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Shiyuan Zhong, Ju Li, C. David Whiteman, Xindi Bian, and Wenqing Yao

considerably and splits into two valleys. At the southern end of the valley lies the dry Owens Lake bed, which was originally a 285 km 2 saline lake. The lake was reduced to a much smaller brine pool surrounded by a large area of dry, alkaline soils following the diversion of the Owens River water to Los Angeles in an aqueduct project completed in 1913. Situated in the rain shadow of the Sierra Nevada, the annual rainfall in the region averages about 10–15 cm yr −1 , with most precipitation falling from

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