A Passage in Time
Death Valley is a place of extremes. With temperatures up to 57°C and 86 m below sea level this desert is the hottest, most arid and lowest region of America. Definitely, this is an inhospitable place for living. Nevertheless tiny fishes prosper in the hot hyper saline water close to sand dunes with sparse vegetation. The rain shadow of the Sierra Nevada to the west causes this arid geomorphology. In contrast, the extreme temperatures are a result of the tectonics. The peaks of the High Sierra at 4500 m face a tectonically depression called graben at -86 m located east of the mountain range. This causes Death Valley to be below the sea level. By descending into Death Valley the air temperature increases by 1°C per 100 m. The valley floor is about 1000 m lower than the surrounding hinterland resulting in additional 10°C making Death Valley as hot as 57°C.
Canon 20D, EF 24-105mm, f/22, 16sec, ISO 100, polarization filter, tripod