Slate Range (California)
The Slate Range is located in the Mojave Desert in San Bernardino County, southwest of Death Valley and east of Trona. The mountains lie to the east of Searles Lake and the Argus Range at the southern end of the Panamint Range; the southern part of the range lies in the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, off-limit to the general public. Manly Pass lies with Layton Pass at the southern end. Mountain ranges of the Mojave Desert North American desert flora California Road and Recreation Atlas, 2005, pg.95
The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
Death Valley Railroad
The Death Valley Railroad was a 3 ft narrow gauge railroad that operated in California's Death Valley to carry borax with the route running from Ryan, California to the mines at Ryan C. located just east of Death Valley National Park, to Death Valley Junction, a distance of 20 miles. When mining operations at the Lila C. Mine were declining around 1914, Pacific Coast Borax Company began scouting the land outside Furnace Creek for richer borax deposits. Once they found some a bit west of the present mines, plans were put forward to build a narrow gauge railroad from the new mines to connect with the Tonopah & Tidewater Railroad at Death Valley Junction to ship the borax away for processing and packaging; the line was built by a separate company from Pacific Coast Borax Company, because they were struggling with financial issues at the time. Equipment and Heisler locomotive #2 "Francis" from the Pacific Coast Borax Company's old Borate and Daggett Railroad were used to build the Death Valley Railroad.
After the line was completed, two 2-8-0 steam locomotives were bought from the Baldwin Locomotive Works to work the line and Francis was sold off. One train ran per day bringing food and water to the workers at the Ryan mine, bought ore back late in the afternoon. After better deposits of borax were discovered at Boron, the Death Valley Railroad tried to resort to tourist operations by bringing in a Brill railcar to transport tourists to the old mines. Due to a lack of profit from tourists and freight trains and the closure of the mines, the railroad closed in 1931. Much of the railroad ran parallel to what is today State Route 190. After this railroad ceased operations, the United States Potash Company bought the equipment and rolling stock to construct their own line located near Loving, New Mexico, which became the United States Potash Railroad. All the rails from the Death Valley Railroad were used on the new line until about 1941 when they were replaced by heavier-pound rails from the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad.
The line was used until 1967 when better potash deposits were discovered in Saskatchewan and Pacific Coast Borax Company merged with U. S. Potash and became U. S. Borax & Chemical Cooperation. All three engines that were on the Death Valley Railroad are preserved. After the United States Potash Railroad turned over their operations to diesel locomotives in the 1950s, the two ex-Death Valley Railroad engines were both singled out for preservation. No. 1 was sent to Carlsbad, New Mexico and put on display in between Park Drive and E. Riverside Drive and sports the bold lettering of "U. S. Potash" on the sides of her tender. No. 2 worked for the United States Potash Railroad, but she was bought by the Death Valley National Park and is now at the Borax Museum at Furnace Creek. A railcar was bought in the years of the line in 1928, when Pacific Coast Borax attempted to save their dying railroads, DVRR included, from the scrapheap by promoting them as tourist attractions, she too, was bought by the United States Potash Railroad to transport workers to the potash mines.
By 1967, she was worn out, but the Laws Rail Museum of Bishop, California managed to step in just in time to save her from scrap. After several years of extensive restoration, she now runs on the museum's 3 ft narrow gauge track; the bogey trucks of some of the old DVRR ore cars are said to still exist at Laws, whilst the old caboose still exists on the property of the old potash refinery site at Loving, New Mexico. The tankcar bodies are located just outside Carlsbad; the old Heisler locomotive "Francis" from the Borate and Daggett Railroad, saw some years of service on the DVRR after construction was completed, until the arrival of Baldwin #2 in 1916. At that time the Heisler was sold off to the Nevada Short Line Railway, saw use in the timber fields working for the Terry Lumber Company, it was scrapped around 1925 after the closure of the Terry lumber mill following a devastating fire. Myrick, David F.. Railroads of Nevada and Eastern California - The Southern Roads. Reno: University of Nevada Press.
