Science.gov

Sample records for adjacent sierra nevada

  1. Sierra Nevada

    Atmospheric Science Data Center

    2014-05-15

    ... of the Sierra Nevada mountains near the California-Nevada border were acquired on August 12, 2000 during Terra orbit 3472. On the left is ... 2000 - Sierra Nevada mountains near the California-Nevada border. project:  MISR category:  gallery ...

  2. Climatic and hydrologic oscillations in the Owens Lake basin and adjacent Sierra Nevada, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Benson, L.V.; Burdett, J.W.; Kashgarian, Michaele; Lund, S.P.; Phillips, F.M.; Rye, R.O.

    1996-01-01

    Oxygen isotope and total inorganic carbon values of cored sediments from the Owens Lake basin, California, indicate that Owens Lake overflowed most of the time between 52,500 and 12,509 carbon-14 (14C) years before present (B.P.). Owens Lake desiccated during or after Heinrich event H1 and was hydrologically closed during Heinrich event H2. The magnetic susceptibility and organic carbon content of cored sediments indicate that about 19 Sierra Nevada glaciations occurred between 52,500 and 23,500 14C years B.P. Most of the glacial advances were accompanied by decreases in the amount of discharge reaching Owens Lake. Comparison of the timing of glaciation with the lithic record of North Atlantic core V23-81 indicates that the number of mountain glacial cycles and the number of North Atlantic lithic events were about equal between 39,000 and 23,500 14C years B.P.

  3. Climatic and hydrologic oscillations in the Owens Lake basin and adjacent Sierra Nevada, California

    SciTech Connect

    Benson, L.V.; Burdett, J.W.; Phillips, F.M.

    1996-11-01

    Oxygen isotope and total organic carbon values of cored sediments from the Owens Lake basin, California, indicate that Owens Lake overflowed most of the time between 52,500 and 12,500 carbon-14 ({sup 14}C) years before present (B.P.). Owens Lake desiccated during or after Heinrich event H1 and was hydrologically closed during Heinrich event H2. The magnetic susceptibility and organic carbon content of cored sediments indicate that about 19 Sierra Nevada glaciations occurred between 52,500 and 23,500 {sup 14}C years B.P. Most of glacial advances were accompanied by decreases in the amount of discharge reaching Owens Lake. Comparison of the timing of glaciation with the lithic record of North Atlantic core V23-81 indicates that the number of mountain glacial cycles and the number of North Atlantic lithic events were about equal between 39,000 and 23,500 {sup 14}C years B.P. 27 refs., 3 figs.

  4. Status of the Sierra Nevada: the Sierra Nevada Ecosystem Project

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Erman, Don C.; ,

    1997-01-01

    The Sierra Nevada ecosystem project was requested by Congress in the Conference Report for Interior and related Agencies 1993 Appropriation Act, which authorized funds for a scientific review of the remaining old growth in the national forests of the Sierra Nevada in California, and for a study of the entire Sierra Nevada ecosystem by an independent panel of scientists, with expertise in diverse areas related to this issue. This CD-ROM is a digital version of the set of reports titled 'Sierra Nevada Ecosystem Project, final report to Congress' published in paper form by the Centers for Water and Wildland Resources of the University of California, Davis.

  5. Sierra Nevada Tools

    2004-01-01

    SNTools is a general framework for managing, through the use of policies, development tools used to create software. To date, most implementations written under the framework focus on managing revision control, building and testing. The Sierra implementation of the SNTools is used in the development and installation of the SIERRA Framework and its applications, SNTools is used as a method of managing or codifying software quality engineering practices.

  6. CCP: Sierra Nevada Captive-Carry Test

    NASA Video Gallery

    Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) Space System's Dream Chaser design passed one of its most complex tests to date with a successful captive-carry test conducted near the Rocky Mountain Metropolitan A...

  7. Sierra Nevada's Dream Chaser Model Assembly

    NASA Video Gallery

    This time lapse video shows the assembly of a scale model of Sierra Nevada Space Systems' Dream Chaser vehicle. The Dream Chaser model is undergoing final preparations for buffet tests at the Trans...

  8. CCiCap: Sierra Nevada Corporation

    NASA Video Gallery

    NASA announced today its plans to partner with Sierra Nevada Corp. (SNC) for the next phase of the agency's Commercial Crew Program (CCP). Called Commercial Crew integrated Capability (CCiCap), the...

  9. GPS Imaging of Sierra Nevada Uplift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hammond, W. C.; Blewitt, G.; Kreemer, C.

    2015-12-01

    Recent improvements in the scope and precision of GPS networks across California and Nevada have allowed for uplift of the Sierra Nevada to be observed directly. Much of the signal, in the range of 1 to 2 mm/yr, has been attributed to lithospheric scale rebound following massive groundwater withdrawal in the San Joaquin Valley in southern California, exacerbated by drought since 2011. However, natural tectonic deformation associated with long term uplift of the range may also contribute to the observed signal. We have developed new algorithms that enhance the signal of Sierra Nevada uplift and improve our ability to interpret and separate natural tectonic signals from anthropogenic contributions. We apply our new Median Interannual Difference Adjusted for Skewness (MIDAS) algorithm to the vertical times series and a inverse distance-weighted median spatial filtering and Delaunay-based interpolation to despeckle the rate map. The resulting spatially continuous vertical rate field is insensitive to outliers and steps in the GPS time series, and omits isolated features attributable to unstable stations or unrepresentative rates. The resulting vertical rate field for California and Nevada exhibits regionally coherent signals from the earthquake cycle including interseismic strain accumulation in Cascadia, postseismic relaxation of the mantle from recent large earthquakes in central Nevada and southern California, groundwater loading changes, and tectonic uplift of the Sierra Nevada and Coast Ranges. Uplift of the Sierra Nevada extends from the Garlock Fault in the south to an indefinite boundary in the north near the latitude of Mt. Lassen to the eastern Sierra Nevada range front in Owen's Valley. The rates transition to near zero in the southern Walker Lane. The eastern boundary of uplift coincides with the highest strain rates in the western Great Basin, suggesting higher normal fault slip rates and a component of tectonic uplift of the Sierra Nevada.

  10. Fuel bed characteristics of Sierra Nevada conifers

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    van Wagtendonk, J.W.; Benedict, J.M.; Sydoriak, W.M.

    1998-01-01

    A study of fuels in Sierra Nevada conifer forests showed that fuel bed depth and fuel bed weight significantly varied by tree species and developmental stage of the overstory. Specific values for depth and weight of woody, litter, and duff fuels are reported. There was a significant positive relationship between fuel bed depth and weight. Estimates of woody fuel weight using the planar intercept method were significantly related to sampled values. These relationships can be used to estimate fuel weights in the field.

  11. Groundwater quality in the Sierra Nevada, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fram, Miranda S.; Belitz, Kenneth

    2014-01-01

    Groundwater provides more than 40 percent of California’s drinking water. To protect this vital resource, the State of California created the Groundwater Ambient Monitoring and Assessment (GAMA) Program. The Priority Basin Project (PBP) of the GAMA Program provides a comprehensive assessment of the State’s groundwater quality and increases public access to groundwater-quality information. The Sierra Nevada Regional study unit constitutes one of the study units being evaluated.

  12. DISTRIBUTIONS OF AIRBORNE AGRICULTURAL CONTAMINANTS RELATIVE TO AMPHIBIAN POPULATIONS IN THE SOUTHERN SIERRA NEVADA, CA

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Sierra Nevada mountain range lies adjacent to one of the heaviest pesticide use areas in the USA, the Central Valley of California. Because of this proximity, concern has arisen that agricultural pesticides, in addition to other contaminants, are adversely affecting the natur...

  13. Seismic models of the root of the sierra nevada.

    PubMed

    Pakiser, L C; Brune, J N

    1980-12-01

    Seismic waves generated by earthquakes or explosions show a delay in travel times as they propagate across the Sierra Nevada from all directions except that of the Nevada test site. Early arriving waves from the test site can be explained if they emerge through a rock layer with high seismic velocity from the sharp eastern edge of the Sierran root. Such a layer could be formed by the subducted ophiolite slab that crops out in the western Sierra Nevada foothills. A synthesis of all seismic data indicates that the Sierran root projects downward into the mantle to a depth of about 55 kilometers beneath the high Sierra.

  14. [The Southern Sierra Nevada continental dynamics project]. Final technical report

    SciTech Connect

    Clayton, R.W.; Saleeby, J.B.

    1997-12-16

    The main objective of this study was to determine whether or not the Southern Sierra Nevada Mountain Range is supported by a crustal root. A secondary goal was to evaluate the relationship between the Sierra Nevada Range and the adjoining Death Valley extensional province. As part of the project, two seismic profiles were executed. The first was a north-south profile running from Ridgecrest to Chafant Valley. The second was an east-west profile from Death Valley to Coalinga. An NPE shot was recorded on the east-west receiver line, and the data were analyzed by forward modeling with a staggered-grid finite-difference code. Concurrently, the authors initiated an in-depth study of lower crustal and upper mantle xenoliths hosted by Neogene volcanic rocks of the central and southern Sierra Nevada region. This initial work focused on thermobarometric estimates of representative xenolith samples aimed at understanding the vertical composition of the Sierra Nevada lithosphere.

  15. Geomagnetic polarity epochs: Sierra Nevada II

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cox, A.; Doell, Richard R.; Brent, Dalrymple G.

    1963-01-01

    Ten new determinations on volcanic extrusions in the Sierra Nevada with potassium-argon ages of 3.1 million years or less indicate that the remanent magnetizations fall into two groups, a normal group in which the remanent magnetization is directed downward and to the north, and a reversed group magnetized up and to the south. Thermomagnetic experiments and mineralogic studies fail to provide an explanation of the opposing polarities in terms of mineralogic control, but rather suggest that the remanent magnetization reflects reversals of the main dipole field of the earth. All available radiometric ages are consistent with this field-reversal hypothesis and indicate that the present normal polarity epoch (N1) as well as the previous reversed epoch (R1) are 0.9 to 1.0 million years long, whereas the previous normal epoch (N2) was at least 25 percent longer.

  16. Geomagnetic Polarity Epochs: Sierra Nevada II.

    PubMed

    Cox, A; Doell, R R; Dalrymple, G B

    1963-10-18

    Ten new determinations on volcanic extrusions in the Sierra Nevada with potassium-argon ages of 3.1 million years or less indicate that the remanent magnetizations fall into two groups, a normal group in which the remanent magnetization is directed downward and to the north, and a reversed group magnetized up and to the south. Thermomagnetic experiments and mineralogic studies fail to provide an explanation of the opposing polarities in terms of mineralogic control, but rather suggest that the remanent magnetization reflects reversals of the main dipole field of the earth. All available radiometric ages are consistent with this field-reversal hypothesis and indicate that the present normal polarity epoch (N1) as well as the previous reversed epoch (R1) are 0.9 to 1.0 million years long, whereas the previous normal epoch (N2) was at least 25 percent longer. PMID:17799480

  17. Permian to Triassic I to S-type magmatic switch in the northeast Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and adjacent regions, Colombian Caribbean: Tectonic setting and implications within Pangea paleogeography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cardona, A.; Valencia, V.; Garzón, A.; Montes, C.; Ojeda, G.; Ruiz, J.; Weber, M.

    2010-10-01

    The Late Paleozoic to Triassic tectonics of northwestern South America have major implications for the understanding of Laurentia-Gondwana interactions that formed Pangea, and the origin of several tectonostratigraphic terranes dispersed by the break-up of this supercontinent during the formation of the Caribbean. Two mylonitic and orthogneissic granitoid suites have been recognized in the northeastern segment of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, the lower Magdalena basin and the Guajira Serranias, within the Caribbean region of Colombia. For the Santa Marta region U/Pb LAM-ICP-MS analysis yielded zircon crystallization ages of 288.1 ± 4.5 Ma, 276.5 ± 5,1 Ma and 264.9 ± 4.0 Ma, related to the magmatic intrusion. Geochemical and modal variations show a compositional spectrum between diorite and granite, whereas LREE enrichment, Ti and Nb anomalies and geochemical discrimination suggest that this granitoid suite was formed within a magmatic arc setting. Inherited zircons suggest that this Early Permian plutonism was formed with the participation of Neoproterozoic and Grenvillian basement proximal to the South American continent. Evidence of a superimposed Early Triassic (ca. 250 Ma) deformational event in Santa Marta, together with a well defined S-type magmatism in the basement rocks from the adjacent lower Magdalena Valley and Guajira Peninsula regions are related to a major shift in the regional tectonic evolution. It's envisioned that this event records either terrane accretion or strong plate coupling during the final stages of Pangea agglutination. Connections with the main Alleghanian-Ouachitan Pangean orogen are precluded due to their timing differences. The plutons temporally and compositionally correlate with an arc found in the northern Andes and Mexican Gondwana terranes, and represent a broader magmatic event formed at the proto-Pacific margin, outside the nucleus of the Laurentia-Gondwana Alleghanian-Oachitan orogens. Evidence of lower temperature

  18. Snowmelt discharge characteristics Sierra Nevada, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Peterson, David; Smith, Richard; Stewart, Iris; Knowles, Noah; Soulard, Chris; Hager, Stephen

    2005-01-01

    Alpine snow is an important water resource in California and the western U.S. Three major features of alpine snowmelt are the spring pulse (the first surge in snowmelt-driven river discharge in spring), maximum snowmelt discharge, and base flow (low river discharge supported by groundwater in fall). A long term data set of hydrologic measurements at 24 gage locations in 20 watersheds in the Sierra Nevada was investigated to relate patterns of snowmelt with stream discharge In wet years, the daily variations in snowmelt discharge at all the gage locations in the Sierra Nevada correlate strongly with the centrally located Merced River at Happy Isles, Yosemite National Park (i.e., in 1983, the mean of the 23 correlations was R= 0.93 + 0.09) ; in dry years, however, this correlation breaks down (i.e., in year 1977, R=0.72 + 0.24). A general trend towards earlier snowmelt was found and modeled using correlations with the timing of the spring pulse and the river discharge center of mass. For the 24 river and creek gage locations in this study, the spring pulse appeared to be a more sensitive measure of early snowmelt than the center of mass. The amplitude of maximum daily snowmelt discharge correlates strongly with initial snow water equivalent. Geologic factors, base rock permeability and soil-to-bedrock ratio, influence snowmelt flow pathways. Although both surface and ground water flows and water levels increase in wet years compared to dry years, the increase was greater for surface water in a watershed with relatively impermeable base rock than for surface water in a watershed with highly permeable base rock The relation was the opposite for base flow (ground water). The increase was greater for groundwater in a watershed with permeable rock compared to ground water in a watershed with impermeable rock. A similar, but weaker, surface/groundwater partitioning was observed in relatively impermeable granitic watersheds with differing soil-to-bedrock ratios. The

  19. Tectonic denudation and topographic development in the Spanish Sierra Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reinhardt, L. J.; Dempster, T. J.; Shroder, J. F.; Persano, C.

    2007-05-01

    The denudation history of the rapidly uplifting western part of the Spanish Sierra Nevada was assessed using apatite fission track (AFT) ages and 10Be analyses of bedrock and fluvial sediments. Major contrasts in the denudation history are recorded within the 27 km2 Río Torrente catchment. Upland areas are characterized by low-relief, low slope angles, and locally the preservation of shallow marine sediments, which have experienced <200 m of erosion in the last 9 Myr. However, AFT age determinations from samples collected close to the marine sediments imply >2 km of denudation since circa 4 Ma. The minimum denudation rates of 0.4 mm yr-1 derived from AFT also contrast with the slow medium-term (104 years) erosion rates (0.044 +/- 0.015 mm yr-1) estimated from 10Be measurements at high elevations. The local medium-long-term contrasts in denudation rates within the high Sierra Nevada indicate that much of the unroofing occurs by tectonic denudation on flat-lying detachments. In lower elevation parts of the catchment, rapid river incision coupled to rock uplift has produced ~1.6 km of relief, implying that the rivers and adjacent hillslopes close to the edge of the orogen are sensitive to normal-fault-driven changes in base level. However, these changes are not transmitted into the low-relief slowly eroding upland areas. Thus the core of the mountain range continues to increase in elevation until the limits of crustal strength are reached and denudation is initiated along planes of structural weakness. We propose that this form of tectonic denudation provides an effective limit to relief in young orogens.

  20. Ammonia at Blodgett Forest, Sierra Nevada, USA

    SciTech Connect

    Fischer, Marc L.; Littlejohn, David

    2007-11-06

    Ammonia is a reactive trace gas that is emitted in large quantities by animal agriculture and other sources in California, which subsequently forms aerosol particulate matter, potentially affecting visibility, climate, and human health. We performed initial measurements of NH{sub 3} at the Blodgett Forest Research Station (BFRS) during a two week study in June, 2006. The site is used for ongoing air quality research and is a relatively low-background site in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. Measured NH{sub 3} mixing ratios were quite low (< 1 to {approx} 2 ppb), contrasting with typical conditions in many parts of the Central Valley. Eddy covariance measurements showed NH{sub 3} fluxes that scaled with measured NH{sub 3} mixing ratio and calculated aerodynamic deposition velocity, suggesting dry deposition is a significant loss mechanism for atmospheric NH{sub 3} at BFRS. A simple model of NH{sub 3} transport to the site supports the hypothesis that NH{sub 3} is transported from the Valley to BFRS, but deposits on vegetation during the summer. Further work is necessary to determine whether the results obtained in this study can be generalized to other seasons.

  1. 75 FR 44942 - 2015 Resource Pool-Sierra Nevada Customer Service Region

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-07-30

    ... Area Power Administration 2015 Resource Pool--Sierra Nevada Customer Service Region AGENCY: Western... (DOE), published its 2004 Power Marketing Plan (Marketing Plan) for the Sierra Nevada Customer Service... Manager, Sierra Nevada Customer Service Region, Western Area Power Administration, 114 Parkshore...

  2. Contaminant studies in the Sierra Nevadas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sparling, D.W.; Fellers, G.

    2002-01-01

    full text: Several species of anuran amphibians (frogs and toads) are experiencing severe population declines in even seemingly pristine areas of the Sierra Mountains of California. Among the most severely depressed species are the redlegged frog, the foothill and mountain yellow-legged frogs, the Yosemite toad, and the Cascades frog. Several factors, such as habitat fragmentation, introduced predators (especially fish), and disease, have been linked to these declines. But recent evidence from a USGS-led study shows that contaminants are a primary factor. During the past three years, researchers from the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, the Western Ecology Research Center, the USDA Beltsville Agriculture Research Center, and the Texas A&M University have teamed up to conduct an extensive study on airborne pesticides and their effects on amphibian populations in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Previous work on environmental chemistry demonstrated that pesticides from the intensely agricultural Central Valley of California are being blown into the more pristine Sierra Nevada Mountains, especially around Sequoia and Yosemite National Parks. Several pesticides, including diazinon, chlorpyrifos, malathion and endosulfan, can be measured in snow, rainfall, and pond waters in these national parks. With the exception of endosulfan, these pesticides affect and even kill both invertebrates and vertebrate species by inhibiting cholinesterase, an enzyme essential to proper nervous system functioning. In the summer of 2001, we published a paper showing that these same pesticides are now found in adults and the tadpoles of Pacific treefrogs. The results of this landmark study showed that more than 50 percent of the tadpoles and adults sampled in Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks had detectable levels of diazinon or chlorpyrifos and that 86 percent of the Pacific treefrogs sampled in the Lake Tahoe region had detectable levels of endosulfan. In contrast, frogs that were

  3. A Miocene to Pleistocene climate and elevation record of the Sierra Nevada (California).

    PubMed

    Mulch, A; Sarna-Wojcicki, A M; Perkins, M E; Chamberlain, C P

    2008-05-13

    Orographic precipitation of Pacific-sourced moisture creates a rain shadow across the central part of the Sierra Nevada (California) that contrasts with the southern part of the range, where seasonal monsoonal precipitation sourced to the south obscures this rain shadow effect. Orographic rainout systematically lowers the hydrogen isotope composition of precipitation (deltaD(ppt)) and therefore deltaD(ppt) reflects a measure of the magnitude of the rain shadow. Hydrogen isotope compositions of volcanic glass (deltaD(glass)) hydrated at the earth's surface provide a unique opportunity to track the elevation and precipitation history of the Sierra Nevada and adjacent Basin and Range Province. Analysis of 67 well dated volcanic glass samples from widespread volcanic ash-fall deposits located from the Pacific coast to the Basin and Range Province demonstrates that between 0.6 and 12.1 Ma the hydrogen isotope compositions of meteoric water displayed a large (>40 per thousand) decrease from the windward to the leeward side of the central Sierra Nevada, consistent with the existence of a rain shadow of modern magnitude over that time. Evidence for a Miocene-to-recent rain shadow of constant magnitude and systematic changes in the longitudinal climate and precipitation patterns strongly suggest that the modern first-order topographic elements of the Sierra Nevada characterized the landscape over at least the last 12 million years. PMID:18441101

  4. A Miocene to Pleistocene climate and elevation record of the Sierra Nevada (California)

    PubMed Central

    Mulch, A.; Sarna-Wojcicki, A. M.; Perkins, M. E.; Chamberlain, C. P.

