Morning at Badwater was made a few miles north of Badwater Basin in Death Valley National Park, California. When mud or salt sheets contain water and then dry out, they contract, so as to occupy less space. The basic form of contraction is that the ground contracts to a point in 6 directions, under ideal circumstances forming hexagons. However life is not perfect, and hexagons are rare. The general term for the shapes produced by this drying out-related contraction is "polygon". At Badwater, significant rainstorms flood the valley bottom periodically, covering the salt pan with a thin sheet of standing water. Each newly-formed lake does not last long though, because the 1.9 in of average rainfall is overwhelmed by a 150 in annual evaporation rate.
March 22nd, 2014
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