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Field Trip



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Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC)

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Field Trip

Title: Pluvial Lakes, Past Climate, Isostatic Rebound, and Active Faulting in the Northern Walker Lane.

Photo: View northward along the Truckee River and Pyramid Lake fault zone with Pyramid Lake in the distance. Those flying to Reno from the east should see the Lake and a similar view about 10-15 minutes before landing.

The trip will begin with a drive eastward from Granlibakken. The course of our path will follow the Truckee River eastward and take us from the Alpine environment of Lake Tahoe to the arid desert of western Nevada and the Great Basin. The terminus of the Truckee River is Pyramid Lake.

The Lake is the remaining vestige of Pluvial Lake Lahontan. There we will observe the remanant shorelines of the lake, discuss the rapidity with which climate can change, the isostatic rebound that has occurred since dessication of the lake, and observe one of the major right-lateral strike slip faults that shares in the ~20% of Pacific-North American San Andreas transform plate motion that is taken up east of the Sierran Nevada within the Walker Lane and Basin and Range. From there we will return via an alternate route which will take us southward to Carson Valley.

The Valley is primarily the result of normal fault displacement along the Genoa fault. The fault and valley provide a spectacular example of youthful fault offsets and Basin and Range topography. The final leg of the trip will take us up the Genoa fault escarpment and along the shores of Lake Tahoe back to Granlibakken.

Field trip participants on their way to Pyramid Lake.

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