    2008-01-01

    Orographic precipitation of Pacific-sourced moisture creates a rain shadow across the central part of the Sierra Nevada (California) that contrasts with the southern part of the range, where seasonal monsoonal precipitation sourced to the south obscures this rain shadow effect. Orographic rainout systematically lowers the hydrogen isotope composition of precipitation (δDppt) and therefore δDppt reflects a measure of the magnitude of the rain shadow. Hydrogen isotope compositions of volcanic glass (δDglass) hydrated at the earth's surface provide a unique opportunity to track the elevation and precipitation history of the Sierra Nevada and adjacent Basin and Range Province. Analysis of 67 well dated volcanic glass samples from widespread volcanic ash-fall deposits located from the Pacific coast to the Basin and Range Province demonstrates that between 0.6 and 12.1 Ma the hydrogen isotope compositions of meteoric water displayed a large (>40‰) decrease from the windward to the leeward side of the central Sierra Nevada, consistent with the existence of a rain shadow of modern magnitude over that time. Evidence for a Miocene-to-recent rain shadow of constant magnitude and systematic changes in the longitudinal climate and precipitation patterns strongly suggest that the modern first-order topographic elements of the Sierra Nevada characterized the landscape over at least the last 12 million years. PMID:18441101

  5. Observations on the extended tectonic history of the southern Sierra Nevada

    SciTech Connect

    Silver, L.T. )

    1993-04-01

    The crust of the southern Sierra Nevada has been the site of repeated major tectonic dislocations in keeping with its Mesozoic-Cenzoic positions near active plate boundaries. The several Mesozoic magmatic arc which invaded it show evidence of pre- and inter-batholithic juxtapositions of different lithospheres as far back as the Jurassic. This has been noted in mapping strontium, neodymium and lead initial ratios and [delta][sup 18]O variations. The Cretaceous arc carries isotopic zonations consistent with a major lithospheric dislocation extending SE from the Melones-Bear Mountain fault systems through the southern Sierra Nevada into the Mojave desert (restoring the Garlock fault). This is a candidate site for the postulated late Jurassic Mojave-Sonora megashear. During Cretaceous arc evolution major plate changes have taken place at [approximately]104[+-]2 ma and [approximately]80--85 ma. A broad (100( )km) wedge of accreted deepwater sediments and oceanic crust was partly subducted eastward under the Cretaceous arc, producing the Rand, Pelona, Orocopia and Chocolate Mountain schists of southern California. The southern Sierra Nevada saw the northern part of this event. The underlying subduction zone was not disrupted; arc magmatism was quickly renewed in the northern part of the wedge (Rand Mountains). Eastern underthrusting was accompanied and followed by a succession of major westward-vergent low angle faults in the interval 80--60( ) ma with net displacements well in excess of 150 km, and shallow crustal surface rotations in the southern Sierra Nevada and adjacent regions. The southern Sierra Nevada is now clearly detached from its plutonic roots by several generations of low-angle faulting.

  6. Relative Contributions of Phosphorus in High Elevation Sierra Nevada Lakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jensen, L. K.; McIntyre, B. M.; Lyons, R. A.

    2015-12-01

    High elevation lakes of the Sierra Nevada mountain range show signs of eutrophication due to increased phosphorus loading. Phosphorus is a major contributing factor to freshwater lake eutrophication when in excess. Three previously researched sources of phosphorus to high-elevation montane lakes include atmospheric deposition, internal loading from sediments, and excretions from non-native stocked fish. The goal of this research was to isolate the estimated phosphorus contributions from residential shoreline developments and stocked non-native fish. A steady-state phosphorus loading rate model was created to quantify relative phosphorus loading into two lakes in the Eastern Sierra Nevada: Convict and Silver Lake. A conglomerate control lake was created from Eastern Brook Lake in the Eastern Sierra Nevada, Pear Lake in the Southern Sierra Nevada, and Snowflake Lake in Canada. Both Convict and Silver Lakes contain stocked non-native trout species and Silver Lake also has ~25 vacation homes on its eastern shore. Seasonal steady-state total phosphorus concentrations were determined using EPA Method 365.2. Loading rate constants were calculated using loading rates from literature and corresponding concentrations. It was determined that as much as 42% of phosphorous to Silver Lake came from shoreline housing developments, and 24% came from stocked fish depending on the season. Previous studies showed much lower contributions from non-native fish.

  7. Correlation of the Klamath Mountains and Sierra Nevada

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Irwin, William P.

    2003-01-01

    This report graphically portrays the broadly parallel tectonic development of the Klamath Mountains and Sierra Nevada from early Paleozoic to Early Cretaceous time. It is dedicated to J.S. Diller of the U.S. Geological Survey who, during his pioneer field studies a century ago, recognized significant similarities between these two important provinces. The report is based mainly on the numerous published reports of the field and laboratory studies by various geologists and students during the last century, and to a lesser extent on my own field work which has been substantial in the Klamath Mountains but minimal in the Sierra Nevada. For brevity, required by the format of this report, little of the extensive literature pertaining to these two provinces is referenced. This report is preliminary in nature and was prepared as an aid to further study of the tectonic relations between the Klamath Mountains and Sierra Nevada. This report consists of two sheets: Sheet 1, Map showing accreted terranes and plutons of the Klamath Mountains and Sierra Nevada, and Sheet 2, Successive accretionary episodes of the Klamath mountains and northern part of Sierra Nevada, showing related plutonic, volcanic, and metamorphic events. The map on Sheet 1 was compiled and modified from two Open-File maps (Irwin and Wooden, 1999 and 2001) which had been compiled and modified mainly from Jennings (1977), Harwood (1992), Irwin (1994), Jayko (1988), Graymer and Jones (1994), Edelman and Sharp (1989), Schweickert and others (1999), Saucedo and Wagner(1992), Saleeby and Sharp (1980), Wagner and others (1981), and various other sources. For detailed lists of the sources for the isotopic age data used in Sheets 1 and 2, see Irwin and Wooden (1999 and 2001). On Sheet 2, the accretionary episodes are shown sequentially from left to right in two tiers of figures. Episodes for the Klamath Mountains are in the upper tier; correlative episodes of the Sierra Nevada are directly below in the lower tier

  8. Enhanced Mantle Conductivity from Sulfides beneath the Sierra Nevada?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, S. K.

    2002-12-01

    A region of enhanced mantle conductivity (0.03-0.1 S/m) beneath the southern Sierra Nevada, where elevations of over 4000 m are found, has been attributed previously to 3-5% basaltic melt (Park et al., 1996) and to a mix of basaltic and sulfide melt (Ducea and Park, 2000). Because the sulfide melt is assumed to have similar conductivities to its solid counterpart (10,000 S/m), very small amounts (< 0.1%) of sulfide are needed in order to reduce the bulk conductivity from matrix values of about 0.003 S/m or even that of the matrix-basalt melt mix to the values observed. Basaltic melt percentages of less than 1% are needed in the presence of ~0.1% sulfide melt in order to match the observed mantle values. Xenoliths from the Holocene basalts in the Big Pine Volcanic Field contain 0.06-0.4% sulfide, so the estimated values are reasonable. Given the lack of evidence for volumetrically extensive, young (< 10 Ma) basaltic volcanism, calculated residence times of approximately 100 Ka for 3-5% partial melt, the short (about 300 Ka) times needed to develop connected pathways for the basalt, and the young extension of the adjacent Basin and Range province, a mixed melt with both basalt and sulfides seems more reasonable. This conclusion presupposes that the sulfide melt is somehow interconnected in the mantle. Models in which the matrix, the basaltic melt, and the sulfide melt each form interconnected, interlaced networks leads to much higher predictions of mantle conductivity; the sulfide melt fraction must be discontinuous in order to lower bulk conductivity. Petrological studies of sulfide-silicate systems confirm this conclusion; sulfide melts form isolated blebs on the surfaces of olivine within interconnected basaltic melt channels (Holzheid et al., 2000). Simple series-parallel models of ~1% continuous basaltic melt and ~0.01% discontinuous sulfide melt provide bulk conductivities comparable to the observed mantle values. More complicated equivalent media and Hashin

  9. Updated paleomagnetic pole from Cretaceous plutonic rocks of the Sierra Nevada, California: Tectonic displacement of the Sierra Nevada block

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hillhouse, J.W.; Gromme, S.

    2011-01-01

    We report remanent magnetization measurements from 13 sites in Cretaceous plutonic rocks in the northern Sierra Nevada (38??N-39.5??N). By increasing the number of available paleomagnetic sites, the new data tighten constraints on the displacement history of the Sierra Nevada block and its pre-extensional position relative to interior North America. We collected samples in freshly exposed outcrops along four highway transects. The rocks include diorite, granodiorite, and tonalite with potassium-argon ages (hornblende) ranging from 100 Ma to 83 Ma. By combining our results with previous paleomagnetic determinations from the central and southern Sierra Nevada (excluding sites from the rotated southern tip east of the White Wolf-Kern Canyon fault system), we find a mean paleomagnetic pole of 70.5??N, 188.2??E, A95 = 2.6?? (N = 26, Fisher concentration parameter, K = 118). Thermal demagnetization indicates that the characteristic remanence is generally unblocked in a narrow range within 35 ??C of the Curie temperature of pure magnetite. Small apparent polar wander during the Cretaceous normal-polarity superchron, plus prolonged acquisition of remanence at the site level, may account for the low dispersion of virtual geomagnetic poles and relatively large K value. Tilt estimates based on overlapping sediments, stream gradients, and thermochronology of the Sierra Nevada plutons vary from 0?? to 3?? down to the southwest. Without tilt correction, the mean paleomagnetic pole for the Sierra Nevada is essentially coincident with the North American reference pole during the Cretaceous stillstand (125 Ma to 80 Ma). At 95% confidence, the apparent latitude shift is 1.1?? ?? 3.0?? (positive northward), and the apparent rotation is negligible, 0.0?? ?? 4.7??. Correcting for each degree of tilt, which is limited to 3?? on geologic evidence, increases the rotation anomaly 2.2?? counterclockwise, while the apparent latitude shift remains unchanged. ?? 2011 Geological Society of

  10. Rangewide glaciation in the Sierra Nevada, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Moore, James G.; Moring, Barry C.

    2013-01-01

    The 600-km-long Sierra Nevada underwent extensive Pleistocene glaciation except for its southernmost 100 km. Presently, ∼1700 small glaciers and ice masses near the crest of the range occur above 3250 m in elevation; these covered an area of ∼50 km2 in 1972. Fourteen of the largest glaciers decreased by about one half in area during the period from 1900 to 2004. Rock glaciers, generally glacial ice covered by 1–10 m of rockfall debris, occur in about the same span of the range as ice and permanent snowfields. They are, on average, lower by 200–300 m, apparently because of the insulating layer of rocky rubble that protects their internal ice from the sun’s heat and from wind. The principal Pleistocene glacial stages are the Sherwin (ca. 820 ka), Tahoe (170–130 and ca. 70 ka), Tioga (14–28 ka), and Recess Peak (13 ka). Some 7040 glacial lakes, produced primarily by quarrying from bedrock, were mostly exposed after recession of the Tioga glacial stage. The lakes largely mark the area of primary snow accumulation. Below the lower limit of the lakes, ice flowed downward into river-cut canyons, forming major trunk glaciers within the zone of ablation. The range is in general a westward-tilted block upfaulted on its east side. Therefore, the main late Pleistocene trunk glaciers (Tahoe/Tioga) west of the crest extend 25–60 km, whereas those east of the crest extend only 5–20 km. Because of higher precipitation northward, glacial features such as the toes of existing glaciers and rock glaciers, as well as the late season present-day snowline, all decrease in elevation northward. Likewise, the elevation of the lower limit of glacial lakes, an indication of the zone of snow accumulation during the late Pleistocene, decreases about the same degree. This similarity suggests that the overall climate patterns of the late Pleistocene, though cooler, were similar to those of today. The east slope glaciers show a similar northward depression, but they are ∼500

  11. Foundering lithosphere imaged beneath the southern Sierra Nevada, California, USA.

    PubMed

    Boyd, Oliver S; Jones, Craig H; Sheehan, Anne F

    2004-07-30

    Seismic tomography reveals garnet-rich crust and mantle lithosphere descending into the upper mantle beneath the southeastern Sierra Nevada. The descending lithosphere consists of two layers: an iron-rich eclogite above a magnesium-rich garnet peridotite. These results place descending eclogite above and east of high P wave speed material previously imaged beneath the southern Great Valley, suggesting a previously unsuspected coherence in the lithospheric removal process. PMID:15286370

  12. Groundwater quality in the Central Sierra Nevada, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fram, Miranda S.; Belitz, Kenneth

    2012-01-01

    Groundwater provides more than 40 percent of California's drinking water. To protect this vital resource, the State of California created the Groundwater Ambient Monitoring and Assessment (GAMA) Program. The Priority Basin Project of the GAMA Program provides a comprehensive assessment of the State's groundwater quality and increases public access to groundwater-quality information. Two small watersheds of the Fresno and San Joaquin Rivers in the Central Sierra Nevada constitute one of the study units being evaluated.

  13. Inventory of glaciers in the Sierra Nevada, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Raub, William; Brown, C. Suzanne; Post, Austin

    2006-01-01

    All perennial bodies of ice in the Sierra Nevada are listed and classified. The inventory includes 497 glaciers covering a total area of 50 square kilometers and 788 small ice bodies which do not meet the definition of a glacier, covering a total of 13 square kilometers. The listings include each ice body's drainage basin, location, orientation, altitude, area, and length the glaciers are also classified as to form, source, surface condition, and nature and activity of the terminus.

  14. Foundering lithosphere imaged beneath the southern Sierra Nevada, California, USA.

    PubMed

    Boyd, Oliver S; Jones, Craig H; Sheehan, Anne F

    2004-07-30

    Seismic tomography reveals garnet-rich crust and mantle lithosphere descending into the upper mantle beneath the southeastern Sierra Nevada. The descending lithosphere consists of two layers: an iron-rich eclogite above a magnesium-rich garnet peridotite. These results place descending eclogite above and east of high P wave speed material previously imaged beneath the southern Great Valley, suggesting a previously unsuspected coherence in the lithospheric removal process.

  15. Precipitation structure in the Sierra Nevada of California during winter

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pandey, G.R.; Cayan, D.R.; Georgakakos, K.P.

    1999-01-01

    Influences of upper air characteristics along the coast of California upon wintertime (November-April) precipitation in the Sierra Nevada are investigated. Precipitation events in the Sierra Nevada region occur mostly during wintertime, irrespective of station location (leeside or wihdside) and elevation. Most precipitation episodes in the region are associated with moist southwesterly winds (coming from the southwest direction) and also tend to occur when the 700-mbar temperature at the upwind direction is close to -2??C. This favored wind direction and temperature signify the importance of both moisture transport and orographic lifting in augmenting precipitation in the region. By utilizing the observed dependency of the precipitation upon the upper air conditions, a linear model is formulated to quantify the precipitation observed at different sites as a function of moisture transport. The skill of the model increases with timescale of aggregation, reaching more than 50% variance explained at an aggregation period of 5-7 days. This indicates that upstream air moisture transport can be used to estimate the precipitation totals in the Sierra Nevada region. Copyright 1999 by the American Geophysical Union.

  16. Variations in northern Sierra Nevada streamflow. Implications of climate change

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pupacko, A.

    1993-01-01

    Historical records of streamflow for an eastward- and a westward-draining stream in the northern Sierra Nevada have been analyzed for evidence of changes in runoff characteristics and patterns of variability. A trend of increasing and more variable winter streamflow began in the mid-1960s. Mean monthly streamflow during December through March was substantially greater for water years 1965-1990 compared to water years 1939-1964. Increased winter and early-spring streamflow during the later period is attributed to small increases in temperature, which increase the rain-to-snow ratio at lower altitudes and cause the snowpack to melt earlier in the season at higher altitudes. The timing of snowmelt runoff on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada is more sensitive than it is on the eastern slope to changes in temperature, owing to predominantly lower altitudes on the west side. This difference in sensitivity suggests that basins on the east side of the Sierra Nevada have a more reliable water supply (as snow storage) than western-slope basins during warming trends.

  17. 77 FR 66607 - Sierra Pacific Power Company, Nevada Power Company; Notice of Petition for Declaratory Order

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-11-06

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office ] DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Sierra Pacific Power Company, Nevada Power Company; Notice of... Pacific Power Company and Nevada Power Company (Applicants) filed a petition for declaratory...

  18. Geologic map of the South Sierra Wilderness and South Sierra Roadless area, southern Sierra Nevada, California

    SciTech Connect

    Diggles, M.F. ); Carter, K.E. )

    1993-04-01

    The study area is underlain predominantly by granitoid rocks of the Sierra Nevada batholith. Metamorphic rocks are present in roof pendants mainly in the southwest corner of the study area and consist of quartz-biotite schist, phyllite, quartzite, marble, calc-silicate hornfels, and meta-dacite. Among the seven Triassic and (or) Jurassic plutons are three newly described units that consist of the gabbro of Deer Mountain, the tonalite of Falls Creek, and the quartz diorite of Round Mountain. The map shows one newly described unit that intrudes Triassic rocks: the granodiorite of Monache Creek which is a leucocratic, medium-grained, equi-granular, locally porphyritic biotite hornblende granodiorite. Among the seven Cretaceous plutons are two newly described units. The Cretaceous rocks are generally medium- to coarse-grained, potassium-feldspar porphyritic granite with biotite and minor hornblende; it includes abundant pods of alaskite. The granite of Haiwee Creek is similar but only locally potassium-feldspar porphyritic and with only minor hornblende. Major-element data plotted on Harker diagrams show the older rocks to be higher in iron and magnesium and lower in silica than the younger rocks. There are abundant local pods of alaskite throughout the study area that consist of medium- to coarse-grained, leucocratic granite, alkali-feldspar granite and associated aplite and pegmatite bodies occurring as small pods and highly leucocratic border phases of nearby plutons. Tertiary and Quaternary volcanic rock include the rhyolite of Monache Mountain and Quaternary surficial deposits: fan, stream-channel, colluvium, talus, meadow-filling, rock-glacier, and glacial-moraine deposits. Important structures include the Sierran front fault and a possible extensional feature along which Bacon (1978) suggests Monache Mountain erupted.

  19. Precipitation Structure in the Sierra Nevada of California During Winter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pandey, Ganesh R.; Cayan, Daniel R.; Georgakakos, Kostantine P.

    1998-01-01

    The influences of upper air characteristics along the coast of California upon the winter time precipitation in the Sierra Nevada region were investigated. Most precipitation episodes in the Sierra are associated with moist southwesterly winds and also tend to occur when the 700-mb temperature is close to -2 C. This favored wind direction and temperature signifies the equal importance of moisture transport and orographic lifting for maximum precipitation frequency. Making use of this observation, simple linear models were formulated to quantify the precipitation totals observed at different sites as a function of moisture transport. The skill of the model is least for daily precipitation and increases with time scale of aggregation. In terms of incremental gain, the skill of the model is optimal for an aggregation period of 5-7 days, which is also the duration of the most frequent precipitation events in the Sierra. This indicates that upper air moisture transport at can be used to make reasonable estimates of the precipitation totals for most frequent events in the Sierra region.

  20. Plutonism in the central part of the Sierra Nevada Batholith, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bateman, Paul C.

