Where on Earth? - November 2010

Clues for November 2010:
1. These “towers” at the center of a 760,000-year-old saline lake were formed by the precipitation of carbonates. The lake contains hundreds of millions of tons of dissolved salts.
2. The lake is an important ecosystem but contains no fish; instead it has brine shrimp and alkali flies, and is visited by millions of migratory birds each year.
3. Several freshwater streams feeding the lake were diverted last century to supply water to a growing nearby population. The diversions lowered the lake’s water level, increased its salinity further and exposed these once-submerged towers. Although conservationists’ efforts have restored some of the streamflow to protect the lake and its ecosystem, the lake levels are still low.
Name the lake and its location.
Scroll down for the answer
Answer: Conservationists have long sought to preserve the unique ecosystem of California’s caustic Mono Lake, which contains millions of tons of dissolved salts and large concentrations of metals. In December, Mono Lake again took center stage when scientists announced the discovery of a microbe living in the lake that the scientists said appears to substitute arsenic for phosphorus in its DNA and other biomolecules. Photo is by David Coss.
November winners
John C. Balla (Port Orchard, Wash.)
Mark T. Baranoski (New Albany, Ohio)
Mary Lou Bevier (Vancouver, British Columbia)
Roger J. Henning (Las Vegas, Nev.)
Joe Marx (Falls Church, Va.)
Glen Pearson (Red Bluff, Calif.)
Rodney Sheets (Columbus, Ohio)
Richard P. Smith (Nathrop, Colo.)
Susan Tanges (El Cajon, Calif.)
Michael Watson (Yucaipa, Calif.)

To submit your photographs to our Where on Earth? contest, send them via e-mail to

01 Nov 2010