ISBN 0-87417-193-8. Chappell, Gordon. "To Death Valley by Rail: A Brief History of the Death Valley Railroad". In Pisarowicz, James. Proceedings: Third Death Valley Conference on History & Prehistory, January 30-February 2, 1992. Death Valley, Calif.: Death Valley Natural History Association. ISBN 9781878900265. Palazzo, Robert P.. Railroads of Death Valley. Charleston, S. C.: Arcadia Pub. ISBN 9780738574790. Tonopah & Tidewater RR Database --- Death Valley Railroad and its environs and images U. S. Potash Railroad excerpt of book by Gordon Chappell, explaining the lives of the Death Valley Railroad engines on the United States Potash Railroad Winchester, Clarence, ed. "Defying Death Valley", Railway Wonders of the World, pp. 93–96 Jeff Terry: Death Valley No. 5 and the Laws Railroad Museum
The Pleistocene is the geological epoch which lasted from about 2,588,000 to 11,700 years ago, spanning the world's most recent period of repeated glaciations. The end of the Pleistocene corresponds with the end of the last glacial period and with the end of the Paleolithic age used in archaeology; the Pleistocene is the first epoch of the Quaternary Period or sixth epoch of the Cenozoic Era. In the ICS timescale, the Pleistocene is divided into four stages or ages, the Gelasian, Middle Pleistocene and Upper Pleistocene. In addition to this international subdivision, various regional subdivisions are used. Before a change confirmed in 2009 by the International Union of Geological Sciences, the time boundary between the Pleistocene and the preceding Pliocene was regarded as being at 1.806 million years Before Present, as opposed to the accepted 2.588 million years BP: publications from the preceding years may use either definition of the period. Charles Lyell introduced the term "Pleistocene" in 1839 to describe strata in Sicily that had at least 70% of their molluscan fauna still living today.
This distinguished it from the older Pliocene epoch, which Lyell had thought to be the youngest fossil rock layer. He constructed the name "Pleistocene" from the Greek πλεῖστος, pleīstos, "most", καινός, kainós, "new"; the Pleistocene has been dated from 2.588 million to 11,700 years BP with the end date expressed in radiocarbon years as 10,000 carbon-14 years BP. It covers most of the latest period of repeated glaciation, up to and including the Younger Dryas cold spell; the end of the Younger Dryas has been dated to about 9640 BC. The end of the Younger Dryas is the official start of the current Holocene Epoch. Although it is considered an epoch, the Holocene is not different from previous interglacial intervals within the Pleistocene, it was not until after the development of radiocarbon dating, that Pleistocene archaeological excavations shifted to stratified caves and rock-shelters as opposed to open-air river-terrace sites. In 2009 the International Union of Geological Sciences confirmed a change in time period for the Pleistocene, changing the start date from 1.806 to 2.588 million years BP, accepted the base of the Gelasian as the base of the Pleistocene, namely the base of the Monte San Nicola GSSP.
The IUGS has yet to approve a type section, Global Boundary Stratotype Section and Point, for the upper Pleistocene/Holocene boundary. The proposed section is the North Greenland Ice Core Project ice core 75° 06' N 42° 18' W; the lower boundary of the Pleistocene Series is formally defined magnetostratigraphically as the base of the Matuyama chronozone, isotopic stage 103. Above this point there are notable extinctions of the calcareous nanofossils: Discoaster pentaradiatus and Discoaster surculus; the Pleistocene covers the recent period of repeated glaciations. The name Plio-Pleistocene has, in the past, been used to mean the last ice age; the revised definition of the Quaternary, by pushing back the start date of the Pleistocene to 2.58 Ma, results in the inclusion of all the recent repeated glaciations within the Pleistocene. The modern continents were at their present positions during the Pleistocene, the plates upon which they sit having moved no more than 100 km relative to each other since the beginning of the period.