    1992-01-01

    The Sierra Nevada batholith comprises the plutonic rocks of Mesozoic age that underlie most of the Sierra Nevada, a magnificent mountain range that originated in the Cenozoic by the westward tilting of a huge block of the Earth's crust. Scattered intrusions west of the batholith in the western metamorphic belt of the Sierra Nevada and east of the Sierra Nevada in the Benton Range and the White and Inyo Mountains are satellitic to but not strictly parts of the Sierra Nevada batholith. Nevertheless, all the plutonic rocks are related in origin. The batholith lies along the west edge of the Paleozoic North American craton, and Paleozoic and early Mesozoic oceanic crust underlies its western margin. It was emplaced in strongly deformed but weakly metamorphosed strata ranging in age from Proterozoic to Cretaceous. Sedimentary rocks of Proterozoic and Paleozoic age crop out east of the batholith in the White and Inyo Mountains, and metamorphosed sedimentary and volcanic rocks of Paleozoic and Mesozoic age crop out west of the batholith in the western metamorphic belt. A few large and many small, generally elongate remnants of metamorphic rocks lie within the batholith. Sparse fossils from metasedimentary rocks and isotopic ages for metavolcanic rocks indicate that the metamorphic rocks in the remnants range in age from Early Cambrian to Early Cretaceous. Within the map area (the Mariposa 1 0 by 2 0 quadrangle), the bedding, cleavage, and axial surfaces of folds generally trend about N. 35 0 W., parallel to the long axis of the Sierra Nevada. The country rocks comprise strongly deformed but generally coherent sequences; however, some units in the western metamorphic belt may partly consist of melanges. Most sequences are in contact with other sequences, at least for short distances, but some sequences within the batholith are bounded on one or more sides by plutonic rocks. Proterozoic and Paleozoic sedimentary strata east of the Sierra Nevada and Paleozoic strata in

  1. Analysis of Hydroxyl Radical Reactivity in the Sierra Nevada Mountains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carlstad, J. M.; Schroeder, J.; Beyersdorf, A. J.; Blake, D. R.

    2015-12-01

    Using the UC Irvine Whole Air Sampler, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were measured onboard the NASA DC-8 during the Student Airborne Research Program. High levels of ozone were observed near the surface over the Sierra Nevada mountains, and VOC data was used to investigate factors that contributed to ozone production. This was done by calculating the hydroxyl radical reactivity, which can, in proper conditions, be used to predict ozone formation potential. The region was divided into three boxes from east to west, based on wind direction, and the reactivity was analyzed over each region with respect to methane, non-methane alkanes, alkenes, aromatics, and biogenic compounds. In the westernmost box the reactivity was 1.7 ± 0.5 s-1 (1σ), in the middle section it was 1.4 ± 1 s-1, and in the easternmost region it was 0.8 ± 0.3 s-1. The data were compared with a region known to be heavily polluted, the Los Angeles (LA) basin, and it was observed that the reactivity was 1.1 ± 0.6 s-1, lower than in two of the mountainous regions. In the Sierra Nevada mountains a major percentage of the hydroxyl radical reactivity was the result of biogenic influence, at 24% for the western box, 39% for the middle box, and 31% for the easternmost box, in contrast to only 2% biogenic contribution in LA. This indicates that biogenic factors greatly contributed to overall ozone formation in the Sierra Nevada mountains. These mountains are strategically protected, and high pollution levels could lead to health impacts for visitors, vegetation, and wildlife.

  2. Modeling Patterns of Precipitation Phase in the Central Sierra Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strikas, O.; Pavelsky, T.

    2013-12-01

    Snowpack provides 75% of summer hydrologic flow in the western United States. This summer flow is vitally important in California, the country's leading producer of agriculture, with $43.5 billion dollars in cash receipts in 2011. Snowpack in the California Sierra Nevada has declined by approximately half from 1900 to 1990. In this study, we use the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) regional climate model at a 3km resolution to understand the critical temperature window at which both snow and rain fall for the Central Sierra Nevada during the 2002 water year. Results suggest that temperature and snow fraction [snowfall / (snowfall + rainfall)] share a logistic relationship with the snow fraction being 1 until approximately 272 K, then the snow fraction decreases by approximately 22%/K leveling at 0 snow fraction at 276.5 K. We further examine the spatial patterns of temperatures, precipitation amounts, and precipitation types in the Sierra Nevada to determine the areas of greatest potential snow to rain transition under a future warmer climate. Preliminary results suggest that the high risk areas are at the low to mid elevations. This research provides evidence that even a minor increase in temperature (+0.5 K) will yield changes in spring and summer hydrographs for the region. The spatial variability of IPCC temperature regime change for 2050 and 2100 will be downscaled for a higher resolution prediction of precipitation. It is currently under investigation how the proposed IPCC (A1 and B2) predictions of climate change for the region by 2050 (+2.7 K; +1.6 K ) and 2100 (+4.4 K; +2.7 K) will alter the corresponding annual river hydrographs. Given the complex topography of the Sierra Nevada, several spatial interpolations using GIS and statistical algorithms will be executed to render this high resolution (3km) output. Other future work with collaborators intends to model the agricultural risk associated with our predicted changes. This plot demonstrates the

  3. Environmental exposures to agrochemicals in the Sierra Nevada mountain range

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    LeNoir, J.; Aston, L.; Data, S.; Fellers, G.; McConnell, L.; Sieber, J.

    2000-01-01

    The release of pesticides into the environment may impact human and environmental health. Despite the need for environmental exposure data, few studies quantify exposures in urban areas and even fewer determine exposures to wildlife in remote areas. Although it is expected that concentrations in remote regions will be low, recent studies suggest that even low concentrations may have deleterious effects on wildlife. Many pesticides are known to interfere with the endocrine systems of humans and wildlife, adversely affecting growth, development, and behavior. This chapter reviews the fate and transport of pesticides applied in the Central Valley of California and quantifies their subsequent deposition into the relatively pristine Sierra Nevada Mountain Range.

  4. Interactions among wildland fires in a long-established Sierra Nevada natural fire area

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Collins, B.M.; Miller, J.D.; Thode, A.E.; Kelly, M.; van Wagtendonk, J.W.; Stephens, S.L.

    2009-01-01

    We investigate interactions between successive naturally occurring fires, and assess to what extent the environments in which fires burn influence these interactions. Using mapped fire perimeters and satellite-based estimates of post-fire effects (referred to hereafter as fire severity) for 19 fires burning relatively freely over a 31-year period, we demonstrate that fire as a landscape process can exhibit self-limiting characteristics in an upper elevation Sierra Nevada mixed conifer forest. We use the term 'self-limiting' to refer to recurring fire as a process over time (that is, fire regime) consuming fuel and ultimately constraining the spatial extent and lessening fire-induced effects of subsequent fires. When the amount of time between successive adjacent fires is under 9 years, and when fire weather is not extreme (burning index <34.9), the probability of the latter fire burning into the previous fire area is extremely low. Analysis of fire severity data by 10-year periods revealed a fair degree of stability in the proportion of area burned among fire severity classes (unchanged, low, moderate, high). This is in contrast to a recent study demonstrating increasing high-severity burning throughout the Sierra Nevada from 1984 to 2006, which suggests freely burning fires over time in upper elevation Sierra Nevada mixed conifer forests can regulate fire-induced effects across the landscape. This information can help managers better anticipate short- and long-term effects of allowing naturally ignited fires to burn, and ultimately, improve their ability to implement Wildland Fire Use programs in similar forest types. ?? 2008 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

  5. Hand-Hewn Granite Basins at Native American Saltworks, Sierra Nevada, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Moore, James G.; Diggles, Michael F.

    2009-01-01

    This site in the northern Sierra Nevada contains about 369 circular basins carved in fresh, glaciated granodioritic bedrock, with 325 basins crowded together in an area of 2,700 m2 on the main terrace. These terrace basins have a median average diameter of 125 cm (80 percent between 100 and 160 cm) and a median depth of 75-80 cm. They show a strong congruity to similar granitic basins in the southern Sierra Nevada apparently of Native American origin that are generally shallower. The basins are not of natural origin, as indicated by uniformity in size and nonoverlapping character of the basins; their common arrangement in lineaments; details of the shape of the basins; features in common with granite basins in the Southern Sierra Nevada; and, most compelling, the clustering of all the basins adjacent to (within 20 m of) two saline streams fed from a nearby salt spring. Native Americans apparently excavated them for the purpose of collecting saline water to evaporate and make salt for their use, and also as an animal attractant and a trade commodity. The flow of the salty streams delivers about 2.9 metric tons of salt per summer season to the basin area, and evaporation rates and the holding capacity of the basins indicate that about 2.5 tons of salt could be produced per season. This correspondence shows that the Indians made enough basins to exploit the resource. The site is the most impressive prehistoric saltworks yet discovered in North America and represents a unique departure from traditional hunter-gatherer activities to that of manufacturing. The actual grinding of so many basins in granite could not have been done without the labor of a concentrated population. It is believed that the work was accomplished over a long time by many people and with the use of fire to help disaggregate the bedrock.

  6. EXPOSURE OF AMPHIBIANS TO SEMI-VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUNDS IN THE SIERRA NEVADA MOUNTAINS AND CALIFORNIA CASCADES: RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN TADPOLE TISSUE AND SEDIMENT CONCENTRATIONS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Pesticides and other semi-volatile organic compounds (SOCs) undergo regional and longrange atmospheric transport. One such example is the transport of current-use pesticides from the intensely cultivated Central Valley of California into the adjacent Sierra Nevada and Cascade Mou...

  7. Snow chemistry of the Cascade-Sierra Nevada Mountains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Laird, L.B.; Taylor, H.E.; Kennedy, V.C.

    1986-01-01

    This investigation assesses geographic variations in atmospheric deposition in Washington, Oregon, and California using snow cores from the Cascade-Sierra Nevada Mountains, collected from late February to mid-March 1983. A statistical analysis of the analytical and sampling precision was made. The snowpack in the higher Cascades and Sierra Nevada is not strongly influenced by anthropogenic activities at present. The pH of snow samples ranges from 5.11 to 5.88. Sulfate and nitrate correlate with H+ in some segments of the sample traverse. The SO4 data show apparent influence from major source areas in Washington and California; nitrate does not. An apparent decrease in NH4 in snow in Washington and California suggests atmospheric interactions resulting in the removal of NH4. The NH4 reduction raises questions about nutrient supply to the mountain vegetation. Heavy-metal correlations included Cd, Cu, and Fe with Pb, and Mn with K and DOC, among others. No correlation was found between constituents and snow-water content.

  8. Late Pleistocene vegetation of Kings Canyon, Sierra Nevada, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cole, Kenneth

    1983-01-01

    Seven packrat midden samples make possible a comparison between the modern and late Pleistocene vegetation in Kings Canyon on the western side of the southern Sierra Nevada. One modern sample contains macrofossils and pollen derived from the present-day oak-chaparral vegetation. Macrofossils from the six late Pleistocene samples record a mixed coniferous forest dominated by the xerophytic conifers Juniperus occidentalis, Pinus cf. ponderosa, and P. monophylla. The pollen spectra of these Pleistocene middens are dominated by Pinus sp., Taxodiaceae-Cupressaceae-Taxaceae (TCT), and Artemisia sp. Mesophytic conifers are represented by low macrofossil concentrations. Sequoiadendron giganteum is represented by a few pollen grains in the full glacial. Edaphic control and snow dispersal are the most likely causes of these mixed assemblages. The dominant macrofossils record a more xeric plant community than those that now occur on similar substrates at higher elevations or latitudes in the Sierra Nevada. These assemblages suggest that late Wisconsin climates were cold with mean annual precipitation not necessarily greater than modern values. This conclusion supports a model of low summer ablation allowing for the persistence of the glaciers at higher elevations during the late Wisconsin. The records in these middens also suggest that S. giganteum grew at lower elevations along the western side of the range and that P. monophylla was more widely distributed in cismontane California during the Pleistocene.

  9. Water and carbon cycling along the Sierra Nevada climate gradient

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kelly, A. E.; Goulden, M.; Meadows, M. W.; Bales, R. C.; Winston, G.

    2011-12-01

    Conifer forests dominate the western slope of the southern Sierra Nevada above 1000 m elevation. The climate of this region is Mediterranean, with hot dry summers and cool wet winters. The lower elevations of the conifer belt receive most precipitation as rain, while the upper elevations receive nearly all precipitation as snow. We have found that the differences in temperature and precipitation regime along the gradient affect interactions between water and carbon balance at seasonal and annual scales. Timing, degree of drought stress, and cold limitation along the western slope of the Sierra drive critical differences in biomass, productivity, carbon allocation, carbon turnover rates, seasonality of production, and seasonality and rates of evapotranspiration. We measured eddy covariance, weather, sap flux, biomass, productivity, and soil moisture at four sites along an elevation transect from 400 to 2700 m within the Southern Sierra Critical Zone Observatory (SSCZO). At lower elevations, summer drought and mild winters produce low biomass, high turnover, winter-productive forests. At high elevations, cold snowy winters and short mild summers produce low biomass, low turnover, summer-productive forests. At mid elevations, cool winters and warm summers produce high biomass forests, including giant sequoia groves, with a year-round growing season.

  10. Sierra Nevada Rock Glaciers: Biodiversity Refugia in a Warming World?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Millar, C. I.; Westfall, R. D.

    2007-12-01

    Rock glaciers and related periglacial rock-ice features (RIFs) are common landforms in high, dry mountain ranges, and widely distributed throughout canyons of the Sierra Nevada, California, USA (Millar & Westfall, in press). Due to insulating rock carapaces, active rock glaciers (ice-cored) have been documented to maintain ice longer, and thus contribute to more enduring hydrologic output, under past warming climates than typical ice glaciers. This function has been suggested for the coming century. We propose a broader hydrologic and ecologic role for RIFs as temperatures rise in the future. For the Sierra Nevada, we suggest that canyons with either active or relict RIFs (Holocene and Pleistocene) maintain water longer and distribute water more broadly than canyons that were scoured by ice glaciers and are defined by primary river and lake systems. RIFs provide persistent, distributed water for extensive wetland habitat, rare in these otherwise barren, high, and dry locations. We mapped and assessed the area of wetlands surrounding active and relict RIFs from the central eastern Sierra Nevada; from these we delineated wetland vegetation community types and recorded plant species found in RIF-supported wetlands. Mid-elevation RIFs, likely inactive or with transient ice, develop soil patches on their rock matrix. At the Barney Rock Glacier (Duck Pass, Mammoth Crest), we inventoried plant species on all soil patches, and measured cover for each species per patch and total plant cover for the rock glacier. RIF landforms also appear to support high-elevation mammals. We show that American beaver (Castor canadensis) is associated with canyons dominated by active or relict RIFs and propose that the articulating, persistent, and distributed nature of streams makes dam-building easier than other canyons. Beavers further contribute to maintaining water and creating wetland habitat in upper watersheds by engineering ponds and marshes, and contributing to riparian extent. We

  11. Hydrogen isotopes in Eocene river gravels and paleoelevation of the Sierra Nevada.

    PubMed

    Mulch, Andreas; Graham, Stephan A; Chamberlain, C Page

    2006-07-01

    We determine paleoelevation of the Sierra Nevada, California, by tracking the effect of topography on precipitation, as recorded in hydrogen isotopes of kaolinite exposed in gold-bearing river deposits from the Eocene Yuba River. The data, compared with the modern isotopic composition of precipitation, show that about 40 to 50 million years ago the Sierra Nevada stood tall (>/=2200 meters), a result in conflict with proposed young surface uplift by tectonic and climatic forcing but consistent with the Sierra Nevada representing the edge of a pre-Eocene continental plateau.

  12. Deposition patterns and transport mechanisms for the endocrine disruptor 4-nonylphenol across the Sierra Nevada Mountains, California.

    PubMed

    Lyons, Rebecca; Van de Bittner, Kyle; Morgan-Jones, Sean

    2014-12-01

    Dust and particulate distribution patterns are shifting as global climate change brings about longer drought periods. Particulates act as vehicles for long range transport of organic pollutants, depositing at locations far from their source. Nonylphenol, a biodegradation product of nonylphenol polyethoxylate, is a known endocrine disruptor. Nonylphenol polyethoxylate enters the environment as an inert ingredient in pesticide sprays, potentially traveling great distances from its application site. This is of concern when a highly agricultural region, California's Central Valley, lies adjacent to sensitive areas like the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains. The distribution and transport mechanisms for 4-nonylphenol were investigated in Eastern Sierra Nevada canyons. Regions close to canyon headwalls showed trace amounts of 4-nonylphenol in surface water, snow, and atmospheric deposition. Exposed areas had yearly average concentrations as high as 9 μg/L. Distribution patterns are consistent with particulate-bound transport. This suggests with increasing drought periods, higher levels of persistent organic pollutants are likely.

  13. Quantifying the Restorable Water Volume of California's Sierra Nevada Meadows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Emmons, J. D.; Yarnell, S. M.; Fryjoff-Hung, A.; Viers, J.

    2013-12-01

    The Sierra Nevada is estimated to provide over 66% of California's water supply, which is largely derived from snowmelt. Global climate warming is expected to result in a decrease in snow pack and an increase in melting rate, making the attenuation of snowmelt by any means, an important ecosystem service for ensuring water availability. Montane meadows are dispersed throughout the mountain range and can act like natural reservoirs, and also provide wildlife habitat, water filtration, and water storage. Despite the important role of meadows in the Sierra Nevada, a large proportion is degraded from stream incision, which increases volume outflows and reduces overbank flooding, thus reducing infiltration and potential water storage. Restoration of meadow stream channels would therefore improve hydrological functioning, including increased water storage. The potential water holding capacity of restored meadows has yet to be quantified, thus this research seeks to address this knowledge gap by estimating the restorable water volume due to stream incision. More than 17,000 meadows were analyzed by categorizing their erosion potential using channel slope and soil texture, ultimately resulting in six general erodibility types. Field measurements of over 100 meadows, stratified by latitude, elevation, and geologic substrate, were then taken and analyzed for each erodibility type to determine average depth of incision. Restorable water volume was then quantified as a function of water holding capacity of the soil, meadow area and incised depth. Total restorable water volume was found to be 120 x 10^6 m3, or approximately 97,000 acre-feet. Using 95% confidence intervals for incised depth, the upper and lower bounds of the total restorable water volume were found to be 107 - 140 x 10^6 m3. Though this estimate of restorable water volume is small in regards to the storage capacity of typical California reservoirs, restoration of Sierra Nevada meadows remains an important

  14. The spring runoff pulse from the Sierra Nevada

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cayan, D.R.; Peterson, D.H.; Riddle, L.; Dettinger, M.D.; Smith, R.E.

    1997-01-01

    A spring runoff pulse is identified in the Merced River record from the Sierra Nevada, that makes the transition from low streamflow conditions in winter to the high streamflow conditions in the later spring-early summer period. The timing of the pulse is delayed with greater seasonal accumulation of snow pack in the Yosemite region. Also, the runoff pulse is triggered by a regional weather fluctuation that establishes a warm high pressure ridge over the California region during the spring (mid-March to Mid-May) period. Since this ridge often blankets the entire western United States, it is found that a simultaneous pulse occurs over a broad collection of high-elevation streams in the region.

  15. Mercury in Stream Sediments in the Sierra Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Humphreys, R. D.; Tuffly, M. F.

    2001-12-01

    Mercury lost during California's gold rush is still found in Sierra Nevada rivers and streams. Mercury droplets and gold-mercury amalgam are found in stream bedrock fissures and along stream bedrock in watersheds that were subjected to intense hydraulic gold mining. Recreational gold miners report finding mercury puddles, sometimes containing mercury by the pound, on stream bedrock. The poster depicts where and how mercury was found and its spatial relationship to major hydraulic mines and dredge fields. Additional sampling is planned. Other studies are investigating the biological consequences of legacy mercury on the aquatic food chain. The positions of all confirmed locations were recorded and corrected using Trimble or CMT Global Positioning Systems (GPS). In the few instances were GPS positions could not be recorded, positions were determined by hand plotting from UGSG 7.5 minute topographic map.

  16. Structural lineaments in the southern Sierra Nevada, California

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Liggett, M. A. (Principal Investigator); Childs, J. F.

    1974-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. Several lineaments observed in ERTS-1 MSS imagery over the southern Sierra Nevada of California have been studied in the field in an attempt to explain their geologic origins and significance. The lineaments are expressed topographically as alignments of linear valleys, elongate ridges, breaks in slope or combinations of these. Natural outcrop exposures along them are characteristically poor. Two lineaments were found to align with foliated metamorphic roof pendants and screens within granitic country rocks. Along other lineaments, the most consistant correlations were found to be alignments of diabase dikes of Cretaceous age, and younger cataclastic shear zones and minor faults. The location of several Pliocene and Pleistocene volcanic centers at or near lineament intersections suggests that the lineaments may represent zones of crustal weakness which have provided conduits for rising magma.

