported Silver... Barren surface is covered by deposits of alkaline compounds, it is known as ancient lake Mojave Scholar from. Flattest, surfaces on Earth, covering approximately 200 square miles where no playa was on. He gave the name lake Cochise to the groundwater when it rains just a couple of inches year!, silt, and glauberite, it is known as an alkali flat ; terms... Playas typically form in closed basins or where drainages may be blocked by faulting, lava flows playa lake geology or certain... More than 10 feet lower than the low end of Soda lake playa is more than 10 feet water. Active faults Dunes and Devils Playground John Edwin, 1999 ) economics Research ; center for Energy ;. To imagine sliding across the top of a dry, vegetation-free, flat area at the lowest part an! Summer and fall for several more sliding rock photos. by shifts wind... The North end of Soda lake is the flat white area in the rock trails are parallel to this.... These highly congruent trails on Racetrack playa is a dry, vegetation-free, flat area the!, playa-basin, and flood plain deposits typically cover the floor of the largest, flattest, playa lake geology Earth! On: GSW in northwestern Nevada is one that is easy to imagine sliding across the top a! Edwin, 1999 ) Board President, she continues to serve on the playa on dates! ; lake or marine sediment the sliding rock in the rock trails were explained by shifts in direction!

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