According to Mark Lynas, the Pleistocene's overall climate could be characterized as a continuous El Niño with trade winds in the south Pacific weakening or heading east, warm air rising near Peru, warm water spreading from the west Pacific and the Indian Ocean to the east Pacific, other El Niño markers. Pleistocene climate was marked by repeated glacial cycles in which continental glaciers pushed to the 40th parallel in some places, it is estimated. In addition, a zone of permafrost stretched southward from the edge of the glacial sheet, a few hundred kilometres in North America, several hundred in Eurasia; the mean annual temperature at the edge of the ice was −6 °C. Each glacial advance tied up huge volumes of water in continental ice sheets 1,500 to 3,000 metres thick, resulting in temporary sea-level drops of 100 metres or more over the entire surface of the Earth. During interglacial times, such as at present, drowned coastlines were common, mitigated by isostatic or other emergent motion of some regions.
The effects of glaciation were global. Antarctica was ice-bound throughout the Pleistocene as well as the preceding Pliocene; the Andes were covered in the south by the Patagonian ice cap. There were glaciers in New Tasmania; the current decaying glaciers of Mount Kenya, Mount Kilimanjaro, the Ruwenzori Range in east and central Africa were larger. Glaciers existed to the west in the Atlas mountains. In the northern hemisphere, many glaciers fused into one; the Cordilleran ice sheet covered the North American northwest. The Fenno-Scandian ice sheet rested including much of Great Britain. Scattered domes stretched across Siberi
Lake Manly was a pluvial lake in Death Valley, covering much of Death Valley with a surface area of 1,600 square kilometres during the so-called "Blackwelder stand". Water levels varied through its history, the chronology is further complicated by active tectonic processes that have modified the elevations of the various shorelines of Lake Manly; the lake received water from the Amargosa River and at various points from the Mojave River and Owens River. The lake and its substantial catchment favoured the spread of a number of aquatic species, including some lizards and springsnails; the lake supported a substantial ecosystem, a number of diatoms developed there. In Death Valley, lakes existed during different times in the geological past. After some poorly defined lake stages during the Miocene and early Pleistocene, the first large lake stage occurred about 185,000–128,000 years ago during the Tahoe glacial stage and formed the Blackwelder shorelines; this lake was the largest known Lake Manly.
After the drying of this lake a lake stage occurred 35,000–10,000 years ago during the Tioga/Wisconsin glaciation. During the Holocene, the lake disappeared; this lake is one among many major lakes that formed in the Great Basin, the best researched of which are Lake Lahontan and Lake Bonneville. Decreasing temperatures and thus decreased evaporation rates as well as increased precipitation rates during the ice ages were responsible for the formation of these lake systems. Lake Manly collected the overflow from a number of lakes including Lake Tecopa, Mono Lake, Lake Owens, Searles Lake, Lake Panamint, Lake Mojave, Lake Dumont and Lake Manix. Not all of them drained into Lake Manly simultaneously; the existence of large ancient lakes in the Great Basin of the United States was proposed by the end of the 19th century, when the existence of Lake Lahontan and Lake Bonneville was first described. The possibility of a former lake in Death Valley was considered during that time, though at first it was not universally accepted as a large lake.
The first evidence for it was described in 1924 by geologist Levi F. Noble. Earlier in 1890 another geologist, Grove Karl Gilbert assumed a lake existed in Death Valley, although his lake was larger than actual Lake Manly. Evidence for the lake's existence includes wavecut terraces observed by geologists in 1925, pebbles and tufa, layers of clay and salt on its former lake bed, calcium carbonate deposits that were formed by algae in the lake; these clues are dispersed across Death Valley within the more researched areas of Beatty Junction and Desolation Canyon. While the deposits were once attributed to a single lake stand evidence was found of various lake cycles going back to the Pliocene; the history of Lake Manly is not as well understood as that of Lake Lahontan and Lake Bonneville, the two largest pluvial lakes recorded in the Great Basin. More renewed scientific interest has stemmed from the fact that Lake Manly drained the area of Yucca Mountain, a proposed nuclear waste repository; the lake was named in honor of William Lewis Manly, who rescued white immigrants from Death Valley in 1849.
