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Deep Springs Lake looking southeast across the south end of Deep Springs Valley

Deep Springs Lake looking southeast across the south end of Deep Springs Valley

Taken from elevation 1718 m (5635 ft) above Antelope Springs, White Mountains, Inyo County, California.

Gotta remember to zoom out sometimes and appreciate the place these plants call home. It is part of the reason I love to document them -- and vice versa!

Deep Springs Valley is a classic Basin and Range "graben" - an actively subsiding crustal block bounded by high-angle normal faults. How active is demonstrated by the prominent steep triangular facets on the adjacent mountain face, indicating that vertical displacement along the associated fault is happening much more rapidly than any compensating erosion. (Antelope Springs, in the foreground, is probably associated with the other main bounding fault zone on the near side of the valley.)

Even in full sun, the most recent fault scarp can be seen along base of the slopes behind the lake. As one might expect, the lowest part of the valley is associated with the greatest downward displacement along the Deep Springs Fault, and the highest scarps. The scarp in this area represents 30-40 feet of vertical displacement within the past 500-1500 years, likely from a series of fault ruptures and accompanying earthquakes. Those would have been "big ones." As residual rifting and crustal spreading continues across the Great Basin, valley blocks like this one continue to slip downward relative to the mountainous "horst" blocks in between.

In the deep canyon behind the lake one can see the contact between the layered Cambrian-Precambrian sedimentary rocks exposed to the right (southwest), and the Jurassic granitoid intrusive rocks to the left (northeast).

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Photo taken on 1 May 2017 (© Jim Morefield / Flickr)

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 inyo county, california, united states, landscape, forest, sagebrush, desert, riparian, wetland, shrubland, lake, playa, alkaline, north america, white mountains, antelope springs, deep springs valley, deep springs lake, great basin, may
 

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