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    Posted September 9, 2012 by
    San Francisco, California
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Travel photo of the day

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    Sunset on the South Tufa Towers, Mono Lake, CA

    On a recent trip to the Eastern Sierras, we made plans to visit Mono Lake to see the Tufa Towers. It was quite exciting anticipating when the sun would set below a large, dark bank of clouds and illuminate the Tufas.

    How the Tufas Grow: Underwater springs feed calcium into Mono Lake. The calcium mixes with the lake’s abundant carbonates resulting in the creation of limestone that settles and builds up into Tufa towers, which only grow underwater. The only reason these Tufas are visible is because the lake’s water level began falling drastically after 1941 – by almost 45 vertical feet - when tributary streams that fill the lake were diverted to into the aqueduct that supplies water to Los Angeles. A 20-year restoration plan is in place that will raise the lake’s water level by approximately 20 feet.
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