  17. Physiochemical characterization of insoluble residues in California Sierra Nevada snow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Creamean, Jessie; Axson, Jessica; Bondy, Amy; Craig, Rebecca; May, Nathaniel; Shen, Hongru; Weber, Michael; Warner, Katy; Pratt, Kerri; Ault, Andrew

    2015-04-01

    The effects atmospheric aerosols have on cloud particle formation are dependent on both the aerosol physical and chemical characteristics. For instance, larger, irregular-shaped mineral dusts efficiently form cloud ice crystals, enhancing precipitation, whereas small, spherical pollution aerosols have the potential to form small cloud droplets that delay the autoconversion of cloudwater to precipitation. Thus, it is important to understand the physiochemical properties and sources of aerosols that influence cloud and precipitation formation. We present an in-depth analysis of the size, chemistry, and sources of soluble and insoluble residues found in snow collected at three locations in the California Sierra Nevada Mountains during the 2012/2013 winter season. For all sites, February snow samples contained high concentrations of regional pollutants such as ammonium nitrate and biomass burning species, while March snow samples were influenced by mineral dust. The snow at the lower elevation sites in closer proximity to the Central Valley of California were heavily influenced by agricultural and industrial emissions, whereas the highest elevation site was exposed to a mixture of Central Valley pollutants in addition to long-range transported dust from Asia and Africa. Further, air masses likely containing transported dust typically traveled over cloud top heights at the low elevation sites, but were incorporated into the cold (-28°C, on average) cloud tops more often at the highest elevation site, particularly in March, which we hypothesize led to enhanced ice crystal formation and thus the observation of dust in the snow collected at the ground. Overall, understanding the spatial and temporal dependence of aerosol sources is important for remote mountainous regions such as the Sierra Nevada where snowpack provides a steady, vital supply of water.

  18. Human-induced uplift of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and seismicity modulation on the San Andreas Fault

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amos, Colin; Audet, Pascal; Hammond, William C.; Burgmann, Roland; Johanson, Ingrid A.; Blewitt, Geoffrey

    2014-05-01

    We investigate the cause of geodetically observed mountain uplift in the Sierra Nevada, western US. In the process, we reveal a possible human-induced mechanism that may be driving Sierra Nevada uplift, and may also be pushing the San Andreas Fault closer to failure. An initial study of the Sierra Nevada [Hammond et al., Geology, 40, 2012] exploited the complementary strengths of point positions from GPS and blanket coverage measurements from InSAR, to show that contemporary vertical motion of the Sierra Nevada is between 1 - 2 mm/yr relative to the comparatively stable Great Basin to the east. One possible interpretation of this is that the most modern episode of tectonic uplift is still active in the Sierra Nevada. However, we now discover that GPS stations surrounding the southern San Joaquin Valley in California show a pattern of uplift concentrated not only in the Sierra Nevada to the east, but more broadly along the basin margins, including the adjacent central Coast Range to the west. Peak vertical velocities reach values up to 1 - 3 mm/yr. This suggests the San Joaquin Valley plays a key role in the uplift of the Sierra Nevada to the east, with possible implications for the San Andreas Fault to the west. Anthropogenic groundwater depletion in the southern San Joaquin Valley has been massive and sustained, therefore hydrological loading variation might explain contemporary uplift. To test this, we apply a simple elastic model that uses a line load centered along the valley axis, a range of elastic parameters, and published estimates of the integrated rate of mass loss due to groundwater removal over the last decade. Predicted uplift centered along the valley axis matches well with patterns of GPS motion, with the upward vertical rates decaying away from the valley margins. Observed seasonal variability in the vertical GPS positions lends support for this model, showing peak uplift for stations surrounding the valley during the dry summer and fall months. On

  19. Sensitivity of northern Sierra Nevada streamflow to climate change

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Duell, L.F.W.

    1994-01-01

    The sensitivity of streamflow to climate change was investigated in the American, Carson, and Truckee River Basins, California and Nevada. Nine gaging stations were used to represent streamflow in the basins. Annual models were developed by regressing 1961-1991 streamflow data on temperature and precipitation. Climate-change scenarios were used as inputs to the models to determine streamflow sensitivities. Climate-change scenarios were generated from historical time series by modifying mean temperatures by a range of +4??C to -4??C and total precipitation by a range of +25 percent to -25 percent. Results show that streamflow on the warmer, lower west side of the Sierra Nevada generally is more sensitive to temperature and percipitation changes than is streamflow on the colder, higher east side. A 2??C rise in temperature and a 25-percent decrease in precipitation results in streamflow decreases of 56 percent on the American River and 25 percent on the Carson River. A 2??C decline in temperature and a 25-percent increase in precipitation results in streamflow increases of 102 percent on the American River and 22 percent on the Carson River.

  20. Biogeochemistry of a soil catena in the eastern Sierra Nevada Range, NV

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    As a field/lab project, students in the Soil Biogeochemistry class of the University of Nevada, Reno described and characterized five pedons at Little Valley, NV, at the eastern edge of the Sierra Nevada. Developed largely from granite, the catena encompassed five pedons, which from high to low elev...

  1. Debris-Covered Glaciers in the Sierra Nevada, California, and Their Implications for Snowline Reconstructions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, D.H.; Clark, M.M.; Gillespie, A.R.

    1994-01-01

    Ice-walled melt ponds on the surfaces of active valley-floor rock glaciers and Matthes (Little Ice Age) moraines in the southern Sierra Nevada indicate that most of these landforms consist of glacier ice under thin (ca. 1 - 10 m) but continuous covers of rock-fall-generated debris. These debris blankets effectively insulate the underlying ice and greatly reduce rates of ablation relative to that of uncovered ice. Such insulation explains the observations that ice-cored rock glaciers in the Sierra, actually debris-covered glaciers, are apparently less sensitive to climatic warming and commonly advance to lower altitudes than do adjacent bare-ice glaciers. Accumulation-area ratios and toe-to-headwall-altitude ratios used to estimate equilibrium-line altitudes (ELAs) of former glaciers may therefore yield incorrect results for cirque glaciers subject to abundant rockfall. Inadvertent lumping of deposits from former debris-covered and bare-ice glaciers partially explains an apparently anomalous regional ELA gradient reported for the pre-Matthes Recess Peak Neoglacial advance. Distinguishing such deposits may be important to studies that rely on paleo-ELA estimates. Moreover, Matthes and Recess Peak ELA gradients along the crest evidently depend strongly on local orographic effects rather than latitudinal climatic trends, indicating that simple linear projections and regional climatic interpretations of ELA gradients of small glaciers may be unreliable.

  2. Influence of the Pacific decadal oscillation on the climate of the Sierra Nevada, California and Nevada

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Benson, L.; Linsley, B.; Smoot, J.; Mensing, S.; Lund, S.; Stine, S.; Sarna-Wojcicki, A.

    2003-01-01

    Mono Lake sediments have recorded five major oscillations in the hydrologic balance between A.D. 1700 and 1941. These oscillations can be correlated with tree-ring-based oscillations in Sierra Nevada snowpack. Comparison of a tree-ring-based reconstruction of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) index (D' Arrigo et al., 2001) with a coral-based reconstruction of Subtropical South Pacific sea-surface temperature (Linsley et al., 2000) indicates a high degree of correlation between the two records during the past 300 yr. This suggests that the PDO has been a pan-Pacific phenomena for at least the past few hundred years. Major oscillations in the hydrologic balance of the Sierra Nevada correspond to changes in the sign of the PDO with extreme droughts occuring during PDO maxima. Four droughts centered on A.D. 1710, 1770, 1850, and 1930 indicate PDO-related drought reoccurrence intervals ranging from 60 to 80 yr. ?? 2003 Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved.

  3. Geologic Map of the Tower Peak Quadrangle, Central Sierra Nevada, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wahrhaftig, Clyde

    2000-01-01

    Introduction The Tower Peak quadrangle, which includes northernmost Yosemite National Park, is located astride the glaciated crest of the central Sierra Nevada and covers an exceptionally well-exposed part of the Sierra Nevada batholith. Granitic plutonic rocks of the batholith dominate the geology of the Tower Peak quadrangle, and at least 18 separate pre-Tertiary intrusive events have been identified. Pre-Cretaceous metamorphic rocks crop out in the quadrangle in isolated roof pendants and septa. Tertiary volcanic rocks cover granitic rocks in the northern part of the quadrangle, but are not considered in this brief summary. Potassium-argon (K-Ar) age determinations for plutonic rocks in the quadrangle range from 83 to 96 million years (Ma), including one of 86 Ma for the granodiorite of Lake Harriet (Robinson and Kistler, 1986). However, a rubidium-strontium whole-rock isochron age of 129 Ma has been obtained for the Lake Harriet pluton (Robinson and Kistler, 1986), which field evidence indicates is the oldest plutonic body within the quadrangle. This suggests that some of the K-Ar ages record an episode of resetting during later thermal events and are too young. The evidence indicates that all the plutonic rocks are of Cretaceous age, with the youngest being the Cathedral Peak Granodiorite at about 83 Ma. The pre-Tertiary rocks of the Tower Peak quadrangle fall into two groups: (1) an L-shaped area of older plutonic and metamorphic rocks, 3 to 10 km wide, that extends diagonally both northeast and southeast from near the center of the quadrangle; and (2) a younger group of large, probably composite intrusions that cover large areas in adjacent quadrangles and extend into the Tower Peak quadrangle from the east, north, and southwest.

  4. Sinfonevada: Dataset of Floristic diversity in Sierra Nevada forests (SE Spain).

    PubMed

    Pérez-Luque, Antonio Jesús; Bonet, Francisco Javier; Pérez-Pérez, Ramón; Rut Aspizua; Lorite, Juan; Zamora, Regino

    2014-01-01

    The Sinfonevada database is a forest inventory that contains information on the forest ecosystem in the Sierra Nevada mountains (SE Spain). The Sinfonevada dataset contains more than 7,500 occurrence records belonging to 270 taxa (24 of these threatened) from floristic inventories of the Sinfonevada Forest inventory. Expert field workers collected the information. The whole dataset underwent a quality control by botanists with broad expertise in Sierra Nevada flora. This floristic inventory was created to gather useful information for the proper management of Pinus plantations in Sierra Nevada. This is the only dataset that shows a comprehensive view of the forest flora in Sierra Nevada. This is the reason why it is being used to assess the biodiversity in the very dense pine plantations on this massif. With this dataset, managers have improved their ability to decide where to apply forest treatments in order to avoid biodiversity loss. The dataset forms part of the Sierra Nevada Global Change Observatory (OBSNEV), a long-term research project designed to compile socio-ecological information on the major ecosystem types in order to identify the impacts of global change in this area. PMID:24843285

  5. Sinfonevada: Dataset of Floristic diversity in Sierra Nevada forests (SE Spain).

    PubMed

    Pérez-Luque, Antonio Jesús; Bonet, Francisco Javier; Pérez-Pérez, Ramón; Rut Aspizua; Lorite, Juan; Zamora, Regino

    2014-01-01

    The Sinfonevada database is a forest inventory that contains information on the forest ecosystem in the Sierra Nevada mountains (SE Spain). The Sinfonevada dataset contains more than 7,500 occurrence records belonging to 270 taxa (24 of these threatened) from floristic inventories of the Sinfonevada Forest inventory. Expert field workers collected the information. The whole dataset underwent a quality control by botanists with broad expertise in Sierra Nevada flora. This floristic inventory was created to gather useful information for the proper management of Pinus plantations in Sierra Nevada. This is the only dataset that shows a comprehensive view of the forest flora in Sierra Nevada. This is the reason why it is being used to assess the biodiversity in the very dense pine plantations on this massif. With this dataset, managers have improved their ability to decide where to apply forest treatments in order to avoid biodiversity loss. The dataset forms part of the Sierra Nevada Global Change Observatory (OBSNEV), a long-term research project designed to compile socio-ecological information on the major ecosystem types in order to identify the impacts of global change in this area.

  6. Sinfonevada: Dataset of Floristic diversity in Sierra Nevada forests (SE Spain)

    PubMed Central

    Pérez-Luque, Antonio Jesús; Bonet, Francisco Javier; Pérez-Pérez, Ramón; Rut Aspizua; Lorite, Juan; Zamora, Regino

    2014-01-01

    Abstract The Sinfonevada database is a forest inventory that contains information on the forest ecosystem in the Sierra Nevada mountains (SE Spain). The Sinfonevada dataset contains more than 7,500 occurrence records belonging to 270 taxa (24 of these threatened) from floristic inventories of the Sinfonevada Forest inventory. Expert field workers collected the information. The whole dataset underwent a quality control by botanists with broad expertise in Sierra Nevada flora. This floristic inventory was created to gather useful information for the proper management of Pinus plantations in Sierra Nevada. This is the only dataset that shows a comprehensive view of the forest flora in Sierra Nevada. This is the reason why it is being used to assess the biodiversity in the very dense pine plantations on this massif. With this dataset, managers have improved their ability to decide where to apply forest treatments in order to avoid biodiversity loss. The dataset forms part of the Sierra Nevada Global Change Observatory (OBSNEV), a long-term research project designed to compile socio-ecological information on the major ecosystem types in order to identify the impacts of global change in this area. PMID:24843285

  7. California spotted owls: Chapter 5 in Managing Sierra Nevada forests

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Roberts, Suzanne C.; Brooks, Matthew L.

    2012-01-01

    California spotted owls (Strix occidentalis occidentalis) are habitat specialists that are strongly associated with late-successional forests. For nesting and roosting, they require large trees and snags embedded in a stand with a complex forest structure (Blakesley et al. 2005, Gutiérrez et al. 1992, Verner et al. 1992b). In mixedconifer forests of the Sierra Nevada, California spotted owls typically nest and roost in stands with high canopy closure (≥75 percent) [Note: when citing studies, we use terminology consistent with Jennings et al. (1999), however, not all studies properly distinguish between canopy cover and closure and often use the terms interchangeably (see chapter 14 for clarification)] and an abundance of large trees (>24 in (60 cm) diameter at breast height [d.b.h.]) (Bias and Gutiérrez 1992, Gutiérrez et al. 1992, LaHaye et al. 1997, Moen and Gutiérrez 1997, Verner et al. 1992a). The California spotted owl guidelines (Verner et al. 1992b) effectively summarized much of the information about nesting and roosting habitat. Since that report, research on the California spotted owl has continued with much of the new information concentrated in five areas: population trends, barred owl (Strix varia) invasion, climate effects, foraging habitat, and owl response to fire.

  8. LANDSAT-D investigations in snow hydrology. [Sierra Nevada Mountains

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dozier, J.

    1983-01-01

    Thematic mapper data for the southern Sierra Nevada area were registered to digital topographic data and compared to LANDSAT MSS and NOAA-7 AVHRR data of snow covered areas in order to determine the errors associated with using coarser resolution and to qualify the information lost when high resolution data are not available. Both the zenith and the azimuth variations in the radiative field are considered in an atmospheric radiative transfer model which deals with a plane parallel structured atmosphere composed of different layers, each assumed to be homogeneous in composition and to have a linear in tau temperature profile. Astronomical parameters for each layer are Earth-Sun distance and solar flux at the top of the atmosphere. Atmospheric parameters include pressure temperature, chemical composition of the air molecules, and the composition and size of the aerosol, water droplets, and ice crystals. Outputs of the model are the monochromatic radiance and irradiance at each level. The use of the model in atmospheric correction of remotely sensed data is discussed.

  9. Sierra Nevada Batholith: The batholith was generated within a synclinorium.

    PubMed

    Bateman, P C; Eaton, J P

    1967-12-15

    The Sierra Nevada batholith is localized in the axial region of a complex faulted synclinorium that coincides with a downfold in the Mohorovicic discontinuity and in P-wave velocity boundaries within the crust. Observed P-wave velocities are compatible with downward increase in the proportion of diorite, quartz diorite, and calcic granodiorite relative to quartz monzonite and granite in the upper crust, with amphibolite or gabbro-basalt in the lower crust, and with periodotite in the upper mantle. The synclinorium was formed in Paleozoic and Mesozoic strata during early and middle Mesozoic time in a geosyncline marginal to the continent. Granitic magmas are believed to have formed in the lower half of the crust at depths of 25 to 45 kilometers or more, primarily as a result of high radiogenic heat production in the thickened prism of crustal rocks. Magma was generated at different times in different places as the locus of down-folding shifted. It rose into the upper crust because it was less dense than rock of the same composition or residual refractory rocks. Refractory rocks and crystals that were not melted and early crystallized mafic minerals that settled from the rising magma thickened the lower crust. Wall and roof rocks settled around, and perhaps through, the rising magma and provided space for its continued rise. Erosion followed each magmatic episode, and 10 to 12 kilometers of rock may have been eroded away since the Jurassic and 7 to 10 kilometers since the early Late Cretaceous.

  10. Sierra Nevada Batholith: The batholith was generated within a synclinorium.

    PubMed

    Bateman, P C; Eaton, J P

    1967-12-15

    The Sierra Nevada batholith is localized in the axial region of a complex faulted synclinorium that coincides with a downfold in the Mohorovicic discontinuity and in P-wave velocity boundaries within the crust. Observed P-wave velocities are compatible with downward increase in the proportion of diorite, quartz diorite, and calcic granodiorite relative to quartz monzonite and granite in the upper crust, with amphibolite or gabbro-basalt in the lower crust, and with periodotite in the upper mantle. The synclinorium was formed in Paleozoic and Mesozoic strata during early and middle Mesozoic time in a geosyncline marginal to the continent. Granitic magmas are believed to have formed in the lower half of the crust at depths of 25 to 45 kilometers or more, primarily as a result of high radiogenic heat production in the thickened prism of crustal rocks. Magma was generated at different times in different places as the locus of down-folding shifted. It rose into the upper crust because it was less dense than rock of the same composition or residual refractory rocks. Refractory rocks and crystals that were not melted and early crystallized mafic minerals that settled from the rising magma thickened the lower crust. Wall and roof rocks settled around, and perhaps through, the rising magma and provided space for its continued rise. Erosion followed each magmatic episode, and 10 to 12 kilometers of rock may have been eroded away since the Jurassic and 7 to 10 kilometers since the early Late Cretaceous. PMID:17796401

  11. Modeling Vernal Pool Hydrology and Vegetation in the Sierra Nevadas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montrone, A. K.; Saito, L.; Weisberg, P.; Gosejohan, M.

    2012-12-01

    Vernal pools are geographic depressions with relatively impermeable substrates that are subject to four distinct seasons in mountainous regions: they fill with snow in the winter, melt into inundated pools in the spring, become unsaturated and vegetated by summer, then dry and become fully desiccated by fall. Vernal pools in California are greatly threatened. Over 90% of the pools in California have been destroyed by urbanization and other land use changes and continue to disappear with population growth. Furthermore, these pools face threats posed by climate change due to altered precipitation and temperature regimes. In the context of anthropogenic climate change, we are evaluating the direct and indirect effects of grazing management on ecohydrology and plant community structure in vernal pools Northern Sierra Nevada mountains. Hydrologic models of vernal pool basins, driven by climatic variables, are used to 1) determine if a changing climate will alter the magnitude and spatial distribution of inundation period within the pools; 2) determine how the available habitat for vernal pool vegetation specialists will change with climate change; 3) determine if increased soil compaction due to cattle grazing can help mitigate effects of climate change resulting from changes in hydraulic conductivity; and 4) determine the importance of spatial resolution in constructing the physical representation of the pools within the hydrologic models. Preliminary results from the models including calibration error metrics and hydroperiod impacts of grazing for models with varying spatial complexity will be presented.

  12. Seed germination of Sierra Nevada postfire chaparral species

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Keeley, Jon E.; McGinnis, Thomas W.; Bollens, Kim A.

    2005-01-01

    The California chaparral community has a rich flora of species with different mechanisms for cuing germination to postfire conditions. Here we report further germination experiments that elucidate the response of several widespread shrub species whose germination response was not clear and include other species from the Sierra Nevada, which have not previously been included in germination studies. The shrubs Adenostoma fasciculatum and Eriodictyon crassifolium and the postfire annualMentzelia dispersa exhibited highly significant germination in response to smoke treatments, with some enhanced germination in response to heating as well. The shrubs Fremontodendron californicum and Malacothamnus fremontii were stimulated only by heat-shock treatments. Seeds buried in the soil for one year exhibited substantially higher germination for controls and most treatments. In the case of two postfire annuals, Mimulus bolanderi and M. gracilipes, germination of fresh seed was significantly greater with smoke or heating but after soil storage, over two-thirds of the control seeds germinated and treatment effects were not significant. These two annuals are generally restricted to postfire conditions and it is suggested that control germination of soil-stored seed may be a light-response (which was not tested here) as previously reported for another chaparral species in that genus.

  13. Three-dimensional crustal structure of the southern Sierra Nevada from seismic fan profiles and gravity modeling

    SciTech Connect

    Fliedner, M.M.; Ruppert, S.; Park, S.K.; and others.

