Tufa towers in moonlight at the South Tufa Area, Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve, Mono Lake, California. Tufa is formed when springs under the lake mix calcium-rich freshwater with alkaline lakewater, precipitating deposits of calcium carbonate. The lake level has dropped more than 30 feet since 1941, when the city of Los Angeles began diverting water from the streams that feed it, exposing the formerly submerged tufa.
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