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(130,694 posts)
Mon Feb 19, 2024, 05:25 PM Feb 2024

Ancient lake that reemerged at Death Valley National Park is here to stay -- for now, rangers say [View all]

Source: ABC News

February 19, 2024, 2:47 PM

An ancient lake that reemerged at Death Valley National Park last year will stick around for longer than initially expected now that several rounds of extreme rain have poured through Southern California, according to officials.

Death Valley's famed Badwater Basin began filling up with water in August due to heavy precipitation from Hurricane Hilary, which prompted the first tropical storm watch in California state history, Abby Wines, park ranger at Death Valley National Park, told ABC News last month.

During that event, more than 2 inches of water fell on Aug. 20 -- the amount the region typically sees in a year.
Park rangers initially estimated that the water filling up several inches in the basin where the Ice Age-era Lake Manly once stood would only last until February. But storm systems fueled with potent atmospheric rivers in recent weeks has expanded the lake once again, satellite images released by NASA show.

Much of the precipitation occurred between Feb. 4 and Feb. 7, when 1.5 inches of water fell in the park, according to a statement released by the National Park Service on Friday. The series of satellite images shows how the lake expanded from virtually no water on July 5 to being filled with water from August through February.

Read more: https://abcnews.go.com/US/ancient-lake-reemerged-death-valley-national-park-stay/story?id=107347931

This series of images compares the desert basin before flooding (left) with its more-waterlogged state following each major storm. In both August 2023 (middle) and February 2024 (right), a shallow lake several kilometers across fills in the low-lying salt flat.
NASA Earth Observatory
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