This incredible lake was formed as a terminal lake in a basin that has no outlet to the ocean. The lack of an outlet means water entering the lake from Eastern Sierra streams leaves only through evaporation. This, in turn, results in high concentrations of salts and minerals being left behind in the lake.
The most prominent feature of this lake is its incredible tufa towers emerging from the surface of the lake. The tufa towers are limestone towers and occur naturally in the Mono Lake. These limestone towers form from the reaction when underwater springs (rich in calcium) mix with the waters of the lake (rich in carbonates).