Edge of the Playa

Drainages and erosion in the desert often produce unique patterns best appreciated from the air. The larger patterns are frequently found along arroyos where their intricate design is a function of water flow and soil composition, but interesting patterns also emerge around the edges of playas. The playas are the lowest areas in these enclosed drainage basins and where the dip is the shallowest. One would not expect unusual patterns where the water flow rate is the lowest but contrary to this expectation a myriad of branched patterns exist along the edge of this water filled playa. Resembling capillary beds these small drainage features can be found all around the edge of the playa and are best visualized in a water filled playa.

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