Owens Valley is a graben, a downdropped block of land between two vertical faults, the Sierra Nevada Fault and White Mountains Fault systems. One of deepest valleys in US. Inhabited in late prehistoric times by Timbisha (also called Panamint or Koso) tribe in the south and by the Mono tribe (also Owens Valley Paiute) in the central and northern portions of the valley. Named in 1845 by John C. Fremont for Richard Owens, one of his guides. Area subject of intense water wars in early 1900's as Los Angeles, through buying and subterfuge, started acquring water rights and almost completely diverting Owens River and all inflows to Owens and Mono Lakes (and pumped groundwater) to LA via the California Aqueduct system.