Growing up near Pyramid and Mono Lakes I am pretty familiar with tufa and tufa towers. I am not so familiar with travertine however, I have heard of it, but never really thought about how it was formed and it's relation to tufa.
The other day I was reading a book and it was discussing travertine. It stated that "As water moves through faults it is enriched in calcium and bicarbonate from the enclosing limestone rocks...carbon dioxide escapes as gas and bicarbonate combines with calcium to precipitate as travertine, a calcium carbonate." It also discussed how travertine deposits form a variety of shapes such as mounds and towers. Hmmmm, sounds quite similar to tufa to me. That got me thinking, what is the difference between travertine and tufa?
What is Tufa?
Tufa is a rock composed of calcium carbonate (CaCO3), essentially limestone, that forms at the mouth of a spring, from lake water, or form a mixture of spring and lake water. Most of the tufa at Pyramid Lake formed between 26,000 and 13,000 years ago. when the area was much wetter and Pyramid was joined to lakes in nearby basins.
Tufa mounds form when springs discharged from the bottom of a lake, supplying calcium that combines with carbonate dissolved in lake water to form the mounds. The thickest tufa deposits form near lake-bottom sites of ground-water discharge, and at overflow elevations where the lake was held near-constant levels for long periods of time.
What is Travertine?
Travertine is a terrestrial sedimentary rock, formed by the precipitation of carbonate minerals from solution in ground and surface waters, and/or geothermally heated hot-springs.
Like tufa, travertine is a form calcium carbonate (CaCO3) limestone deposited by mineral springs, especially hot springs. Travertine exists in white, tan, cream-colored, and even rusty varieties. It is formed by a process of rapid precipitation of calcium carbonate, often at the mouth of a hot spring or in a limestone cave. In the latter, it can form stalactites, stalagmites, and other speleothems.
Tufa and Travertine are similar, but tufa is softer and more porous than travertine. Tufa has a higher porosity, woody texture, and is generally a cool fresh water deposit. Conversely, travertine is commonly deposited in warm water and is more lithified, hard and smooth.
Clark Mountain, the highest peak toward the northern end of the Virginia Range east of Reno, appears a humped desert peak from downtown Reno. It is usually overshadowed by the Carson Range and Mount Rose to the west and Peavine Mountain to the northwest and even sometimes by Spanish Springs Peak in the Pah Rah's or the colorful hills of Hidden Valley, although there is a splendid view of Clark Mountain from UNR looking east. It might not attract much attention, but it is much more than meets the eye! Before the Sierra Nevada even rose, Clark Mountain would have dominated the landscape as a volcano in the style of the Cascades, and in fact was created by the same process of subduction. These volcanic processes took place from 35 million to 7 million years ago, when volcanism mostly stopped this far south and the Sierra processes started.*
Much of the Virginia Range, and this part of the Basin and Range in general, was created by these same volcanic processes, and its more well-known and larger southern neighbor, Mount Davidson, overlooking Virgnia City, was a stratovolcano during this period. Vegetation would have been much different at this time as well, their being evidence of the existence of redwood (or redwood ancestors) in the region.
Read an account of climbing Clark Mountain here. This climb is from McCarran Ranch rather than climbing via Lagomarsino Canyon as per the mountain's summitpost.com entry.
*Probably a massive simplification, any amplification in comments is welcome!
We are in Lakeview, Oregon for the Northwest Basin and Range Synthesis Ecosystem Symposium. We are so excited to be here and share the Basin and Range Project! We will be presenting a poster during the poster session of the Symposium.
From Nevada Wild:
For those anglers new to ice fishing, you are in for a surprise. It is relaxing, quite easy and much more social than its warm weather cousin.
Contrary to popular myth, ice anglers can use pretty much the same gear that they use during the summer with just a few minor exceptions.
Learn more here: http://nevadawild.org/how-to-ice-fish-in-nevada/
Conservation science is a broad, deep field that’s growing all the time. To help people brush up on conservation practices and learn about new technologies, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) offers hundreds of free conservation webinars from its online Science and Technology Training Library.
Available live or on-demand, these webinars also count as Continuing Education Units for many different certifying organizations and programs
Did you know there were once active volcanoes in our area? What about the fault line running through Virginia Lake? Come find out about our region’s rich geology!
The Truckee Meadows Park Foundation is hosting this event that is free and open to the public! The talks will be held at the California Building at IdleWild Park. 1000 Cowan Dr. Reno, NV 89509 from 6:00-8:00 pm. on February 8, 2016
Light provisions will be provided for members and suggested donation.
There will be three guest speakers:
1) Jim E. Faulds, Ph. D.
Research ProfessorNevada Bureau of Mines and Geology
Mackay School of Earth Sciences & Engineering
University of Nevada, Reno
2) Christopher D. Henry, Ph. D.
Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology
Mackay School of Earth Sciences & Engineering
University of Nevada, Reno
3) Annie Kell, Ph. D.
Dr. Annie Kell received her Ph.D. from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2014. Her thesis topics include fault studies of the San Andreas and Imperial fault system beneath the Salton Sea, and faulting beneath Pyramid Lake and SW Reno, using both marine and land-based seismic imaging techniques.
For more information and to check out our guests speakers, visit our webspage here: http://www.tmparksfoundation.org/#!tmpf-talks/td1v8
The Mt. Charleston Winter Alliance(MCWA) announces the launch of www.mtcharlestonwinter.com, a site that provides winter road conditions and weather updates along with safety tips and winter outdoor recreation information for visitors to the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area (SMNRA). The MCWA was created to promote and ensure public safety during the winter months when areas like Kyle Canyon and Lee Canyon see spikes in visitation.
