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The Mono Craters, California

Putnam, William C. (1938) The Mono Craters, California. Geographical Review, 28 (1). pp. 68-82. ISSN 0016-7428.

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The Mono Craters are a unique series of obsidian domes and coulees south of Mono Lake, in eastern California. From an undulating, pumice-covered plain their steep slopes rise nearly 2700 feet above the surrounding country and reach an altitude of 9169 feet at the summit of the highest dome. Were the range not dwarfed by the neighboring Sierra Nevada, "it would be far-famed for its magnificent scenery as well as for its geological interest." The Mono Craters present many features of interest. Their relationship to the lacustrine record of Mono Lake and the glacial history of the eastern Sierra Nevada is important. Added interest to the problem is afforded by the water tunnel under construction by the city of Los Angeles, which passes beneath one of the larger domes at the south end of the chain. This tunnel is to convey water from the Mono Basin into the drainage of the Owens River and, by the present aqueduct, to Los Angeles. The work has been impeded by the large quantity of water encountered in the tunnel and the presence of carbon dioxide (see Fig. 16). On the other hand, there is the fortunate circumstance that the tunnel line passes through an area suitable for the determination of the age of the craters. All the important rocks of the region crop out, and in this area the glacial and volcanic records overlap.

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Additional Information:© 1938 American Geographical Society. The field work was done in the summer of 1936. Dr. Ian Campbell of the California Institute of Technology and Dr. Catherine Campbell gave much assistance by a critical reading of the manuscript and by a trip into the field. The Los Angeles Bureau of Water Works and Supply extended many courtesies in connection with the tunnel operations. Dr. Eliot Blackwelder gave valuable information on the glacial history of the region.
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Balch Graduate School of the Geological Sciences244
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Official Citation:Putnam, William C. “The Mono Craters, California.” Geographical Review, vol. 28, no. 1, 1938, pp. 68–82. JSTOR,
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:99990
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:21 Nov 2019 21:31
Last Modified:17 Mar 2020 22:29

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