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Monolake: A geological wonder wrapped in stunning natural beauty
Located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in the state of California, USA, 13 km from Yosemite National Park. If you go north, you will come to a hill town called Lee Vining. The immaculate monolith located next to the city.
The name Monolek is equally popular with tourists and researchers alike. Just as the reflection of the snow-capped Sierra Nevara in the blue waters of Monolac attracts tourists, so the complex ecology and unique geological structure of the lake draws researchers from all over the world to the shores of Monolac. It is one of the oldest in North America and the second largest lake in California. This lake was formed 760,000 years ago, during the last ice age. Surrounded by volcanoes, the lake covers an area of 780 square miles. And its deep blue water depth is 900 feet or 270 meters.
Monolake is a closed lake. It has no branches that can carry water to the sea. Water from mountain springs and nearby canals supplies the water of this lake. There are also underground fountains in the lake. The most notable features of Monolac are its unusual salinity and high tufa towers.
At one time the Tufa towers were submerged in the water of the lake. Today's Monolake may have attracted tourists with its Tufa Tower, but it has also paid a high price. However, the fault is not the lake! The blame lies with the Los Angeles city authorities. In 1941, at the initiative of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the canal was cut and taken to Monolac 300 miles south of the lake. This causes an abnormal decrease in the amount of water in the monolake. Its depth is reduced to half. This brutal process of lake killing continued until the formation of the 'Monolake Conservation Committee' under the leadership of David Gaines in 1978, which prevented the transfer of water. With the determination and hard work of the committee, the lake was finally saved. However, irreparable damage has been done so far.
As Monolac is a closed lake, its water evaporates and evaporates, leaving it with no other way to lose or move water. The lake water evaporates in the sun but the minerals remain in the water. Due to this the salinity of the lake increases a lot. About 280 million tons of salt is dissolved in the lake. Of course salinity depends a lot on the amount of water. Before the water was transferred, the shallow water and deep water of the lake were mixed with each other at least once a year. As a result deep water would get some oxygen. But after the transfer of water, the mixture of different levels of water no longer occurs. As a result deep water becomes much more saline.
The lake is impossibly alkaline due to the unusual salinity. Despite being abnormally alkaline, monolac has a unique and highly productive ecosystem and complex food web complex. There are no fish in the lake water. However, life continues in this rough environment. The water life of the lake begins in winter with unicellular green algae. In March the water of the lake becomes like thick green pea soup. The green algae are eaten by the endemic animals of the lake, including small shrimps and black flies.
This lake is the stadium of Trillion Trillion Brian Shrimp. And there are interesting aspects of black flies or alkaline flies flying in the land beside the lake. The larvae of this fly are eaten by the local Kutjadica Indians. They call it Kutsavi.
So this fly and Brian Shrimp became the food of about a hundred species of migratory birds, including California cheeks. As the water level in the lake has decreased, the number of birds has decreased. Even then, Monolac can be called a paradise for birds and bird lovers. The lake is still home to more than a million birds.
Now I will talk about Tufa Tower. The process of creation of these wonderful structures is no less surprising.
I have already said that the water of the lake is alkaline. How alkaline the water will be depends on the amount of alkali in the water. The lake water has carbonate ions, which are alkaline. The water from the underground fountain goes to the bottom of the lake. This water has a lot of calcium. Calcium carbonate is formed by the reaction of saltwater carbonate and freshwater calcium which accumulates at the bottom of the lake. Once it freezes, it becomes a huge tall pillar. Then they are called Tufa Tower. The Tufa Tower has been well researched in the scientific community and they have divided the Tufa into three parts based on the external structure of the Tufa.
1. Lithoid Tufa: These tufas are giant, leaking, looking like rocks.
2. Dendritic tufa: They have branches like plants.
3. Thinolitic Tufa: They look like crystals. Is a few centimeters long.
When the depth of the lake was high, these could not be seen. As the depth decreases, the Tufa towers become visible and the monolake is captured differently. Now a large number of tourists gather to see this Tufa Tower. The clear blue water of the lake also attracts adventurers.
They want to experience the thrill of swimming in the lake, climbing canoes and kayaks.
Photographers are also seen coming here to capture the calm buried nature of the lake. There is also a camping arrangement on the shores of this charming lake. And there are opportunities for hiking and endless wandering along the trail. Let's find out now from Monole.
South Tufa attracts thousands of tourists every year. Here is the largest Tufa tower on the lake. From here there is a golden opportunity to see birds. With the help of a guide, you can also visit Tufa Tower.
Monolac is a spectacular sight from the Old Marina, adjacent to Highway 395. Apart from this, several Tufa towers and two islands of the lake can also be seen from here.
The volcanic volcanoes of Monolake are a must-see for visitors. Volcanoes can erupt at any time from these magnificent new volcanoes. The northernmost crater is the Panum Crater.
Navy Beach is the ideal place for kayaking and canoeing. It is connected to Sauf Tufar by a narrow path.
This picnic spot is next to US Highway 395. Monolek is easily accessible on foot. Birds can also be seen walking here in summer.
At sunset, the monolake is colorful.
It is uncanny to see the limestone Tufa towers standing in the water of the lake against the backdrop of the orange-red sky. The monolake of the sunrise is also incredibly beautiful. The lake, which almost died as a result of the transfer of water from Monolake, is still alive. Surviving with a wonderful beauty in the chest. Long live the monolake and its diverse biodiversity.