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the eye it may appear potable, is unsafe to drink. This condition prevails only along the middle and lower courses of the stream. It is worse during flood periods, when quantities of surface alkali from along the banks of the stream are taken into solution. Near its source, where the water first rises in the springs, it is of excellent quality. In going toward any point of the compass from Death Valley it is found that the floor of the basin gradually rises. In traveling southward one passes over low divides and gradually descends to Soda Lake, the sink of Mohave river From Soda Lake the ground rises toward the east to the New York Mountains. Beyond these the drainage is toward colorado river West of Death Valley, the floor of the desert, above which several high ranges stand, gradually rises to the foot of the Sierra Nevada. SODA LAKE. Soda Lake is the sink of Mohave river whch rises in the San Bernardino Mountains and flows to Barstow, and thence northeastward to this sink. The river is over 100 miles long, but except during the flood season there is little surface flow save where ledges of rock athwart its course force the water to the surface. SALTON SINK. The Salton Sink, the lowest point of the colorado Desert, was a part of the Gulf of California in comparatively recent geologic time, but it has been separated from the present gulf by the growth of the delta of colorado river Normally it receives only the occasional overflow from distributaries of this river but in 1904 the colorado was largely diverted to it, and only recently (1907) has that river been confined to its proper channel. The sink, therefore, is now partially filled by a lake with an area of nearly 500 square miles, which will probably not dry away completely for fifteen or twenty years. A GREAT TROUGH. The most important sinks of the desert form a more or less continuous group along a northwest-southeast line, which may be spoken of as the Great Trough. The Death Valley axis is about 150 miles long, and extends from the north end of the valley southeastward to Silurian Dry Lake. There begins the sink of the Mohave basin which extends southward through Soda Lake and the Devil's Playground to Bristol, Cadiz, and Danby dry lakes, a distance of over 125 miles. It is separated from the Death Valley trough only by the low divide between Silurian Lake and Silver Lake, which are less than 15 miles apart.

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