Mono Lake lies in the Long Valley Caldera where active volcanism occurs in and around the lake. The climatic and hydrologic changes in the Mono Lake Basin show that the lake is surrounded by cold and relatively dry weather. It also indicates shifts in the wind circulation pattern around the lake. The spatial and temporal variations near the lake change the shapes of the dunes around the area. There is active volcanism in and around the lake.
Mono Lake an alkaline (acidic) and hyper saline (salty) lake. Water drains into Mono Lake from the surrounding mountains, but doesn´t drain out. This makes it so that the only way water leaves the lake is by evaporation. As water evaporates, it leaves behind salt and impurities, including arsenic, that then become concentrated, making the water poisonous. Limestone towers called tufa towers formed here. Because of the unique setup at Mono Lake, stratification occurs.