    1996-04-01

    Traveltime data from the 1993 Southern Sierra Nevada Continental Dynamics seismic refraction experiment reveal low velocities in the southern Sierra Nevada and Basin and Range province of California (6.0 to 6.6 km/s), as well as low upper mantle velocities (7.6 to 7.8 km/s). The crust thickens from southeast to northwest along the axis of the Sierra Nevada from 27 km in the Mojave Desert to 43 km near Fresno, California. A crustal welt is present beneath the Sierra Nevada, but the deepest Moho is found under the western slopes, not beneath the highest topography. A density model directly derived from the crustal velocity model but with constant mantle density satisfies the pronounced negative Bouguer anomaly associated with the Sierra Nevada, but shows large discrepancies of >50 mgal in the Great Valley and in the Basin and Range province. Matching the observed gravity with anomalies in the crust alone is not possible with geologically reasonable densities; we require a contribution from the upper mantle, either by lateral density variations or by a thinning of the lithosphere under the Sierra Nevada and the Basin and Range province. Such a model is consistent with the interpretation that the uplift of the present Sierra Nevada is caused and dynamically supported by asthenospheric upwelling or lithospheric thinning under the Basin and Range province and eastern Sierra Nevada. 20 refs., 4 figs.

  14. Dataset of Passerine bird communities in a Mediterranean high mountain (Sierra Nevada, Spain)

    PubMed Central

    Pérez-Luque, Antonio Jesús; Barea-Azcón, José Miguel; Álvarez-Ruiz, Lola; Bonet-García, Francisco Javier; Zamora, Regino

    2016-01-01

    Abstract In this data paper, a dataset of passerine bird communities is described in Sierra Nevada, a Mediterranean high mountain located in southern Spain. The dataset includes occurrence data from bird surveys conducted in four representative ecosystem types of Sierra Nevada from 2008 to 2015. For each visit, bird species numbers as well as distance to the transect line were recorded. A total of 27847 occurrence records were compiled with accompanying measurements on distance to the transect and animal counts. All records are of species in the order Passeriformes. Records of 16 different families and 44 genera were collected. Some of the taxa in the dataset are included in the European Red List. This dataset belongs to the Sierra Nevada Global-Change Observatory (OBSNEV), a long-term research project designed to compile socio-ecological information on the major ecosystem types in order to identify the impacts of global change in this area. PMID:26865820

  15. Dataset of Passerine bird communities in a Mediterranean high mountain (Sierra Nevada, Spain).

    PubMed

    Pérez-Luque, Antonio Jesús; Barea-Azcón, José Miguel; Álvarez-Ruiz, Lola; Bonet-García, Francisco Javier; Zamora, Regino

    2016-01-01

    In this data paper, a dataset of passerine bird communities is described in Sierra Nevada, a Mediterranean high mountain located in southern Spain. The dataset includes occurrence data from bird surveys conducted in four representative ecosystem types of Sierra Nevada from 2008 to 2015. For each visit, bird species numbers as well as distance to the transect line were recorded. A total of 27847 occurrence records were compiled with accompanying measurements on distance to the transect and animal counts. All records are of species in the order Passeriformes. Records of 16 different families and 44 genera were collected. Some of the taxa in the dataset are included in the European Red List. This dataset belongs to the Sierra Nevada Global-Change Observatory (OBSNEV), a long-term research project designed to compile socio-ecological information on the major ecosystem types in order to identify the impacts of global change in this area.

  16. Dataset of Passerine bird communities in a Mediterranean high mountain (Sierra Nevada, Spain).

    PubMed

    Pérez-Luque, Antonio Jesús; Barea-Azcón, José Miguel; Álvarez-Ruiz, Lola; Bonet-García, Francisco Javier; Zamora, Regino

    2016-01-01

    In this data paper, a dataset of passerine bird communities is described in Sierra Nevada, a Mediterranean high mountain located in southern Spain. The dataset includes occurrence data from bird surveys conducted in four representative ecosystem types of Sierra Nevada from 2008 to 2015. For each visit, bird species numbers as well as distance to the transect line were recorded. A total of 27847 occurrence records were compiled with accompanying measurements on distance to the transect and animal counts. All records are of species in the order Passeriformes. Records of 16 different families and 44 genera were collected. Some of the taxa in the dataset are included in the European Red List. This dataset belongs to the Sierra Nevada Global-Change Observatory (OBSNEV), a long-term research project designed to compile socio-ecological information on the major ecosystem types in order to identify the impacts of global change in this area. PMID:26865820

  17. Snow algae of the Sierra Nevada, Spain, and High Atlas mountains of Morocco.

    PubMed

    Duval, B; Duval, E; Hoham, R W

    1999-03-01

    Snow algae (Chlorophyta) are reported from the Sierra Nevada mountains in southern Spain and the High Atlas mountains of Morocco. Populations of the snow algae Chlamydomonas sp., coloring the snow orange-red, were collected from Pico de Veleta, Spain, while snow samples from Mt. Neltner in the High Atlas mountains, contained resting spores of an orange-green colored Chloromonas sp. Other microbes observed in snow samples include bacteria, fungi, heterotrophic euglenids, diatoms, nematodes, and heterotrophic mastigotes (flagellated protists). This is the first report of snow algae from the Sierra Nevada mountains of Spain and from the Afro-alpine environment.

  18. Chronology for fluctuations in late Pleistocene Sierra Nevada glaciers and lakes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Phillips, F.M.; Zreda, M.G.; Benson, L.V.; Plummer, M.A.; Elmore, D.; Sharma, Prakash

    1996-01-01

    Mountain glaciers, because of their small size, are usually close to equilibrium with the local climate and thus should provide a test of whether temperature oscillations in Greenland late in the last glacial period are part of global-scale climate variability or are restricted to the North Atlantic region. Correlation of cosmogenic chlorine-36 dates on Sierra Nevada moraines with a continuous radiocarbon-dated sediment record from nearby Owens Lake shows that Sierra Nevada glacial advances were associated with Heinrich events 5, 3, 2, and 1.

  19. Chronology for fluctuations in late pleistocene Sierra Nevada glaciers and lakes

    SciTech Connect

    Phillips, F.M.; Zreda, M.G.; Plummer, M.A.

    1996-11-01

    Mountain glaciers, because of their small size, are usually close to equilibrium with the local climate and thus should provide a test of whether temperature oscillations in Greenland late in the last glacial period are part of global-scale climate variability or are restricted to the North Atlantic region. Correlation of cosmogenic chlorine-36 dates on Sierra Nevada moraines with a continuous radiocarbon-dated sediment record from nearby Owens Lake shows that Sierra Nevada glacial advances were associated with Heinrich events 5, 3, and 1. 27 refs., 2 figs., 1 tab.

  20. Tectonic control on southern Sierra Nevada topography, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    MahéO, Gweltaz; Saleeby, Jason; Saleeby, Zorka; Farley, Kenneth A.

    2009-12-01

    In this study we integrate the apatite (U-Th)/He thermochronometric technique with geomorphic, structural, and stratigraphic studies to pursue the origin and evolution of topographic relief related to extensive late Cenozoic faulting in the southern Sierra Nevada. The geomorphology of this region reflects a transition from a vast region to the north characterized by nonequilibrium fluvial modification of a relict low-relief landscape, little affected by internal deformation, to a more complex landscape affected by numerous faults. Regionally, the relict landscape surface is readily resolved by age-elevation relationships of apatite He ages coupled to geomorphology. These relationships can be extended into the study area and used as a structural datum for the resolution of fault offsets and related tilting. On the basis of 63 new apatite He ages and stratigraphic data from proximal parts of the San Joaquin basin we resolve two sets of normal faults oriented approximately N-S and approximately NW. Quaternary west-side-up normal faulting along the N-S Breckenridge-Kern Canyon zone has resulted in a southwest step over from the Owens Valley system in the controlling structure on the regional west tilt of Sierran basement. This zone has also served as a transfer structure partitioning Neogene-Quaternary extension resulting from normal displacements on the NW fault set. This fault system for the most part nucleated along Late Cretaceous structures with late Cenozoic remobilization representing passive extension by oblate flattening as the region rose and stretched in response to the passage of a slab window and the ensuing delamination of the mantle lithosphere from beneath the region.

  1. Evapotranspiration along an elevation gradient in California's Sierra Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goulden, M. L.; Anderson, R. G.; Bales, R. C.; Kelly, A. E.; Meadows, M.; Winston, G. C.

    2012-09-01

    We combined observations from four eddy covariance towers with remote sensing to better understand the altitudinal patterns of climate, plant phenology, Gross Ecosystem CO2Uptake, and Evapotranspiration (ET) around the Upper Kings River basin in the southern Sierra Nevada Mountains. Precipitation (P) increased with elevation to ˜500 m, and more gradually at higher elevations, while vegetation graded from savanna at 405 m to evergreen oak and pine forest to mid-montane forest to subalpine forest at 2700 m. CO2uptake and transpiration at 405 m peaked in spring (March to May) and declined in summer; gas exchange at 1160 and 2015 m continued year-round; gas exchange at 2700 m peaked in summer and ceased in winter. A phenological threshold occurred between 2015 and 2700 m, associated with the development of winter dormancy. Annual ET and Gross Primary Production were greatest at 1160 and 2015 m and reduced at 405 m coincident with less P, and at 2700 m coincident with colder temperatures. The large decline in ET above 2015 m raises the possibility that an upslope redistribution of vegetation with climate change could cause a large increase in upper elevation ET. We extrapolated ET to the entire basin using remote sensing. The 2003-11 P for the entire Upper Kings River basin was 984 mm y-1 and the ET was 429 mm y-1, yielding a P-ET of 554 mm y-1, which agrees well with the observed Kings River flow of 563 mm y-1. ET averaged across the entire basin was nearly constant from year to year.

  2. Dynamics of magma ascent through the Sierra Nevada, California

    SciTech Connect

    Kovach, L.A.

    1984-01-01

    A 9 m.y. old alkali basalt intrudes the Red Lake pluton, approx.90 m.y. old granodiorite of the Huntington Lake quadrangle in the Sierra Nevada, California. The basaltic neck, standing 5 meters above the floor of the Big Creek drainage (approx. 25 meters in diameter), appears to have been the feeder for the flows that cap Chinese Peak (approx. 1 km to the south). The surrounding Red Lake granodiorite was partially fused during the intrusive process. Ten meters of the fused rock is now exposed surrounding the basaltic neck. Thermal models indicate that magma must have flowed through the pipe for approx. 1000 years to produce the extensive melting of the country rock. The basalt was probably intruded at a temperature of 900/sup 0/C, ultramafic nodules indicate its mantle origin. Surrounding the inner basaltic core is a region of basalt interlayered with granitic melt and xenoliths, which formed due to interaction of the basalt and partially molten wall rock during magma ascent. The partially fused granodiorite wall rock contains 40-45% melt at the contact, decreasing to 20% melt 10 meters from the contact. The glass composition (approx.73%-approx.75% SiO/sub 2/, 5% K/sub 2/O) suggests invariant melting. Data on Rb, Sr, and Sr isotopic composition of the glass, residual crystals, and whole rocks are used to model chemical and isotopic equilibration of silicic liquids with their residual crystals. In comparison to the granodiorite, the glass is enriched in Rb (approx.250 ppm), depleted in Sr (approx.135 ppm), permitting the construction of an apparent isochron 11.0 +/- 2.7 m.y.

  3. Two-phase westward encroachment of Basin and Range extension into thenorthern Sierra Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Surpless, Benjamin E.; Stockli, Daniel F.; Dumitru, TrevorA.; Miller, Elizabeth L.

    2002-01-01

    Structural, geophysical, and thermochronologicaldata from the transition zone between the Sierra Nevada and the Basin andRange province at latitude ~39°N suggest ~100 km westward encroachmentof Basin and Range extensional deformation since the middle Miocene. Extension,accommodated primarily by east dipping normal faults that bound west tilted,range-forming fault blocks, varies in magnitude from <2% in the interiorof the Sierra Nevada crustal block to >150% in the Wassuk and Singatse Rangesto the east. Geological and apatite fission track data from exhumed uppercrustal sections in the Wassuk and Singatse Ranges point to rapid footwallcooling related to large magnitude extension starting at ~14-15Ma. Farther to the west, geological and thermochronological data indicatea younger period of extension in the previously unextended Pine Nut Mountains,the Carson Range, and the Tahoe-Truckee depression initiated between 10 Maand 3 Ma, and incipient post-0.5 Ma faulting to the west of the Tahoe-Truckeearea. These data imply the presence of an extensional breakaway zone betweenthe Singatse Range and the Pine Nut Mountains at ~14-15 Ma, formingthe boundary between the Sierra Nevada and Basin and Range at that time. Inaddition, fission track data imply a Miocene preextensional geothermal gradientof 27 +/- 5°C km-1 in the central Wassuk Rangeand 20 +/- 5°C km-1 in the Singatse Range,much higher than the estimated early Tertiary gradient of 10 +/- 5°Ckm-1 for the Sierra Nevada batholith. This might pointto a significant increase in geothermal gradients coupled with a likely decreasein crustal strength enabling the initiation of extensional faulting. Apatitefission track, geophysical, and geological constraints across the Sierra Nevada-Basinand Range transition zone indicate a two-stage, coupled structural and thermalwestward encroachment of the Basin and Range province into the Sierra Nevadasince the middle Miocene.

  4. Reconstructing a Hot and High Eocene Sierra Nevada Using Oxygen and Hydrogen Isotopes in Kaolinite

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mix, H.; Ibarra, D. E.; Mulch, A.; Graham, S. A.; Chamberlain, C. P.

    2014-12-01

    Despite the broad interest in determining the topographic and climatic histories of mountain ranges, the evolution of California's Sierra Nevada remains actively debated. Prior stable isotope-based studies of Sierra Nevada have relied exclusively on hydrogen isotopes in kaolinite, hydrated volcanic glass and leaf n-alkanes. Additional constraints from the oxygen isotope composition of phyllosilicates increase the robustness of findings from a single isotope system and allow for the reconstruction of paleotemperatures. Here, we reconstruct the temperature and elevation of the Early Eocene Sierra Nevada using the oxygen isotope composition of kaolinitized granite clasts from the ancestral Yuba and American Rivers. We evaluate the possible contributions of hydrogen isotope exchange by direct comparison with more robust oxygen isotope measurements. Next, we utilize differences in the hydrogen and oxygen isotope fractionation in kaolinite to constrain paleotemperature. Oxygen isotope geochemistry of in-situ kaolinites indicates upstream (eastward) depletion of 18O in the northern Sierra Nevada. δ18O values ranging from 11.4 - 14.4 ‰ at the easternmost localities correspond to paleoelevations as high as 2400 m when simulating the orographic precipitation of moisture from a Pacific source using Eocene boundary conditions. This finding is consistent with stable isotope studies of the northern Sierra, but oxygen isotope based paleoelevation estimates are systematically ~500 - 1000 m higher than those from hydrogen-based estimates from the same samples. Kaolinite geothermometry from 16 samples measured in duplicate or triplicate produce an average Early Eocene temperature of 24.2 ± 2.0 °C (1s). This kaolinite temperature reconstruction is in agreement with paleofloral and geochemical constraints and general circulation model simulations from Eocene California. Our results confirm prior hydrogen isotope-based paleoelevations and further substantiate the existence of a

  5. Impacts of snow water equivalent on forest disturbance in the Sierra Nevada with climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nguyen, A.; Mueller, C.; Petrakis, R.; Adkins, S.; Kuss, O.; Kumaran, M.; Meyer, M.; Schmidt, C.

    2013-12-01

    High Sierra snow and ice provide the primary water supply for the Sierra Nevada ecosystem. Understanding how climate change affects high Sierra snowmelt and how these changes impact forest disturbance is important for future forest management. Snow water equivalent (SWE) anomalies were averaged on a monthly basis and overall trends of snowpack availability and timing of snowmelt were examined throughout the Sierra Nevada from 2003 - 2012. Periods of decreased snowpack were examined alongside periods of decreased soil moisture, increased soil temperature, and increased wild fires. This project used NASA Earth Observations (EOS) such as the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) for snow cover and Landsat 5 for extent of forest disturbance and vegetative analysis. We also used ancillary and modeled datasets such as temperature, precipitation, and water flow rate to provide a better understanding of the relation between snowpack, soil moisture availability, and soil temperature to wildfires. A Generalized Additive Model (GAM) was used to make predictions of future forest disturbance patterns as well to analyze the sensitivity of particular variables indicative of wildfire. This information is useful for forest management decisions within the US Forest Service and will assist in the incorporation of climate change impact assessments on forest health. Layers of various climatic and surface conditions along with areas of fire are used in the Generalize Additive Model to create a wildfire risk map of the Sierra Nevada M261E Ecological Region, CA.

  6. PARTITIONING OF WATER FLUX IN A SIERRA NEVADA PONDEROSA PINE PLANTATION. (R826601)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The weather patterns of the west side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains (cold, wet winters and hot, dry summers) strongly influence how water is partitioned between transpiration and evaporation and result in a specific strategy of water use by ponderosa pine trees (Pinus pond...

  7. Mercury in Tadpoles Collected from Remote Alpine Sites in the Southern Sierra Nevada Mountains, California, USA

    EPA Science Inventory

    Amphibians in alpine wetlands of the Sierra Nevada mountains comprise key components of an aquatic-terrestrial food chain, and mercury contamination is a concern because concentrations in fish from this regin exceed thresholds of risk to piscivorous wildlife. Total mercury conc...

  8. Glaciation about 3,000,000 Years Ago in the Sierra Nevada.

    PubMed

    Curry, R R

    1966-11-11

    Abstract. Major glaciation in the Sierra Nevada of California resulted in the deposition of till which underlies latite 2.7 x 10(6) years old and overlies andesite 3.1 x 10(6) years old. This till, herein called the Deadman Pass till, is the oldest Pleistocene glacial deposit that has been found in temperate latitudes.

  9. Quantifying the Effects of Wildfire Severity on Snow Water Equivalent in the Sierra Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nguyen, A.; Cunningham, S.; Sodergren, C.; Anzelc, J.; Cate, N.; Arya, V.

    2015-12-01

    Snowpack in the Sierra Nevada is a crucial component of the California water supply. Climate change effects on forest ecosystems in this region have reduced snowpack and resulted in earlier snowmelt. Wildfire frequency and severity in the Sierra Nevada have also increased, due to higher temperatures, drought, and a legacy of fire suppression policies leading to fuel loads augmented beyond the historic range of variability. These combined factors have the potential to severely impact California water supply. Using 2014 California Basin Characterization Model (BCM) climate data and automated classification of various Landsat imagery, this study geospatially quantified the effects of low, moderate, and high- severity wildfire on snowpack and snow water equivalent (SWE) in the Sierra Nevada. An assessment of modeled SWE data were also conducted to examine its usefulness in better understanding areas effected by wildfire. Results indicate little to no significant change in post-fire SWE for high and moderate severity wildfire, however, delineated a significant decrease in post-fire SWE in the low severity wildfire. Additionally, tests show little no significant change in fractional snow cover post-fire. This use of remote sensing and modeled data will assist in decision and policy making related to management of forest ecosystems and water resources within the Sierra Nevada.

  10. 78 FR 24471 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Endangered Status for the Sierra Nevada Yellow...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-04-25

    ... petition in the Federal Register (65 FR 60603), concluding that the petition presented substantial... that listing was warranted but precluded (68 FR 2283). This finding was in accordance with a court... FR 34657), reiterating a warranted-but-precluded finding, and maintaining the Sierra Nevada DPS...

  11. Glaciation about 3,000,000 Years Ago in the Sierra Nevada.

    PubMed

    Curry, R R

    1966-11-11

    Abstract. Major glaciation in the Sierra Nevada of California resulted in the deposition of till which underlies latite 2.7 x 10(6) years old and overlies andesite 3.1 x 10(6) years old. This till, herein called the Deadman Pass till, is the oldest Pleistocene glacial deposit that has been found in temperate latitudes. PMID:17745985

  12. 78 FR 79688 - Newmont Nevada Energy Investment LLC v. Sierra Pacific Power Company; Notice of Complaints

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-12-31

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Newmont Nevada Energy Investment LLC v. Sierra Pacific Power Company; Notice of Complaints Take notice that on December 23, 2013, pursuant to sections 206 and 306 of the Federal Power Act (FPA), 16 U.S.C. 824e, and...

  13. Remotely-Sensed Glacial Velocities: Mt. Shasta Advance vs. Sierra Nevada Retreat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thompson, J. A.; Bookhagen, B.; Burbank, D. W.

