Gateway to the Mysteries
10.000 years ago at the end of the last ice age many rivers from melting glaciers discharged into the large depression to the east of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. The entire region was covered by Lake Manly. Due to postglacial natural global warming the glaciers disappeared and the rivers ran dry. The waters of Lake Manly began to evaporate leaving behind the salt washed into the lake. Mighty layers of evaporites from that era mark today's landscape of Death Valley. The salt sediments form polygonal pancakes like colliding ice floes. The heat in this desert is almost intolerable to humans and constantly cracks the thin salt crust. Below these fissures the hyper saline water evaporates leaving additional salt crystals behind.
Canon 20D, EF-S 10-22mm, f/22, 1sec, ISO 100, tripod