The public awareness initiative also includes public service announcements in English and Spanish created by Clark County Television (CCTV). The MCWA is a collaborative effort between Clark County, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (Metro), Lee Canyon, the Mount Charleston Fire & Rescue District, Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT), Nevada Highway Patrol (NHP) and U.S. Forest Service.
“The Mt. Charleston Winter Alliance’s goal is to ensure public safety and decrease the number of winter weather related road and recreation accidents,” said Clark County Commissioner Larry Brown, who represents the Mt. Charleston area and serves as chairman of the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada. “Our organizations have joined together to ensure that our residents and guests enjoy the beauty of the Spring Mountains safely during the winter season.”
According to NHP, Lee and Kyle Canyons can see 25,000 cars during a holiday weekend when snow is present on the mountain. To ensure timely emergency response to the area and public safety, NHP monitors traffic congestion and road conditions in both canyons during the winter months and regulates access as needed.
Road closures including Nevada State Routes 156 (Lee Canyon Rd.), 157 (Kyle Canyon Rd.) and 158 (Deer Creek Rd.) that provide access to ski and snow play areas in Lee Canyon and Kyle Canyon will be posted onwww.mtcharlestonwinter.com. Road condition information will be taken directly from NDOT’s website and visitors can also call 511 for information on road conditions and closures in Nevada.
“Traffic congestion during snowy days on the mountain can impede access of emergency vehicles including ambulances and snow plows, which jeopardizes public safety,” explains Loy Hixson, public information officer at NHP. “Therefore, this season as in past seasons, Nevada Highway Patrol will be monitoring visitor volume, road conditions, available parking, and regulating access to ensure safety.”
Tips for Winter Safety in the Spring Mountains
National Public Lands Day (NPLD) is the nation's largest, single-day volunteer effort for public lands. The Official NPLD 2015 will take place on Saturday, September 26, but there are events this weekend (19th) and into October.
Click the following link to see all the awesome projects happing throughout Nevada:
Learn more here: http://www.publiclandsday.org/
St. George, Utah— From May 26-30, 2015, students throughout southern Utah enrolled in grades 10-12 will have a unique opportunity of participating in a variety of recreational outdoor activities and studying a number of natural resource sciences with a host of experts and professionals. The Color Country Natural Resources camp, located on Dixie National Forest near Panguitch Lake, is designed to introduce young adults, grades 10-12, to careers in natural resources.
Youth take part in a full week of hands-on activities, outdoor recreation, and exploration in a wide variety of natural resource fields including the study of plants, wildlife, water, and archaeology; all taught by area professionals. During the camp, youth are also able to try out a number of outdoor recreation activities including mountain biking skills, archery, outdoor photography, and fishing in high mountain lakes and streams.
High school students from Washington and Garfield counties are taught natural resource studies, by professionals from the Washington County School District, Dixie National Forest, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, Bureau of Land Management, and Utah State University. Student applications are welcome from all communities in southwestern Utah.
The Washington County School District has extended the application deadline for attendance at the 2015 Color Country Natural Resource Camp for high school students to May 6, 2015. Apply online at http://ccnrcamp.org/. A $75 application fee covers the cost of food and transportation.
New event brings awareness to historic fires and wildfire fuels along race route
University of Nevada Cooperative Extension is partnering with the Bureau of Land Management, Nevada State Parks and Desert Sky Adventures to hold a Wildfire Awareness Half Marathon and 5K Trail Run beginning at 8 a.m., Saturday, May 9 at Washoe Lake State Park. Registration is now open for the race, where participants will run through some of Nevada’s most infamous wildfire fuels, such as big sagebrush, bitterbrush, cheatgrass and rabbitbrush.
The race is part of Nevada Wildfire Awareness Month, a collaborative effort by local, state and federal firefighting agencies, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension and many others. The event will promote this year’s wildfire awareness message, "Improve Your Odds — Prepare for Wildfire," encouraging residents to take action now to prepare their homes and properties to increase their likelihood of surviving future wildfires.
The event will also raise funds for the Wildland Firefighter Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides assistance to fallen firefighters’ families and to firefighters injured in the line of duty. All proceeds from the $35 entry fee and donations collected during the event will be donated to the Foundation. As part of the race event, there will be displays of educational information, fire engines and a visit from Smokey Bear. The public is invited to come out and cheer on the runners, visit with firefighter representatives and enjoy the beauty of Washoe Valley.
"The race is being held in a beautiful, but fitting location here at Washoe Lake State Park," said Cooperative Extension Natural Resources Specialist Ed Smith, who co-manages the Living With Fire Program with Cooperative Extension Marketing Specialist Sonya Sistare. "Eight different wildfire scars can be seen on the hillsides surrounding the race course, including the most recent Washoe Drive Fire of 2012."
Smith has led the Living With Fire Program since 1997, teaching homeowners how to live more safely with the wildfire threat. The program has received numerous national awards, and been credited with spurring actions that have saved many homes.
Registration for the Wildfire Awareness Half Marathon and 5K at Washoe Lake State Park is limited to 300 participants. To register for the race or for more information about Nevada Wildfire Awareness Month, visit www.LivingWithFire.info, or contact Sistare at University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, email@example.com or 775-336-0271.
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