Death Valley National Park was Very Different in the Past Essay

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When one thinks of Death Valley National Park in California, the first image that comes to mind is usually an endless desert of dry, cracked terrain or rippling sand with little wildlife or vegetation. While that is what you’ll find in most of Death Valley today, it wasn’t always so. During the Holocene Eon and the Pleistocene ice ages, Death Valley had its fair share of streams and rivers, many of which originated from the nearby mountains. In fact, the driest area of Death Valley today was once an island! During that time, glaciers had formed in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and water from the rivers cascaded into the area now known as Shoreline Butte, forming Lake Manly; a lake that was estimate to be almost 600 feet deep! The evidence of …show more content…
When one thinks of Death Valley National Park in California, the first image that comes to mind is usually an endless desert of dry, cracked terrain or rippling sand with little wildlife or vegetation. While that is what you’ll find in most of Death Valley today, it wasn’t always so. During the Holocene Eon and the Pleistocene ice ages, Death Valley had its fair share of streams and rivers, many of which originated from the nearby mountains. In fact, the driest area of Death Valley today was once an island! During that time, glaciers had formed in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and water from the rivers cascaded into the area now known as Shoreline Butte, forming Lake Manly; a lake that was estimate to be almost 600 feet deep! The evidence of Lake Manly’s depth can be found in the flat terraces formed along the hillside which could only have formed after the lake level stabilized over a period of thousands of years.
Presently, visitors will only see small, salty pools of water in low lying areas of the park unless they’re lucky enough to visit just after a rare but significant rain storm. This is especially true in Badwater, where the height of the terrain in the area approximately -282 feet! Badwater is also home to some of the oldest rocks in the park. Found in the Black Mountains, visitors have the rare opportunity to see the physical evidence of our earth’s history, dating as far back as the Precambrian Eon, 1.8 billion years ago. During this time, volcanic and sediment

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