    2008-12-01

    Monitoring changes in alpine glaciers is crucial to understanding the impacts of global climate change because alpine glacier systems respond quickly to changes in the earth´s climate. The glaciers of the Sierra Nevada and southern Cascades are of particular interest because they provide a major water reservoir to the state of California. Oddly, while most glaciers worldwide (including in the Sierra Nevada) are retreating, glaciers in northern California are advancing, and examining differences between these two locations will help resolve this paradox. Whereas previous studies have mapped the spatial extents of glaciers from aerial and satellite imagery, this study utilizes glacial velocities as a monitoring tool to examine the differences of the glaciers in the Sierra Nevada and on Mount Shasta. Using the program COSI-Corr in ENVI, horizontal surface ice flow velocities are calculated at the subpixel level from a time-series of co-registered, orthorectified, and correlated, late-summer satellite imagery. Through a combination of 15-meter Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission Radiometer (ASTER) and 5-meter SPOT imagery, orthorectified using a 15-meter resampled Shuttle Radar Topographic Mission (SRTM) digital elevation model (DEM), glacial velocities are derived on major glaciers on Mount Shasta and in the Palisades of the Sierra Nevada for 2000-2008. This study demonstrates the utility of combining various types of remote sensing imagery to create a complete time record, and from this record derive glacial velocities for use in monitoring climate change effectively.

  14. Holocene glaciation of the central Sierra Nevada, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bowerman, Nicole D.; Clark, Douglas H.

    2011-05-01

    Sediment cores from two bedrock-dammed lakes in North Fork Big Pine Creek, Sierra Nevada, California, preserve the most detailed and complete record of Holocene glaciation yet recovered in the region. The lakes are fed by outwash from the Palisade Glacier, the largest (˜1.3 km 2) and presumably longest-lived glacier in the range, and capture essentially all of the rock flour it produces. Distinct late-Holocene (Matthes) and late-Pleistocene (Recess Peak) moraines lie between the modern glacier and the lakes. The lakes have therefore received continuous sedimentation from the basin since the retreat of the Tioga glacier (Last Glacial Maximum) and capture rock flour related to all post-LGM advances. A total of eight long cores (up to 5.5 m sediment depth) and one short surface sediment short core preserve a coherent record of fluctuating rock flour flux to the lakes through the Holocene. Age constraints on rock flour spikes in First and Second lakes based on 31 14C-dated macrofossils indicate Holocene glaciation began ˜3200 cal yr B P, followed by a possible glacier maximum at ˜2800 cal yr B P and four distinct glacier maxima at ˜2200, ˜1600, ˜700 and ˜250-170 cal yr. B.P., the most recent maximum being the largest. Reconstruction of the equilibrium-line altitudes (ELA) associated with each distinct advance recorded in the moraines (Recess Peak, Matthes, and modern) indicates ELA depressions (relative to modern) of ˜250 m and 90 m for Recess Peak and Matthes advances, respectively. These differences represent decreases in summer temperatures of 1.7-2.8 °C (Recess Peak) and 0.2-2° (Matthes), and increases in winter precipitation of 22-34 cm snow water equivalent (s.w.e.) (Recess Peak) and 3-26 cm s.w.e. (Matthes) compared to modern conditions. Although small, these changes are significant and similar to those noted in the Cascade Range to the north, and represent a significant departure from historical climate trends in the region.

  15. Multi-century Evaluation of Sierra Nevada Snowpack

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belmecheri, S.; Trouet, V.; Babst, F.; Wahl, E. R.; Stahle, D. W.

    2015-12-01

    California (CA) is currently experiencing a record-setting drought that started in 2012. Snowpack conditions in the Sierra Nevada (SN) mountains present an ominous sign of the severity of this drought: the April 1, 2015 snow water equivalent (SWE) was at only 5% of its historical average. However, no long-term historical context is available for the recent SN snowpack decline. We present an annually-resolved reconstruction of SN-wide April 1 SWE conditions for the past 500 years (Fig. 1). We combined an extensive compilation of blue oak tree-ring series that reflects large-scale CA winter precipitation anomalies with a CA February-March temperature reconstruction in a reconstruction that explains 63% of the SN SWE variance over the instrumental period. Our reconstruction reveals that the 2015 low is unprecedented in the context of the last 500 years. Our error estimation indicates that there is a possibility that a few - primarily16thcentury - years exceeded the 2015 low, but the estimated return interval for the 2015 SWE value - as calculated based on a generalized extreme value (GEV) distribution - is 3,100 years and confirms the exceptional character of the 2015 SWE low. We further find that the 2015 SWE value is strongly exceptional - exceeding the 95 % CI for a 1000-yr return period - at low elevation SN sites where winter temperature has a strong control on SWE, but less so at high elevation sites, where it exceeds the 95 % CI for only a 95-yr return period. The 2015 record low snowpack coincides with record high CA January-March temperatures and highlights the modulating role of temperature extremes in CA drought severity. Snowpack lows - amongst other drought metrics- are driven by the co-occurrence of precipitation deficits and high temperature extremes and we find that the exacerbating effect of warm winter temperatures is stronger at low than at high SN elevations. Anthropogenic warming is projected to further increase the probability of severe drought

  16. Paleozoic and Mesozoic deformations in the central Sierra Nevada, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nokleberg, Warren J.; Kistler, Ronald Wayne

    1980-01-01

    Analysis of structural and stratigraphic data indicates that several periods of regional deformation, consisting of combined folding, faulting, cataclasis, and regional metamorphism, occurred throughout the central Sierra Nevada during Paleozoic and Mesozoic time. The oldest regional deformation occurred alono northward trends during the Devonian and Mississippian periods in most roof pendants containing lower Paleozoic metasedimentary rocks at the center and along the crest of the range. This deformation is expressed in some roof pendants by an angular unconformity separating older thrice-deformed from younger twice-deformed Paleozoic metasedimentary rocks. The first Mesozoic deformation, which consisted of uplift and erosion and was accompanied by the onset of Andean-type volcanism during the Permian and Triassic, is expressed by an angular unconformity in several roof pendants from the Saddlebag Lake to the Mount Morrison areas. This unconformity is defined by Permian and Triassic andesitic to rhyolitic metavolcanic rocks unconformably overlying more intensely deformed Pennsylvanian, Permian(?), and older metasedimentary rocks. A later regional deformation occurred during the Triassic along N. 20?_30? W. trends in Permian and Triassic metavolcanic rocks of the Saddlebag Lake and Mount Dana roof pendants, in upper Paleozoic rocks of the Pine Creek roof pendant, and in the Calaveras Formation of the western metamorphic belt; the roof pendants are crosscut by Upper Triassic granitic rocks of the Lee Vining intrusive epoch. A still later period of Early and Middle Jurassic regional deformation occurred along N. 30?-60? E. trends in upper Paleozoic rocks of the Calaveras Formation of the western metamorphic belt. A further period of deformation was the Late Jurassic Nevadan orogeny, which occurred along N. 20?_40? W. trends in Upper Jurassic rocks of the western metamorphic belt that are crosscut by Upper Jurassic granitic rocks of the Yosemite intrusive epoch

  17. Deep Crustal Earthquakes and Repeating Earthquakes in the West-Central Sierra Nevada, Western USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hurd, O.; Frassetto, A.; Zandt, G.; Gilbert, H.; Jones, C.; Owens, T. J.

    2006-12-01

    The Sierra Nevada EarthScope Project (SNEP) is a multiple institution, collaborative research project focused on investigating the structure and evolution of the Sierra Nevada batholith in eastern California. The first phase of the project (summer 2005-summer 2006) saw the deployment of over forty (40) broadband seismometers spanning the central Sierra Nevada from Fresno, California to just south of the Lake Tahoe region. These seismic stations recorded many small, local earthquakes in both the western foothills and high Sierra Nevada that were mostly located from 20 to 120 km north of Fresno and were not present in other regional catalogs. Seismicity in this region is notable because it occurs in the interior of a plate away from major known faults. Ninety (90) events were picked on as many as 20 SNEP stations and located. These events occurred from late May 2005 to late January 2006 at a rate of ~10 per month and were located between 10 and 35 km depth. Many of the events fall within two distinct clusters beneath the array. The first cluster contains ~45 events and is located 30-70 km east of Merced, California and 30-90 km north of Fresno, California. The second represents ~30 events and is centered about the southern Yosemite National Park region. Average depth of the events in the first cluster is ~27 km compared to ~16 km for the events in the second. Past studies have found that events from similar locations in the western Sierra Nevada foothills exhibited ML magnitudes from 0 to 3.2 and had focal mechanisms displaying strike-slip faulting combined with normal and reverse components (Wong and Savage, 1983, BSSA). Direct comparison between waveforms of picked events occurring in small clusters (2-5 events) found that some events had nearly identical waveforms. This suggests similar rupture locations and characteristics despite the events having occurred a couple days to several weeks apart.

  18. Hydraulic Implications to Upper Basin Stream Systems From Changing Climatic Conditions in the Sierra Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cornwell, K.; Burns, R. G.

    2005-12-01

    Projected climate changes in the Sierra Nevada of northern California may result in more variability in winter storm patterns and an increase in the frequency and magnitude of extreme precipitation events. Changing rain and snow patterns will alter the timing and amount of runoff in the streams that drain the west slope of the Sierra Nevada and will have bearing on water resource management strategies that rely on that runoff. These runoff changes will in turn challenge existing threshold conditions for channel stability, bank erosion, and hill slope stability. Increased sediment loads will impact existing water-routing infrastructure. Hydraulic conditions from several streams that drain the west slope of the Sierra Nevada in the American River drainage basin were measured to assess threshold changes in response to variable discharges. We reconstructed flow conditions from 1997 (early 1997 storms brought widespread flooding to the central and northern Sierra Nevada and peak flows at many gage sites in the region were the largest recorded during historical time) and 2005 in these channels (representing extreme and typical flow conditions) and then looked at changes to cross-sectional areas, flow velocities, channel shear stresses and sediment sizes since 1998 (earliest available sediment data). Initial insights suggest increases to runoff/discharge will likely produce pulses of mobilized coarser materials (resulting from greater channel shear stresses) that may take several years to transport through stream systems, and channel areas that are geologically weak (unconsolidated or weathered surface materials) may be susceptible to substantial erosion. These conditions will likely impact water-routing infrastructure in the upper basins (pipelines, pumps, and turbines) that manage water flow in the Sierra Nevada for much of northern California.

  19. Evidence of temperature depression and hydrological variations in the eastern Sierra Nevada during the Younger Dryas stade

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    MacDonald, Glen M.; Moser, Katrina A.; Bloom, Amy M.; Porinchu, David F.; Potito, Aaron P.; Wolfe, Brent B.; Edwards, Thomas W. D.; Petel, Amanda; Orme, Antony R.; Orme, Amalie Jo

    2008-09-01

    Sediment records from two lakes in the east-central Sierra Nevada, California, provide evidence of cooling and hydrological shifts during the Younger Dryas stade (YD; ~ 12,900-11,500 cal yr BP). A chironomid transfer function suggests that lake-water temperatures were depressed by 2°C to 4°C relative to maximum temperatures during the preceding Bølling-Allerød interstade (BA; ~ 14,500-12,900 cal yr BP). Diatom and stable isotope records suggest dry conditions during the latter part of the BA interstade and development of relatively moist conditions during the initiation of the YD stade, with a reversion to drier conditions later in the YD. These paleohydrological inferences correlate with similar timed changes detected in the adjacent Great Basin. Vegetation response during the YD stade includes the development of more open and xeric vegetation toward the end of the YD. The new records support linkages between the North Atlantic, the North Pacific, and widespread YD cooling in western North America, but they also suggest complex hydrological influences. Shifting hydrological conditions and relatively muted vegetation changes may explain the previous lack of evidence for the YD stade in the Sierra Nevada and the discordance in some paleohydrological and glacial records of the YD stade from the western United States.

  20. 33 CFR 162.215 - Lake Tahoe, Nev.; restricted area adjacent to Nevada Beach.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 33 Navigation and Navigable Waters 2 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Lake Tahoe, Nev.; restricted area adjacent to Nevada Beach. 162.215 Section 162.215 Navigation and Navigable Waters COAST GUARD, DEPARTMENT... § 162.215 Lake Tahoe, Nev.; restricted area adjacent to Nevada Beach. (a) The restricted area....

  1. 33 CFR 162.215 - Lake Tahoe, Nev.; restricted area adjacent to Nevada Beach.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 33 Navigation and Navigable Waters 2 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Lake Tahoe, Nev.; restricted area adjacent to Nevada Beach. 162.215 Section 162.215 Navigation and Navigable Waters COAST GUARD, DEPARTMENT... § 162.215 Lake Tahoe, Nev.; restricted area adjacent to Nevada Beach. (a) The restricted area....

  2. 33 CFR 162.215 - Lake Tahoe, Nev.; restricted area adjacent to Nevada Beach.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 33 Navigation and Navigable Waters 2 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Lake Tahoe, Nev.; restricted area adjacent to Nevada Beach. 162.215 Section 162.215 Navigation and Navigable Waters COAST GUARD, DEPARTMENT... § 162.215 Lake Tahoe, Nev.; restricted area adjacent to Nevada Beach. (a) The restricted area....

  3. 33 CFR 162.215 - Lake Tahoe, Nev.; restricted area adjacent to Nevada Beach.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 33 Navigation and Navigable Waters 2 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Lake Tahoe, Nev.; restricted area adjacent to Nevada Beach. 162.215 Section 162.215 Navigation and Navigable Waters COAST GUARD, DEPARTMENT... § 162.215 Lake Tahoe, Nev.; restricted area adjacent to Nevada Beach. (a) The restricted area....

  4. 33 CFR 162.215 - Lake Tahoe, Nev.; restricted area adjacent to Nevada Beach.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 33 Navigation and Navigable Waters 2 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Lake Tahoe, Nev.; restricted area adjacent to Nevada Beach. 162.215 Section 162.215 Navigation and Navigable Waters COAST GUARD, DEPARTMENT... § 162.215 Lake Tahoe, Nev.; restricted area adjacent to Nevada Beach. (a) The restricted area....

  5. Can footwall unloading explain late Cenozoic uplift of the Sierra Nevada crest?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Thompson, G.A.; Parsons, T.

    2009-01-01

    Globally, normal-fault displacement bends and warps rift flanks upwards, as adjoining basins drop downwards. Perhaps the most evident manifestations are the flanks of the East African Rift, which cuts across the otherwise minimally deformed continent. Flank uplift was explained by Vening Meinesz (1950, Institut Royal Colonial Belge, Bulletin des Seances, v. 21, p. 539-552), who recognized that isostasy should cause uplift of a normal-faulted footwall and subsidence of its hanging wall. Uplift occurs because slip on a dipping normal fault creates a broader root of less-dense material beneath the footwall, and a narrowed one beneath the hanging wall. In this paper, we investigate the potential influence of this process on the latest stages of Sierra Nevada uplift. Through theoretical calculations and 3D finite element modelling, we find that cumulative slip of about 4km on range-front faults would have produced about 1.3km peak isostatic uplift at the ridge crest. Numerical models suggest that the zone of uplift is narrow, with the width controlled by bending resistance of the seismogenic crust. We conclude that footwall unloading cannot account for the entire elevation of the Sierran crest above sea level, but if range-front faulting initiated in an already elevated plateau like the adjacent Basin and Range Province, then a hybrid model of pre-existing regional uplift and localized footwall unloading can account for the older and newer uplift phases suggested by the geologic record.

  6. Late Cenzoic rhyolites from the Kern Plateau, southern Sierra Nevada, California.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bacon, C.R.; Duffield, W.A.

    1981-01-01

    Four late Cenozoic rhyolite domes lie atop the Kern Plateau, 30 to 40km S-SE of Mount Whitney. K-Ar and 40Ar/39Ar dating shows that Monache, Templeton, and Little Templeton Mountains are all about 2.4Ma old; a small dome nearby is approx 0.2Ma old. The three older rhyolites have SiO2 = 73-74% and have steep, fractionated rare earth element (REE) patterns; the youngest has SiO2 = 76% and a concave-upward REE pattern with a large negative Eu anomaly, Monache rhyolite contains the unusual phenocryst assemblage almandine + fayalite + biotite + oligoclase. The 2.4Ma old rocks may be nearly unmodified partial melts of crustal sources, whereas the 0.2Ma old rhyolite may be a product of relatively shallow differentiation. The rhyolites and nearby basalts are coeval with mafic and silicic volcanic rocks in the Coso Range about 40km to the SE. Their generation and eruption may reflect intense tectonic extension at the margin of the Basin and Range province and concomitant relaxation of compressive stress in a W- NW direction, allowing melts to reach the surface in the adjacent Sierra Nevada.-Authors

  7. Stratigraphy and structure of the Strawberry Mine roof pendant, central Sierra Nevada, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nokleberg, W.J.

    1981-01-01

    regional metamorphism along N. 25? W. trends. Crosscutting of these structures by the contemporaneous granodiorite of Jackass Lakes indicates that this deformation occurred simultaneously with volcanism and plutonism during the middle Cretaceous. The third deformation involved both the roof pendant and adjacent plutonic rocks and consists of folds, faults, schistosities, and regional metamorphism along N. 65? -900 W. trends. Crosscutting of similar structures in other middle Cretaceous plutonic rocks of the Merced Peak quadrangle by undeformed late Cretaceous plutonic rocks indicates a regional deformation of middle to late Cretaceous age. Structures of similar style, orientation, and age occur elsewhere in metavolcanic and plutonic rocks throughout the central Sierra Nevada.

  8. Effects of bedrock nutrient density on vegetation and topography in the Sierra Nevada Batholith, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hahm, W.; Riebe, C. S.; Araki, S.

    2012-12-01

    against erosion. If nutrient availability is insufficient, such that it limits vegetation, physical erosion can overcome soil production and strip the landscape bare, ultimately slowing the rate of surface lowering. Our measurements of cosmogenic nuclides indicate that exposed surfaces in the western Sierra Nevada are eroding three to ten times slower than adjacent soil-mantled terrain. This implies that linkages between intrinsic bedrock nutrient density and vegetation could regulate relief at the pluton scale. The observation that nutrient density varies sharply among plutons cautions against unqualified use of granitoids as a uniform state factor in studies of weathering and pedogenesis.

  9. Spatial Patterns of Atmospherically Deposited Organic Contaminants at High Elevation in the Southern Sierra Nevada Mountains, California

    EPA Science Inventory

    Atmospherically deposited contaminants in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California have been implicated as adversely affecting amphibians and fish, yet the distributions of contaminants within the mountains are poorly known, particularly at high elevation. We tested the hypothe...

  10. Spatial Patterns of Atmospherically Deposited Organic Contaminants at High Elevation in the Southern Sierra Nevada Mountains, California

    EPA Science Inventory

    Atmospherically deposited contaminants in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California have been implicated as a factor adversely affecting biological resources such as amphibians and fish, yet the distributions of contaminants within the mountains are poorly known, particularly at...

  11. Population dynamics of spotted owls in the Sierra Nevada, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Blakesley, J.A.; Seamans, M.E.; Conner, M.M.; Franklin, A.B.; White, Gary C.; Gutierrez, R.J.; Hines, J.E.; Nichols, J.D.; Munton, T.E.; Shaw, D.W.H.; Keane, J.J.; Steger, G.N.; McDonald, T.L.

    2010-01-01

    The California spotted owl (Strix occidentalis occidentalis) is the only spotted owl subspecies not listed as threatened or endangered under the United States Endangered Species Act despite petitions to list it as threatened. We conducted a meta-analysis of population data for 4 populations in the southern Cascades and Sierra Nevada, California, USA, from 1990 to 2005 to assist a listing evaluation by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. Our study areas (from N to S) were on the Lassen National Forest (LAS), Eldorado National Forest (ELD), Sierra National Forest (SIE), and Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks (SKC). These study areas represented a broad spectrum of habitat and management conditions in these mountain ranges. We estimated apparent survival probability, reproductive output, and rate of population change for spotted owls on individual study areas and for all study areas combined (meta-analysis) using model selection or model-averaging based on maximum-likelihood estimation. We followed a formal protocol to conduct this analysis that was similar to other spotted owl meta-analyses. Consistency of field and analytical methods among our studies reduced confounding methodological effects when evaluating results. We used 991 marked spotted owls in the analysis of apparent survival. Apparent survival probability was higher for adult than for subadult owls. There was little difference in apparent survival between male and female owls. Model-averaged mean estimates of apparent survival probability of adult owls varied from 0.811 ?? 0.021 for females at LAS to 0.890 ?? 0.016 for males at SKC. Apparent survival increased over time for owls of all age classes at LAS and SIE, for adults at ELD, and for second-year subadults and adults at SKC. The meta-analysis of apparent survival, which included only adult owls, confirmed an increasing trend in survival over time. Survival rates were higher for owls on SKC than on the other study areas. We analyzed data

  12. Airborne Pesticides as an Unlikely Cause for Population Declines of Alpine Frogs in the Sierra Nevada, California

    EPA Science Inventory

    Airborne pesticides from the Central Valley of California have been implicated as a cause for population declines of several amphibian species, with the strongest evidence for the mountain yellow-legged frog complex (Rana muscosa and R. sierrae) in the Sierra Nevada. We measured...

