Owens Valley lies between the Sierra Nevada and the Inyo and White Mountains. The mountains on either side reach above 14,000' in elevation, while the floor of the Owens Valley is at 4000'. Thus, Owens Valley is one of the deepest valleys in the United States. In the valley lies Owens Lake, now a dry alkali flat. The valley used to be lush, but the diversion of water from the city of Los Angeles eventually dried out Owens Lake. This causes sometimes the southern Owens Valley to be affected by alkali dust storms arising from the dry lake bed.
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