Lower Elevation Sites (Below 1,300 m)
Middle Elevation Sites
Upper Edge of the Mojave Desert (1,550 to 1,850 m)
The location map shows the Mojave Desert Ecosystem Project Area and ghost-town and mining sites (stakes) used for RVDE studies of soil compaction and vegetation recovery. These studies were facilitated through the use of repeat photography. Also shown are the 1:250,000-scale quadrangle maps that comprise the Mojave Desert Ecosystem project area.
Click inside the yellow rectangle to zoom in on the stake numbers, which will open in a new window.
Late 19th century and early 20th century, settlers in the Mojave Desert were more concerned with mineral extraction than in maintaining permanent settlements. Several areas were settled and then abandoned and have remained unused. These ghost towns and mines provide sites to study vegetation recovery over periods of up to 100 years.
Use of repeat photographs to document changes from the heyday of the settlements through to the present show vegetation recovery from the disturbances caused by settlement.
USGS is particularly indebted to the Arizona Historical Foundation, the Nevada Historical Society, the Bureau of Land Management, Death Valley National Park, and the Sidney Norman Weight for use of their historic photography of ghost towns. We also thank Raymond M. Turner, emeritus from USGS, for teaching us repeat photography.