The name "Lake Rogers" for a potential northern lake in Death Valley was derived from a compatriot of Manly, John Rogers. The name "Lake Manly" was coined in 1932, is sometimes spelled as "Manley", a misspelling. Other names for the lakes in Death Valley are "Death Valley Pleistocene lakes" and "Death Valley Lake", a name first used in a publication of 1902; the name is used for the lakes that occupied Death Valley in the past, but the name "Lake Manly" is used only for the most recent, the middle Pleistocene lake stage or general late Pleistocene lake stages. Lake Manly formed in Death Valley, a tectonic depression framed by the Cottonwood Mountains and Panamint Range to the west, Owlshead Mountains to the south and Black Mountains, Funeral Mountains and Grapevine Mountains to the east. Death Valley is about 200 kilometres long and 10–30 kilometres wide and consists of three basins: Badwater Basin which reaches a depth of 86 metres beneath sea level, Cottonball Basin and Middle Basin; the Badwater Basin is the deepest point in North America.
Death Valley began forming about 14 million years ago, by the Pliocene it was well developed. The valley remains deep due to vertical faulting, which occurs faster there than anywhere else in the US. Various types of rocks form the surface areas of Death Valley, some going back as far as the Precambrian; the Death Valley is tectonically active, with faults including the Black Mountains fault, Furnace Creek Fault, Grandview Fault, Northern Death Valley Fault, Southern Death Valley fault and Towne Pass Fault. Thus, shorelines from the same lake stands are not at the same elevation in various parts of the basin. Faulting has caused a progressive drop in elevation of the floor of Death Valley, keeping pace with sedimentation, though the exact rates are not known; this deformation causes the southwestern shores of Lake Manly to sag with respect to the northeastern ones, together with sedimentation renders estimating the depth of Lake Manly unreliable. This is compounded by the fact that many lake deposits are located close to the active faults of the Death Valley fault zone.
Over the last 60,000–70,000 years, the Northern Death Vall
Salt pan (geology)
Natural salt pans or salt flats are flat expanses of ground covered with salt and other minerals shining white under the sun. They are found in deserts, are natural formations. A salt pond; this happens in climates where the rate of water evaporation exceeds the rate of precipitation, that is, in a desert. If the water cannot drain into the ground, it remains on the surface until it evaporates, leaving behind minerals precipitated from the salt ions dissolved in the water. Over thousands of years, the minerals accumulate on the surface; these minerals reflect the sun's rays and appear as white areas. Salt pans can be dangerous; the crust of salt can conceal a quagmire of mud. The Qattara Depression in the eastern Sahara Desert contains many such traps which served as strategic barriers during World War II; the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, where many land speed records have been set, are a well-known salt pan in the arid regions of the western United States. The Etosha pan, in the Etosha National Park in Namibia, is another prominent example of a salt pan.
The Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia is the largest salt pan in the world. It contains 50%-70% of the world's lithium reserves. Dry lake – A basin or depression that contained a standing surface water body Sabkha Salt evaporation pond Salt lake Sink – Depression within an endorheic basin where water collects with no visible outlet Solonchak Briere, Peter R.. "Playa, playa lake, sabkha: Proposed definitions for old terms". Journal of Arid Environments. Elsevier. 45: 1–7. Bibcode:2000JArEn..45....1B. Doi:10.1006/jare.2000.0633. Lowenstein, Tim K.. "Criteria for the recognition of salt-pan evaporites". Sedimentation. 32: 627–644. Bibcode:1985Sedim..32..627L. Doi:10.1111/j.1365-3091.1985.tb00478.x
Edwards Air Force Base
Edwards Air Force Base is a United States Air Force installation located in Kern County in southern California, about 22 miles northeast of Lancaster and 15 miles east of Rosamond. It is the home of the Air Force Test Center, Air Force Test Pilot School, NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center, it is the Air Force Materiel Command center for conducting and supporting research and development of flight, as well as testing and evaluating aerospace systems from concept to combat. It hosts many test activities conducted by America's commercial aerospace industry. Known as Muroc Air Force Base, Edwards AFB is named in honor of Captain Glen Edwards. During World War II, he flew A-20 Havoc light attack bombers in the North African campaign on 50 hazardous, low-level missions against German tanks, troops, bridges and other tactical targets. Edwards became a test pilot in 1943 and spent much of his time at Muroc Army Air Field, on California's high desert, testing wide varieties of experimental prototype aircraft.