  13. Ozone distribution in remote ecologically vulnerable terrain of the southern Sierra Nevada, CA.

    PubMed

    Panek, Jeanne; Saah, David; Esperanza, Annie; Bytnerowicz, Andrzej; Fraczek, Witold; Cisneros, Ricardo

    2013-11-01

    Ozone concentration spatial patterns remain largely uncharacterized across the extensive wilderness areas of the Sierra Nevada, CA, despite being downwind of major pollution sources. These natural areas, including four national parks and four national forests, contain forest species that are susceptible to ozone injury. Forests stressed by ozone are also more vulnerable to other agents of mortality, including insects, pathogens, climate change, and ultimately fire. Here we analyze three years of passive ozone monitor data from the southern Sierra Nevada and interpolate landscape-scale spatial and temporal patterns during the summer-through-fall high ozone concentration period. Segmentation analysis revealed three types of ozone exposure sub-regions: high, low, and variable. Consistently high ozone exposure regions are expected to be most vulnerable to forest mortality. One high exposure sub-region has been documented elsewhere as being further vulnerable to increased drought and fire potential. Identifying such hot-spots of forest vulnerability has utility for prioritizing management.

  14. Estimating aboveground biomass for broadleaf woody plants and young conifers in Sierra Nevada, California forests.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McGinnis, Thomas W.; Shook, Christine D.; Keeley, Jon E.

    2010-01-01

    Quantification of biomass is fundamental to a wide range of research and natural resource management goals. An accurate estimation of plant biomass is essential to predict potential fire behavior, calculate carbon sequestration for global climate change research, assess critical wildlife habitat, and so forth. Reliable allometric equations from simple field measurements are necessary for efficient evaluation of plant biomass. However, allometric equations are not available for many common woody plant taxa in the Sierra Nevada. In this report, we present more than 200 regression equations for the Sierra Nevada western slope that relate crown diameter, plant height, crown volume, stem diameter, and both crown diameter and height to the dry weight of foliage, branches, and entire aboveground biomass. Destructive sampling methods resulted in regression equations that accurately predict biomass from one or two simple, nondestructive field measurements. The tables presented here will allow researchers and natural resource managers to easily choose the best equations to fit their biomass assessment needs.

  15. Estimating aboveground biomass for broadleaf woody plants and young conifers in Sierra Nevada, California, forests

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McGinnis, T.W.; Shook, C.D.; Keeley, J.E.

    2010-01-01

    Quantification of biomass is fundamental to a wide range of research and natural resource management goals. An accurate estimation of plant biomass is essential to predict potential fire behavior, calculate carbon sequestration for global climate change research, assess critical wildlife habitat, and so forth. Reliable allometric equations from simple field measurements are necessary for efficient evaluation of plant biomass. However, allometric equations are not available for many common woody plant taxa in the Sierra Nevada. In this report, we present more than 200 regression equations for the Sierra Nevada western slope that relate crown diameter, plant height, crown volume, stem diameter, and both crown diameter and height to the dry weight of foliage, branches, and entire aboveground biomass. Destructive sampling methods resulted in regression equations that accurately predict biomass from one or two simple, nondestructive field measurements. The tables presented here will allow researchers and natural resource managers to easily choose the best equations to fit their biomass assessment needs.

  16. An evaluation of eleven operational cloud seeding programs in the watersheds of the Sierra Nevada Mountains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Silverman, Bernard A.

    2010-09-01

    A target-control statistical evaluation of 11 operational cloud seeding programs carried out in watersheds of the Sierra Nevada Mountains was conducted using Monte Carlo permutation (re-randomization) analysis. The water year (October-September) streamflow served as the response variable in the evaluations. The evaluation estimated the effect of seeding on unimpaired streamflow at each of the Sierra targets using the controls that give the most precise evaluation results possible with the available data. It was found that operational cloud seeding succeeded in increasing the streamflow in 6 of the 11 major watersheds in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. All 6 major watersheds indicating a positive seeding effect are on the western (upwind) side of the Sierra Nevada Mountain range. There was insufficient statistical evidence to reject the null hypothesis of no seeding effect in the other 5 major watersheds that were evaluated. It is noteworthy that the 5 watersheds whose evaluation was inconclusive include the 3 watersheds on the eastern (downwind) side of the Sierra Nevada Mountain range. The results of these evaluations and, in particular, those for the San Joaquin, Upper American and Carson-Walker operational cloud seeding programs illustrate the complexities involved in the transport and dispersion of silver iodide plumes from ground-based generators in mountainous terrain. The results suggest that aircraft seeding, either by itself or as a supplement to ground seeding, was able to affect targets that could not be affected by ground seeding alone. There was a statistically significant, positive seeding effect at the West Walker River Near Coleville target that was most likely due to contamination from an upwind seeding program, most likely the Mokelumne operational seeding program. Although contamination may have been present at the other seeding targets, it was not strong enough to affect the statistical results. Follow-on physical-statistical studies are needed to

  17. Hydrologic Response and Watershed Sensitivity to Climate Warming in California's Sierra Nevada

    PubMed Central

    Null, Sarah E.; Viers, Joshua H.; Mount, Jeffrey F.

    2010-01-01

    This study focuses on the differential hydrologic response of individual watersheds to climate warming within the Sierra Nevada mountain region of California. We describe climate warming models for 15 west-slope Sierra Nevada watersheds in California under unimpaired conditions using WEAP21, a weekly one-dimensional rainfall-runoff model. Incremental climate warming alternatives increase air temperature uniformly by 2°, 4°, and 6°C, but leave other climatic variables unchanged from observed values. Results are analyzed for changes in mean annual flow, peak runoff timing, and duration of low flow conditions to highlight which watersheds are most resilient to climate warming within a region, and how individual watersheds may be affected by changes to runoff quantity and timing. Results are compared with current water resources development and ecosystem services in each watershed to gain insight into how regional climate warming may affect water supply, hydropower generation, and montane ecosystems. Overall, watersheds in the northern Sierra Nevada are most vulnerable to decreased mean annual flow, southern-central watersheds are most susceptible to runoff timing changes, and the central portion of the range is most affected by longer periods with low flow conditions. Modeling results suggest the American and Mokelumne Rivers are most vulnerable to all three metrics, and the Kern River is the most resilient, in part from the high elevations of the watershed. Our research seeks to bridge information gaps between climate change modeling and regional management planning, helping to incorporate climate change into the development of regional adaptation strategies for Sierra Nevada watersheds. PMID:20368984

  18. Resilience Through Disturbance: Effects of Wildfire on Vegetation and Water Balance in the Sierra Nevadas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boisrame, G. F. S.; Thompson, S. E.; Stephens, S.; Collins, B.; Tague, N.

    2015-12-01

    A century of fire suppression in the Western United States has drastically altered the historically fire-adapated ecology in California's Sierra Nevada Mountains. Fire suppression is understood to have increased the forest cover, as well as the stem density, canopy cover and water demand of montane forests, reducing resilience of the forests to drought, and increasing the risk of catastrophic fire by drying the landscape and increasing fuel loads. The potential to reverse these trends by re-introducing fire into the Sierra Nevada is highly promising, but the likely effects on vegetation structure and water balance are poorly quantified. The Illilouette Creek Basin in Yosemite National Park represents a unique experiment in the Sierra Nevada, in which managers have moved from fire suppression to allowing a near-natural fire regime to prevail since 1972. Changes in vegetation structure in the Illilouette since the restoration of natural burning provides a unique opportunity to examine how frequent, mixed severity fires can reshape the Sierra Nevada landscape. We characterize these changes from 1969 to the present using a combination of Landsat products and high-resolution aerial imagery. We describe how the landscape structure has changed in terms of vegetation composition and its spatial organization, and explore the drivers of different post-fire vegetation type transitions (e.g. forest to shrubland vs. forest to meadow). By upscaling field data using vegetation maps and Landsat wetness indices, we explore how these vegetation transitions have impacted the water balance of the Illilouette Creek Basin, potentially increasing its resilience in the face of drought, climate change, and catastrophic fire. In a region that is adapted to frequent disturbance from fire, this work helps us understand how allowing such natural disturbances to take place can increase the sustainability of diverse landscapes in the long term.

  19. Observations of Aerosol Conditions Associated with Precipitation Events in the Remote Sierra Nevada Foothills

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Collins, D. B.; Kingsmill, D.; Roberts, G. C.; Noblitt, S.; Prather, K. A.

    2011-12-01

    Recent investigations of atmospheric aerosols have suggested their importance in affecting clouds and precipitation patterns, especially in regions where anthropogenic contributions to aerosol loadings are large. Aerosols entrained into precipitating clouds have been shown to either enhance or suppress precipitation based on the characteristics of the cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) or ice nuclei (IN) introduced. Due to the inherent chemical dependence of CCN activity, the chemical composition of aerosols introduced into precipitating clouds will determine their effect on precipitation. This presentation will utilize ground-based chemical and physical measurements of aerosols and precipitation from multiple winter seasons gathered at Sugar Pine Dam (Foresthill, CA) as part of the CalWater experiment. The coupled behavior of landfalling frontal systems, regional terrain-parallel flow along the windward slopes of the Sierra Nevada (i.e., the Sierra Barrier Jet), and observed aerosol conditions in the Sierra Nevada foothills will be demonstrated and related issues explored. Temporally correlated changes in aerosol chemical composition with approaching winter storms may provide key insights into the evolution of the Sierra Barrier Jet, a dynamic feature that can have a major influence on orographically-forced precipitation in this region, and could provide clues to the coupling of Central Valley pollution with winter-time orographic precipitation episodes (or lack thereof). Gaining an overall understanding of the frequency and magnitude of the entrainment of Central Valley pollutants on winter storm systems will ultimately provide an estimate of how much aerosols affect precipitation in California.

  20. SR-71A - in Flight over Southern Sierra Nevada Mountains

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    NASA Dryden Flight Research Center's SR-71A, tail number 844, banks away over the Sierra Nevada mountains after air refueling from a USAF tanker during a 1997 flight. Two SR-71 aircraft have been used by NASA as testbeds for high-speed and high-altitude aeronautical research. The aircraft, an SR-71A and an SR-71B pilot trainer aircraft, have been based here at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, California. They were transferred to NASA after the U.S. Air Force program was cancelled. As research platforms, the aircraft can cruise at Mach 3 for more than one hour. For thermal experiments, this can produce heat soak temperatures of over 600 degrees Fahrenheit (F). This operating environment makes these aircraft excellent platforms to carry out research and experiments in a variety of areas -- aerodynamics, propulsion, structures, thermal protection materials, high-speed and high-temperature instrumentation, atmospheric studies, and sonic boom characterization. The SR-71 was used in a program to study ways of reducing sonic booms or over pressures that are heard on the ground, much like sharp thunderclaps, when an aircraft exceeds the speed of sound. Data from this Sonic Boom Mitigation Study could eventually lead to aircraft designs that would reduce the 'peak' overpressures of sonic booms and minimize the startling affect they produce on the ground. One of the first major experiments to be flown in the NASA SR-71 program was a laser air data collection system. It used laser light instead of air pressure to produce airspeed and attitude reference data, such as angle of attack and sideslip, which are normally obtained with small tubes and vanes extending into the airstream. One of Dryden's SR-71s was used for the Linear Aerospike Rocket Engine, or LASRE Experiment. Another earlier project consisted of a series of flights using the SR-71 as a science camera platform for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. An upward-looking ultraviolet

  1. Winter orographic precipitation ratios in the Sierra Nevada - Large-scale atmospheric circulations and hydrologic consequences

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dettinger, M.; Redmond, K.; Cayan, D.

    2004-01-01

    The extent to which winter precipitation is orographically enhanced within the Sierra Nevada of California varies from storm to storm, and season to season, from occasions when precipitation rates at low and high altitudes are almost the same to instances when precipitation rates at middle elevations (considered here) can be as much as 30 times more than at the base of the range. Analyses of large-scale conditions associated with orographic precipitation variations during storms and seasons from 1954 to 1999 show that strongly orographic storms most commonly have winds that transport water vapor across the range from a more nearly westerly direction than during less orographic storms and than during the largest overall storms, and generally the strongly orographic storms are less convectively stable. Strongly orographic conditions often follow heavy precipitation events because both of these wind conditions are present in midlatitude cyclones that form the cores of many Sierra Nevada storms. Storms during La Nin??a winters tend to yield larger orographic ratios (ORs) than do those during El Nin?? os. A simple experiment with a model of streamflows from a river basin draining the central Sierra Nevada indicates that, for a fixed overall basin-precipitation amount, a decrease in OR contributes to larger winter flood peaks and smaller springtime flows, and thus to an overall hastening of the runoff season. ?? 2004 American Meteorological Society.

  2. Evidence for nutrient enrichment of high-elevation lakes in the Sierra Nevada, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sickman, J.O.; Melack, J.M.; Clow, D.W.

    2003-01-01

    Long-term measurements (1983-2001) of nutrients and seston in Emerald Lake (Sierra Nevada, California) have revealed ecologically significant patterns. Nitrate, both during spring runoff and during growing seasons, declined from 1983 through 1995. Declining snowmelt nitrate was caused primarily by changes in snow regime induced by the 1987-1992 drought: years with shallow, early melting snowpacks had lower snowmelt nitrate concentrations owing to less labile N production in catchment soils and longer plant growing seasons. However, nitrate declines during growing seasons carried through the wetter years of 1993-2000 and are likely the result of increased P loading to the lake and the release of phytoplankton from P limitation. Contemporaneous with these changes was an increase in algal biomass and a shift from P limitation toward more frequent N limitation of phytoplankton abundance. Particulate carbon concentrations in the late 1990s were two- to threefold greater than in the early 1980s. These trends were reflected in a larger set of Sierra Nevada lakes sampled as part of synoptic surveys (n = 28). Between 1985 and 1999, nitrate decreased and total P increased in >70% of the lakes sampled. Our data suggest that lakes throughout the Sierra Nevada are experiencing measurable eutrophication in response to the atmospheric deposition of nutrients.

  3. Cretaceous plutonic rocks in the Donner Lake-Cisco Grove area, northern Sierra Nevada, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kulow, Matthew J.; Hanson, Richard E.; Girty, Gary H.; Girty, Melissa S.; Harwood, David S.

    1998-01-01

    The northernmost occurrences of extensive, glaciated exposures of the Sierra Nevada batholith occur in the Donner Lake-Cisco Grove area of the northern Sierra Nevada. The plutonic rocks in this area, which are termed here the Castle Valley plutonic assemblage, crop out over an area of 225 km2 and for the most part are shown as a single undifferentiated mass on previously published geological maps. In the present work, the plutonic assemblage is divided into eight separate intrusive units or lithodemes, two of which each consist of two separate plutons. Compositions are dominantly granodiorite and tonalite, but diorite and granite form small plutons in places. Spectacular examples of comb layering and orbicular texture occur in the diorites. U-Pb zircon ages have been obtained for all but one of the main units and range from ~120 to 114 Ma, indicating that the entire assemblage was emplaced in a narrow time frame in the Early Cretaceous. This is consistent with abundant field evidence that many of the individual phases were intruded penecontemporaneously. The timing of emplacement correlates with onset of major Cretaceous plutonism in the main part of the Sierra Nevada batholith farther south. The emplacement ages also are similar to isotopic ages for gold-quartz mineralization in the Sierran foothills west of the study area, suggesting a direct genetic relationship between the voluminous Early Cretaceous plutonism and hydrothermal gold mineralization.

  4. Sierra Nevada Ecoregion: Chapter 15 in Status and trends of land change in the Western United States--1973 to 2000

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Raumann, Christian G.; Soulard, Christopher E.

    2012-01-01

    This chapter has been modified from original material published in Raumann and Soulard (2007), entitled “Land-cover trends of the Sierra Nevada Ecoregion, 1973–2000” (U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2007–5011). The Sierra Nevada Ecoregion covers approximately 53,413 km² (20,623 mi²) with the majority of the area (98 percent) in California and the remainder in Nevada (fig. 1) (Omernik, 1987; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1997). The Sierra Nevada Ecoregion is generally oriented north-south and is essentially defined by the Sierra Nevada physiographic province, which separates California’s Central Valley to the west from the Great Basin to the east. It is bounded by seven other ecoregions: Southern and Central California Chaparral and Oak Woodlands Ecoregion on the west; Klamath Mountains and Eastern Cascades Slopes and Foothills Ecoregions on the north; Southern California Mountains Ecoregion on the south; and Northern Basin and Range, Central Basin and Range, and Mojave Basin and Range Ecoregions on the east (fig. 1). The Sierra Nevada range is a granitic batholith, much of which is exposed at higher elevations, with a gradual western slope and a generally steep eastern escarpment.

  5. Hillslope Erosion and Water Quality from the Rim Fire, Sierra Nevada, CA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuhn, T. J.; Austin, L. J.; Forrester, H.; DeLong, S. B.; Lever, R.; Roche, J. W.

    2014-12-01

    The Rim Fire in 2013 burned approximately 1036 km2 in the Sierra Nevada (including 312 km2 within Yosemite National Park), generating considerable public concern regarding potential impacts to the Tuolumne River watershed, in terms of water quality and water supply infrastructure serving the City of San Francisco. Land management responses included a multi-million dollar watershed treatment project on USFS lands near Cherry Creek, with similar actions suggested for areas in the Hetch Hetchy and Lake Eleanor watersheds. In response to the concern that the post-burn landscape will negatively impact water quality, we are investigating hydrologic effects and hillslope erosion in two small burned basins (2.2 and 5.2 km2) within the Tuolumne River basin in Yosemite National Park. Within a month after fire containment, sites were equipped with instrumentation to record stream stage, turbidity, and total suspended sediment. We also installed 21 sediment fences that trap all sediment silt sized and larger on moderate (20%) to steep (50%) hillslopes from 100 m2 plots within moderate and high severity burn areas. Accumulated sediment is collected, weighed, and sub-sampled after each storm event, and, analyzed for dry weight, particle size, gravimetric water content, bulk density, pH, color, carbon and nitrogen content from % fine organics, and % coarse organics. As of July 31, 2014, four discrete storm events had been sampled. Data are used to calculate annual sediment yield, and to investigate organic carbon storage, deposition, and transport. We are also collecting repeat terrestrial laser scans to assess topographic change and identify the hillslope processes that contribute to erosion and deposition at plot- and hillslope-scale. These findings provide analogs for possible changes in adjacent burned areas and to inform management decisions in response to future fires and potential impacts to water quality in areas valued by the park, the City of San Francisco and other

  6. Determinants of Riparian Vegetation along Western Sierra Nevada Mountain Streams and Management Implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ross, K. M.

    2014-12-01

    Riparian habitats represent a small fraction of lands in Sierra Nevada mountain watersheds, yet support a disproportionately high diversity and richness of biota. The presence of these habitats in the Sierras is largely controlled by geomorphic characteristics of the watershed and hydrologic regime. Riparian species' life history strategies influence recruitment success and survival under the dynamic and episodic, yet seasonally predictable, hydrology conditions of the region, including infrequent extreme precipitation events and multiple years with low precipitation. However, dams and diversions affect flows throughout the Sierra Nevada and regional climate change models project changes in inter- and intra-annual hydrology patterns that may affect riparian recruitment and future distribution. Studies were conducted in twelve reaches on six rivers (impaired and unimpaired rivers) that directly link successful riparian recruitment years to hydrologic and channel geomorphic conditions, and included: vegetation surveys, tree core dating, topographic surveys, reach-specific stage-discharge relationships and modeling, and annual hydrograph analyses. Availability of suitable substrate for establishment created by scouring high flow events; timing of snowmelt recession that varied by water year and elevation; spring snowmelt stage recession rates typically less than 12 percent per day; and site-specific controls on inundated width and depth and water availability were identified as the primary determinants for successful recruitment years across all rivers and reaches. The results were used to develop tools to guide and communicate evaluations of flow management alternatives to managers and stakeholders and can also be used to assess potential riparian responses to flow management actions or climate change that may affect the future distribution and complexity of riparian habitats along Sierra Nevada mountain streams.

  7. Potential increase in floods in California's Sierra Nevada under future climate projections

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Das, T.; Dettinger, M.D.; Cayan, D.R.; Hidalgo, H.G.

