Death Valley is a desert valley located in Eastern California. It is the lowest, driest, and hottest area in North America.
Death Valley’s Badwater Basin is the point of the lowest elevation in North America, at 279 feet (85 m) below sea level.
Death Valley is one of the best geological examples of a basin and range configuration. It lies at the southern end of a geological trough known as Walker Lane, which runs north into Oregon. The valley is bisected by a right lateral strike slip fault system, represented by the Death Valley Fault and the Furnace Creek Fault. The eastern end of the left lateral Garlock Fault intersects the Death Valley Fault. Furnace Creek and the Amargosa River flow through the valley but eventually disappear into the sands of the valley floor.
Death Valley also contains salt pans. According to current geological consensus, during the middle of the Pleistocene era, there was a succession of inland seas (collectively referred to as Lake Manly) where Death Valley is today. As the area turned to desert, the water evaporated, leaving the abundance of evaporitic salts such as common sodium salts and borax, which were later exploited during the modern history of the region, primarily 1883 to 1907.