Monday, November 28, 2016

Geology of the National Parks Through Pictures - Death Valley

My next post about the Geology of the National Parks Through Pictures is...

You can find more Geology of the National Parks Through Pictures as well as my Geological State Symbols Across America series at my website

Finishing our tour of the southwest's desert national parks was Death Valley. The hottest, driest, and lowest National Park. Also the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere. We entered the park at the southern entrance, which enabled us to hit up Badwater Basin on our way into the park, since that was the main thing I wanted to see. Unfortunately, we were getting there right at sunset so the sun is in a lot of the photos, since we were on the eastern side of the valley.

 Drive by Entrance Sign shot.

 Our first view of valley known as Death Valley on our way towards Badwater Basin.

 Distant view of Badwater Basin towards the north.

 Currently at Badwater Basin, the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere (282 feet below sea level). This shot is looking towards the east, up at the valley wall. If you look closely there is a little white box towards the center of the photo. The box says "Sea Level".

 The salt that has accumulated at the bottom of Badwater Basin.

 Looking out towards the basin along the salt walkway that the tourists are allowed on. You will notice all the holes. I'm positive these are people digging them, then going "Now I'm at the lowest point!". Please don't do do this. Those people are just jackasses and breaking the law.

 Another view of Badwater Basin. 

 Close up shot of the salt flats. Love the designs in the salt.

 Looking back towards the "Sea Level" sign and the valley wall.

 The marker stating "Badwater Basin 282 Feet/85.5 Meters Below Sea Level".

 The car's altimeter was a little off, but it was still cool to see it say -260 ft.

 View from our room at the Stovepipe Wells Village looking at the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes.

 Got out and hiked around the dunes a little. 

 Interdunal deposits.

 Traces of dune life. Looks like lizards and mice to me.

 More tracks. Maybe a hare mixed in and I'm sure there were scorpion tracks in there somewhere.

 Furnace Creek visitor's center, which is the location for the hottest place on Earth. It was only 85 while we were there, so not too bad.

 Went over to Artist's Drive. View of the valley wall.

 Another view of the valley wall along Artist's Drive.

 Looking out towards Death Valley from Artist's Drive.

Artist's Palette. This was an extremely colorful  ash and claystone deposit, made colorful by the various metals in the ash. The colors got a little washed out in the photo but they were rather striking in person.

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