Rogers Lake is a desert playa used as a military airport for Edwards Air Force Base in the Antelope Valley of southern California. Previous measurements of land subsidence and ground-water levels in the study area indicated that ground-water pumping induced tensional stresses in the playa, which were sporadically relieved through the formation of long cracks. Drying of the sediments beneath the playa also may have accelerated the natural formation of giant desiccation polygons. When water flows across the playa, the cracks erode into fissures of sufficient width and depth to endanger traffic on the playa. Topographic surveys of the playa were made to derive a contour map that would allow examination of erosive flow paths. Crack networks were surveyed in selected areas during 1995 and compared with cracks visible in aerial photographs taken in 1990. Crack networks remained visible in their positions following several inundations of the playa. The density of the crack networks increased in all of the selected areas.
Additional Publication Details
USGS Numbered Series
Topography, surface features, and flooding of Rogers Lake playa, California
Water-Resources Investigations Report
U.S. Dept. of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey ;
USGS Information Services [distributor],