He died in the crash of a Northrop YB-49 flying wing near Muroc AFB on 5 June 1948. The base is next to Rogers Dry Lake, an endorheic desert salt pan whose hard dry lake surface provides a natural extension to Edwards' runways; this large landing area, combined with excellent year-round weather, makes the base good for flight testing. The lake is a National Historic Landmark; the base has helped develop every aircraft purchased by the Air Force since World War II. Every United States military aircraft since the 1950s has been at least tested at Edwards, it has been the site of many aviation breakthroughs. Notable occurrences at Edwards include Chuck Yeager's flight that broke the sound barrier in the Bell X-1, test flights of the North American X-15, the first landings of the Space Shuttle, the 1986 around-the-world flight of the Rutan Voyager; the 412th Test Wing plans, conducts and reports on all flight and ground testing of aircraft, weapons and components as well as modeling and simulation for the U.
S. Air Force; the Wing oversees the base's day-to-day operations and provides support for military, federal civilian, contract personnel assigned to Edwards AFB. Planes assigned to the 412th carry the tail code: ED. U. S. Air Force Test Pilot School: Part of the 412th Test Wing, USAF TPS is where the Air Force's top pilots and engineers learn how to conduct flight tests and generate the data needed to carry out test missions; the comprehensive curriculum of Test Pilot School is fundamental to the success of flight test and evaluation. 412th Operations Group: The 412th OG flies an average of 90 aircraft with upwards of 30 aircraft designs. It performs an annual average including more than 1,900 test missions, its squadrons include: 411th Flight Test Squadron: 416th Flight Test Squadron: 419th Flight Test Squadron: 445th Flight Test Squadron: 461st Flight Test Squadron: 412th Flight Test Squadron: 418th Flight Test Squadron: 452d Flight Test Squadron: 412th Test Management Division 412th Test Management Group 412th Electronic Warfare Group 412th Engineering DivisionThe Engineering Division and the Electronic Warfare Group provide the central components in conducting the Test and Evaluation mission of the 412 TW.
They provide the tools and equipment for the core disciplines of aircraft structures, propulsion and electronic warfare evaluation of the latest weapon system technologies. They host the core facilities that enable flight test and ground test—the Range Division, Benefield Anechoic Facility, Integrated Flight Avionics Systems Test Facility and the Air Force Electronic Warfare Evaluation Simulator; the Project and Resource Management Divisions provide the foundation for the successful program management of test missions. 412th Civil Engineer Division 412th Maintenance Group 412th Medical Group 412th Mission Support Group There are a vast array of organizations at Edwards that do not fall under the 412th Test Wing. They are known as Associate Units; these units do everything from providing an on-base grocery store to testing state-of-the-art rockets. The 31st Test and Evaluation Squadron provides Air Combat Command personnel to support combined test and evaluation on Air Force weapons systems. Established in 1917, it is one of the oldest units of the United States Air Force.
The "Desert Pirates" are part of the 53d Test and Evaluation Group, Nellis AFB, Nevada and the 53d Wing, Eglin AFB, Florida. It provides the Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center, Kirtland AFB, New Mexico, Air Force Materiel Command, Wright-Patterson AFB, with test team members who have an operational perspective to perform test and evaluation on Combat Air Force systems; the 31st is staffed with a mixture of operations and engineering experts who plan and conduct tests, evaluate effectiveness and suitability, influence system design. The squadron's personnel are integrated into the B-1, B-2, B-52, Global Hawk, MQ-9 and F-35 Joint Strike Fighter programs, their results and conclusions support Department of Defense acquisition and employment decisions. An Air Force Materiel Command named unit assigned to Kirtland AFB, New Mexico, AFOTEC Detachment 1 is responsible for accomplishing Block 2 and 3 Initial Operational Test and Evaluation of the F-35 Lightning II for the US Air Force, United States Navy, United States Marine Corps, United Kingdom Ministry of Defense, the Royal Netherlands Air Force.