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Dry Lakes

It may surprise people to learn that the Antelope Valley landscape once contained several natural lakes. As the Pleistocene epoch became the Holocene, climatic changes occurred and temperatures began to rise; following these changes, the large lakes eventually desiccated.

These once large bodies of water are now represented as dry lake beds (such as the Rogers and Rosamond dry lakes) where Edwards Air Force Base has been established. The flat, hard surface that remains where these lakes once stood provides a terrain suitable for runways, acting as a natural extension to the tarmac.

Views of these dry lake beds are especially prominent when looking at aerial shots of the Antelope Valley; they can be seen as large, barren flatlands surrounded by the usual desert topography.

Though there is no way these lakes could be restored to their previous capacity, it is common for these dry lakes to retain small amounts of water during extremely rainy seasons.

Photos courtesy of MOAH Collections


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