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Badwater Basin in Death Valley

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  • Context (DTE): Badwater Basin in Death Valley has defied its arid reputation by hosting an ephemeral lake for an extended period.
  • An ephemeral lake is a temporary body of water that appears and disappears based on specific conditions.
  • These lakes are often associated with arid or desert regions, where rainfall is infrequent.
  • Badwater Basin is situated in Death Valley, known as the driest place in North America.
  • In August 2023, Hurricane Hilary triggered the formation of a lake in Badwater Basin.
  • In February 2024, an atmospheric river replenished the lake’s waters.
  • Badwater Basin is endorheic, meaning that water flows into but not out of it.
  • Badwater Basin is the lowest elevation point in North America, lying 282 feet (86 meters) below sea level.
  • It is only 84.6 miles east-southeast of Mount Whitney, the highest point in the United States.
  • Death Valley, with an average annual rainfall of only 51 millimetres, received a remarkable 125 mm in the past six months.

Death Valley

  • Death Valley is a desert valley in Eastern California, in the northern Mojave Desert, bordering the Great Basin Desert.
  • It is thought to be the hottest place on Earth during summer.
  • Death Valley is home to the Timbisha tribe of Native Americans, who have inhabited the valley for at least the past millennium.
  • Death Valley is a graben, a downdropped block of land between two mountain ranges.
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