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Death Valley National Park - Ecosystems

Below Sea Level

Lowest Places on Earth

Rock Bottom

As the lowest point in North America, Death Valley belongs to a world-wide geographic rogues’ gallery, whose members share these defining features:

To have exposed land below sea level, an extremely dry climate is necessary. In wet climates, low places fill with water and overflow to the sea. A dry climate evaporates water, leaving behind salt flats or briny lakes.

Like most of these locations, Death Valley was not created by a river’s erosion. Movements in the earth’s crust have dropped it to such great depths.

Below Sea Level

Sea level is the average elevation of the world’s ocean surface and is the standard from which all other elevations are measured. Regardless of tides, “sea level” remains constant.

Earth’s Lowest Elevations

  • Dead Sea (Jordan/Israel) -1360 feet (-414 m)
  • Lake Assal (Djibouti, Africa) -509 feet (-155 m)
  • Turpan Pendi (China) -505 feet (-154 m)
  • Qattara Depression (Egypt) -435 feet (-133 m)
  • Vpadina Kaundy (Kazakstan) -433 ft (-132 m)
  • Denakil (Ethiopia) -410 ft (-125 m)
  • Laguna del Carbón (Argentina) -344 ft (-105 m)
  • Death Valley (United States) -282 ft (-86 m)
  • Vpadina Akchanaya (Turkmenistan) -266 ft (-81 m)
  • Salton Sea (California) -227 ft (-69 m)
  • Sebkhet Tah (Morroco) -180 ft (-55 m)
  • Sabkhat Ghuzayyil (Libya) -154 ft (-47 m)
  • Lago Enriquillo (Dominican Republic) -151 ft (-46 m)
  • Salinas Chicas (Argentina) -131 ft (-40 m)
  • Caspian Sea (Central Asia) -92 ft (-28 m)
  • Lake Eyre (Australia) -49 ft (-15 m)



Source - National Park Service

nature: Geology, Wildlife & Plants -- geography: Maps - Regions - Points of Interest - Communities -- roads & trails: Route 66 -- glossary
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