Mike's Garage

Coyote Dry Lake

Coyote Dry Lake is unique geologically compared to other dry lake beds in the area.  Ever since the Mojave River changed its course in the recent geologic past the basin has been starved of sediment and has been (and continues to) undergoing a process known as deflation.  A result of this process is that anything buried in the clay and mud of the old lake bed gets exhumed as the surface subsides.  This has led to over 200 meteorites being discovered here over the last 15 years.  A very informative write-up on the first of these discoveries can be found at this link.

This picture illustrates a feature found all around the dry lake bed; a sort of bubbly crust made of earth and salt that collapses under any weight.


Here is deflation at work.  Huge portions of the dry lake bed are constantly settling; you can especially see evidence of this around the perimeter of the dry lake bed.  Unlike most dry lakes in the area, this one is not completely flat and a lot of the surface changes from year to year.  This feature may not be there the next time I visit.  There were other locations like this, but the settlement was more that 6' tall.


The dry lake is very large and there are huge expanses of more typical flat playa.


The surrounding hills bear multi-colored stones, several of volcanic origin.  As the hills erode they deposit cobble along the shores of the dry lake.


Here's a section marker in the middle of the lake bed.


No finds to report after a day of hunting, but I gathered some good intel and plan to come back in the near future.