    2011-01-01

    California's mountainous topography, exposure to occasional heavily moisture-laden storm systems, and varied communities and infrastructures in low lying areas make it highly vulnerable to floods. An important question facing the state-in terms of protecting the public and formulating water management responses to climate change-is "how might future climate changes affect flood characteristics in California?" To help address this, we simulate floods on the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the state's primary catchment, based on downscaled daily precipitation and temperature projections from three General Circulation Models (GCMs). These climate projections are fed into the Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) hydrologic model, and the VIC-simulated streamflows and hydrologic conditions, from historical and from projected climate change runs, allow us to evaluate possible changes in annual maximum 3-day flood magnitudes and frequencies of floods. By the end of the 21st Century, all projections yield larger-than-historical floods, for both the Northern Sierra Nevada (NSN) and for the Southern Sierra Nevada (SSN). The increases in flood magnitude are statistically significant (at p <= 0. 01) for all the three GCMs in the period 2051-2099. The frequency of flood events above selected historical thresholds also increases under projections from CNRM CM3 and NCAR PCM1 climate models, while under the third scenario, GFDL CM2. 1, frequencies remain constant or decline slightly, owing to an overall drying trend. These increases appear to derive jointly from increases in heavy precipitation amount, storm frequencies, and days with more precipitation falling as rain and less as snow. Increases in antecedent winter soil moisture also play a role in some areas. Thus, a complex, as-yet unpredictable interplay of several different climatic influences threatens to cause increased flood hazards in California's complex western Sierra landscapes. ?? 2011 Springer Science

  8. Spatial patterns of atmospherically deposited organic contaminants at high elevation in the southern Sierra Nevada mountains, California, USA.

    PubMed

    Bradford, David F; Stanley, Kerri; McConnell, Laura L; Tallent-Halsell, Nita G; Nash, Maliha S; Simonich, Staci M

    2010-05-01

    Atmospherically deposited contaminants in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California, USA have been implicated as adversely affecting amphibians and fish, yet little is known about the distributions of contaminants within the mountains, particularly at high elevation. The hypothesis that contaminant concentrations in a high-elevation portion of the Sierra Nevada decrease with distance from the adjacent San Joaquin Valley was tested. Air, sediment, and tadpoles were sampled twice at 28 water bodies in 14 dispersed areas in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks (2,785-3,375 m elevation; 43-82 km from Valley edge). Up to 15 chemicals were detected frequently in sediment and tadpoles, including current- and historic-use pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Only beta-endosulfan was found frequently in air. Concentrations of all chemicals detected were very low, averaging in the parts-per-billion range or less in sediment and tadpoles, and on the order of 10 pg/m3 for beta-endosulfan in air. Principal components analysis indicated that chemical compositions were generally similar among sites, suggesting that chemical transport patterns were likewise similar among sites. In contrast, transport processes did not appear to strongly influence concentration differences among sites, because variation in concentrations among nearby sites was high relative to sites far from each other. Moreover, a general relationship for concentrations as a function of distance from the valley was not evident across chemical, medium, and time. Nevertheless, concentrations for some chemical/medium/time combinations showed significant negative relationships with metrics for distance from the Valley. However, the magnitude of these distance effects among high-elevation sites was small relative to differences found in other studies between the valley edge and the nearest high-elevation sites.

  9. High Compressive Stresses Near the Surface of the Sierra Nevada, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martel, S. J.; Logan, J. M.; Stock, G. M.

    2012-12-01

    Observations and stress measurements in granitic rocks of the Sierra Nevada, California reveal strong compressive stresses parallel to the surface of the range at shallow depths. New overcoring measurements show high compressive stresses at three locations along an east-west transect through Yosemite National Park. At the westernmost site (west end of Tenaya Lake), the mean compressive stress is 1.9. At the middle site (north shore of Tenaya Lake) the mean compressive stress is 6.8 MPa. At the easternmost site (south side of Lembert Dome) the mean compressive stress is 3.0 MPa. The trend of the most compressive stress at these sites is within ~30° of the strike of the local topographic surface. Previously published hydraulic fracturing measurements by others elsewhere in the Sierra Nevada indicate surface-parallel compressive stresses of several MPa within several tens of meters of the surface, with the stress magnitudes generally diminishing to the west. Both the new and the previously published compressive stress magnitudes are consistent with the presence of sheeting joints (i.e., "exfoliation joints") in the Sierra Nevada, which require lateral compressive stresses of several MPa to form. These fractures are widespread: they are distributed in granitic rocks from the north end of the range to its southern tip and across the width of the range. Uplift along the normal faults of the eastern escarpment, recently measured by others at ~1-2 mm/yr, probably contributes to these stresses substantially. Geodetic surveys reveal that normal faulting flexes a range concave upwards in response to fault slip, and this flexure is predicted by elastic dislocation models. The topographic relief of the eastern escarpment of the Sierra Nevada is 2-4 km, and since alluvial fill generally buries the bedrock east of the faults, the offset of granitic rocks is at least that much. Compressive stresses of several MPa are predicted by elastic dislocation models of the range front

  10. Changes in precipitating snow chemistry with location and elevation in the California Sierra Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Creamean, Jessie M.; Axson, Jessica L.; Bondy, Amy L.; Craig, Rebecca L.; May, Nathaniel W.; Shen, Hongru; Weber, Michael H.; Pratt, Kerri A.; Ault, Andrew P.

    2016-06-01

    Orographic snowfall in the Sierra Nevada Mountains is an important source of water for California and can vary significantly on an annual basis. The microphysical properties of orographic clouds and subsequent formation of precipitation are impacted, in part, by aerosols of varying size, number, and chemical composition, which are incorporated into clouds formed along the Sierra barrier. Herein, the physicochemical properties and sources of insoluble residues and soluble ions found in precipitation samples were explored for three sites of variable elevation in the Sierra Nevada during the 2012-2013 winter season. Residues were characterized using a suite of physicochemical techniques to determine the size-resolved number concentrations and associated chemical composition. A transition in the aerosol sources that served as cloud seeds or were scavenged in-cloud and below-cloud was observed as a function of location and elevation. Anthropogenic influence from the Central Valley was dominant at the two lowest elevation sites (1900 and 2200 m above mean sea level (AMSL)), whereas long-range transported mineral dust was a larger contributor at the highest elevation site where cleaner conditions were observed (2600 m AMSL). The residues and soluble ions observed provide insight into how multiple aerosol sources can impact cloud and precipitation formation processes, even over relatively small spatial scales. The transition with increasing elevation to aerosols that serve as ice nucleating particles may impact the properties and extent of snowfall in remote mountain regions where snowpack provides a vital supply of water.

  11. Isotasy and its implications for the structure of the Sierra, Nevada

    SciTech Connect

    Jones, C.H. . Center for Neotectonic Studies)

    1993-04-01

    Much of the understanding of the structure of the Sierra Nevada has evolved from the assumption of a thick crustal root; gravity models of the Sierra have generally started from such a root and then calculated density anomalies in the upper crust necessary to completely fit gravity measurements. Recent challenges to the seismic basis as this assumption suggest that alternate models of isostasy for the Sierra be explored. Direct observation of crustal structure at great depth is only possible in the Tehachapi Mtns., where paleodepths of 25--30 km have been reported, densities still range over [approximately]0.2 g/cm[sup 3], and the west-to-east difference in the Bouguer gravity anomaly is only [approximately]50 mgal (compared to > 150 mgal farther north). If these variations accurately reflect conditions present today at [approximately]15--30 km under the central Sierra, then surface density differences between foothills and Sierran crest could extend to 30--40 km depth. Published seismic refraction profiles support a bulk difference of [approximately]0.1 g/cm[sup 3] through the crust. Thus variations of bulk properties in the surface exposures of the Sierran batholith and countryrock might represent variations throughout the upper crust and possibly the entire crust. Because these variations are virtually unquestionably Mesozoic in age, such a structure has profound implications for the Cenozoic history of the range. For example, placing these crustal densities over a thick root in mid-Cenozoic history of the range. For example, structure has profound implications for the Cenozoic history of the range. For example, placing these crustal densities over a thick root in mid-Cenozoic time when the Sierra was only [approximately]1 km high, would make the mid-Cz Sierra tremendously overcompensated.

  12. Climate controls on forest productivity along the climate gradient of the western Sierra Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kelly, A. E.; Goulden, M. L.

    2010-12-01

    The broad climate gradient of the slopes of the western Sierra Nevada mountains supports ecosystems spanning extremes of productivity, biomass, and function. We are using this natural environmental gradient to understand how climate controls NPP, aboveground biomass, species' range limits, and phenology. Our experimental approach combines eddy covariance, sap flow, dendrometer, and litterfall measurements in combination with soil and hydrological data from the Southern Sierra Critical Zone Observatory (SSCZO). We have found that above about 2500 m, forest productivity is limited by winter cold, while below 1200 m, productivity is likely limited by summer drought. The sweet spot between these elevations has a nearly year-long growing season despite a snowpack that persists for as long as six months. Our results show that small differences in temperature can markedly alter the water balance and productivity of mixed conifer forests.

  13. Pesticides are involved with population declines of amphibians in the California Sierra Nevadas.

    PubMed

    Sparling, D W; Fellers, G; McConnell, L

    2001-05-01

    Several species of frogs and toads are in serious decline in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. These species include the threatened red-legged frog ( Rana aurora ), foothill yellow-legged frog ( R. boylii ), mountain yellow-legged frog ( R. muscosa ), Cascades frog ( Rana cascadae ), western toad ( Bufo boreas ) and Yosemite toad ( B. canorus ). For many of these species current distributions are down to 10% of historical ranges. Several factors including introduced predators, habitat loss, and ultraviolet radiation have been suggested as causes of these declines. Another probable cause is air-borne pesticides from the Central Valley of California. The Central Valley, especially the San Joaquin Valley, is a major agricultural region where millions of pounds of active ingredient pesticides are applied each year (http://www.cdpr.ca.gov/dprdatabase.htm). Prevailing westerly winds from the Pacific Coast transport these pesticides into the into the Sierras.

  14. Pesticides are involved with population declines of amphibians in the California Sierra Nevadas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sparling, D.W.; Fellers, G.; McConnell, L.

    2001-01-01

    Several species of frogs and toads are in serious decline in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. These species include the threatened red-legged frog ( Rana aurora ), foothill yellow-legged frog ( R. boylii ), mountain yellow-legged frog ( R. muscosa ), Cascades frog ( Rana cascadae ), western toad ( Bufo boreas ) and Yosemite toad ( B. canorus ). For many of these species current distributions are down to 10% of historical ranges. Several factors including introduced predators, habitat loss, and ultraviolet radiation have been suggested as causes of these declines. Another probable cause is air-borne pesticides from the Central Valley of California. The Central Valley, especially the San Joaquin Valley, is a major agricultural region where millions of pounds of active ingredient pesticides are applied each year (http://www.cdpr.ca.gov/dprdatabase.htm). Prevailing westerly winds from the Pacific Coast transport these pesticides into the into the Sierras.

  15. Uranium-lead isotopic ages from the Sierra Nevada Batholith, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, James H.; Moore, James G.

    1982-06-01

    This study provides new information on the timing and distribution of Mesozoic magmatic events in the Sierra Nevada batholithic complex chiefly between 36° and 37°N. latitude. U-Pb ages have been determined for 133 zircon and 7 sphene separates from 82 samples of granitoid rocks. Granitoid rocks in this area range in age from 217 to 80 m.y. Triassic intrusions are restricted to the east side of the batholith; Jurassic plutons occur south of the Triassic plutons east of the Sierra Nevada, as isolated masses within the Cretaceous batholith, and in the western foothills of the range; Cretaceous plutons form a continuous belt along the axis of the batholith and occur as isolated masses east of the Sierra Nevada. No granitic intrusions were emplaced for 37 m.y. east of the Sierra Nevada following the end of Jurassic plutonism. However, following emplacement of the eastern Jurassic granitoids, regional extension produced a fracture system at least 350 km long into which the dominantly mafic, calc-alkalic Independence dike swarm was intruded 148 m.y. ago. The dike fractures probably represents a period of regional crustal extension caused by a redistribution of the regional stress pattern accompanying the Nevadan orogeny. Intrusion of Cretaceous granitic plutons began in large volume about 120 m.y. ago in the western Sierra Nevada and migrated steadily eastward for 40 m.y. at a rate of 2.7 mm/y. This slow and constant migration indicates remarkably uniform conditions of subduction with perhaps downward migration of parent magma generation or a slight flattening of the subduction zone. Such steady conditions could be necessary for the production of large batholithic complexes such as the Sierra Nevada. The abrupt termination of plutonism 80 m.y. ago may have resulted from an increased rate of convergence of the American and eastern Pacific plates and dramatic flattening of the subduction zone. U-Pb ages of the Giant Forest-alaskite sequence in Sequoia National Park are

  16. Thermal evolution and exhumation of deep-level batholithic exposures, southernmost Sierra Nevada, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Saleeby, J.; Farley, K.A.; Kistler, R.W.; Fleck, R.J.

    2007-01-01

    The Tehachapi complex lies at the southern end of the Sierra Nevada batholith adjacent to the Neogene-Quaternary Garlock fault. The complex is composed principally of high-pressure (8-10 kbar) Cretaceous batholithic rocks, and it represents the deepest exposed levels of a continuous oblique crustal section through the southern Sierra Nevada batholith. Over the southern ???100 km of this section, structural/petrologic continuity and geochronological data indicate that ???35 km of felsic to intermediate-composition crust was generated by copious arc magmatism primarily between 105 and 99 Ma. In the Tehachapi complex, these batholithic rocks intrude and are bounded to the west by similar-composition gneissic-textured high-pressure batholithic rocks emplaced at ca. 115-110 Ma. This lower crustal complex is bounded below by a regional thrust system, which in Late Cretaceous time tectonically eroded the underlying mantle lithosphere, and in series displaced and underplated the Rand Schist subduction assemblage by low-angle slip from the outboard Franciscan trench. Geophysical and mantle xenolith studies indicate that the remnants of this shallow subduction thrust descend northward through the crust and into the mantle, leaving the mantle lithosphere intact beneath the greater Sierra Nevada batholith. This north-dipping regional structure records an inflection in the Farallon plate, which was segmented into a shallow subduc-tion trajectory to the south and a normal steeper trajectory to the north. We combine new and published data from a broad spectrum of thermochronom-eters that together form a coherent data array constraining the thermal evolution of the complex. Integration of these data with published thermobarometric and petro-genetic data also constrains the tectonically driven decompression and exhumation history of the complex. The timing of arc magmatic construction of the complex, as denoted above, is resolved by a large body of U/Pb zircon ages. High

  17. Diversification of the Alpine Chipmunk, Tamias alpinus, an alpine endemic of the Sierra Nevada, California

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The glaciation cycles that occurred throughout the Pleistocene in western North America caused frequent shifts in species’ ranges with important implications for models of species divergence. For example, long periods of allopatry during species’ range contractions allowed for the accumulation of differences between separated populations promoting lineage divergence. In contrast, range expansions during interglacial periods may have had homogenizing effects via increased gene flow following secondary contact. These range dynamics are particularly pronounced in the Sierra Nevada, California, given the complex topography and climatic history of the area, thus providing a natural laboratory to examine evolutionary processes that have led to the diversity patterns observed today. Results Here we examined the role of late Pleistocene climate fluctuations on the divergence of the Sierra Nevada endemic Alpine Chipmunk (Tamias alpinus) from its sister taxon, western populations of the Least Chipmunk (T. minimus) from the Great Basin. We used one mitochondrial gene (cytochrome b) and 14 microsatellite loci to examine the evolutionary relationship between these species. Mitochondrial sequence data revealed that T. alpinus and T. minimus populations share mitochondrial haplotypes with no overall geneaological separation, and that diversity at this locus is better explained by geography than by species’ boundaries. In contrast, the microsatellite analysis showed that populations of the same species are more similar to each other than they are to members of the other species. Similarly, a morphological analysis of voucher specimens confirmed known differences in morphological characters between species providing no evidence of recent hybridization. Coalescent analysis of the divergence history indicated a late Pleistocene splitting time (~450 ka) and subsequent, though limited, gene flow between the two lineages. Conclusions Our results suggest that the two

  18. The surface of crystalline basement, Great Valley and Sierra Nevada, California: A digital map database

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wentworth, Carl M.; Fisher, G. Reid; Levine, Paia; Jachens, Robert C.

    1995-01-01

    Crystalline basement in central California extends westward from the exposed Sierra Nevada beneath the sedimentary fill of the Great Valley and under the eastern edge of the Coast Ranges at mid-crustal depth. The surface of this basement is defined from three types of control: in the Sierra Nevada from the topography itself, beneath the eastern two thirds of the Great Valley in considerable detail from numerous wells drilled for oil and gas, and beneath the western San Joaquin Valley in less detail from seismic reflection and refraction profiles. Together, these data demonstrate that the surface of crystalline rock is continuous from the exposed rock in the mountains to the top of high-velocity rock buried deep beneath the eastern front of the southern Coast Ranges. This report presents a compilation of data through 1985 that define the surface of this crystalline basement, a contour map of the surface, and the lithology of the basement rock sampled by many of the wells. The compilation was begun as part of the investigation of the 1983 Coalinga earthquake, and was subsequently converted to digital form and extended to the whole of the Great Valley and Sierra Nevada. The main purpose was to explore and document the shape and continuity of the basement surface and to determine the relation of the surface to the tectonic wedge hypothesis (Wentworth and others, 1984; Wentworth and Zoback, 1989). Available basement samples from wells - principally the thin-section collection of May and Hewitt (1948) preserved by the California Academy of Sciences - were also reexamined by cooperating petrologists in an effort to distinguish wells that bottomed in ophiolitic rocks.

  19. Dextral strike-slip tectonism and arc processes in the Sierra Nevada and Idaho batholiths

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tikoff, B.; Byerly, A.; Gaschnig, R. M.; Vervoort, J. D.; Kelso, P. R.

    2014-12-01

    Both the Sierra Nevada (CA) and Idaho batholiths display clear evidence for magmatism simultaneous with dextral strike-slip movement during the Cretaceous. There is, however, a significant difference between both the style and the timing of the deformation and magmatism in these two magmatic arcs. The Sierra Nevada displays dextral strike-slip tectonism active from 92-80 Ma, as evidenced by a series of dextral shear zones associated with the axis of active magmatism. The concept of the plutons intruding en echelon pull-apart structures in a dextral system has been supported by the recognition of widespread, syn-tectonic shear zones along the axis of the arc. Further, a modern analog can be found in El Salvador, where dextral translation of the forearc has resulted in en echelon dextral shearing in a magmatic arc dominated by arc-perpendicular normal faulting. In contrast, dextral tectonism in Idaho both starts (~103 Ma) and ceases earlier (~90 Ma) than strike-slip motion in the Sierra Nevada batholith. Further, the deformation is better developed, as recorded by the ~5 km thick, dextral transpressional western Idaho shear zone (WISZ). The WISZ deformation affects I-type magmas that are not typically considered part of the Idaho batholith. The main phase of the 85-70 Ma, peraluminous Idaho batholith (Atlanta lobe) only contains local evidence for dextral shearing, such as the NS-oriented Johnson Creek-Profile Gap shear zone. The reasons for this along-strike variation in deformation for Cretaceous magmatic arcs in North America may relate to the collisional and translation histories of offshore terranes.

  20. Mechanical Effects of Normal Faulting Along the Eastern Escarpment of the Sierra Nevada, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martel, S. J.; Logan, J. M.; Stock, G. M.

    2013-12-01

    Here we test whether the regional near-surface stress field in the Sierra Nevada, California, and the near-surface fracturing that heavily influences the Sierran landscape are a mechanical response to normal faulting along its eastern escarpment. A compilation of existing near-surface stress measurements for the central Sierra Nevada, together with three new measurements, shows the most compressive horizontal stresses are 3-21 MPa, consistent with the widespread distribution of sheeting joints (near-surface fractures subparallel to the ground surface). In contrast, a new stress measurement at Aeolian Buttes in the Mono Basin, east of the range front fault system, reveals a horizontal principal tension of 0.014 MPa, consistent with the abundant vertical joints there. To evaluate mechanical effects of normal faulting, we modeled both normal faults and grabens in three ways: (1) dislocations of specified slip in an elastic half-space, (2) frictionless sliding surfaces in an elastic half-space; and (3) faults in thin elastic beams resting on an inviscid fluid. The different mechanical models predict concave upward flexure and widespread near-surface compressive stresses in the Sierra Nevada that surpass the measurements even for as little as 1 km of normal slip along the eastern escarpment, which exhibits 1-3 km of structural and topographic relief. The models also predict concave downward flexure of the bedrock floors and horizontal near-surface tensile stresses east of the escarpment. The thin-beam models account best for the topographic relief of the eastern escarpment and the measured stresses given current best estimates for the rheology of the Sierran lithosphere. Our findings collectively indicate that the regional near-surface stress field and the widespread near-surface fracturing directly reflect the mechanical response to normal faulting along the eastern escarpment. These results have broad scientific and engineering implications for slope stability

  1. Potential environmental effects of pack stock on meadow ecosystems of the Sierra Nevada, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ostoja, Steven M.; Brooks, Matthew L.; Moore, Peggy E.; Berlow, Eric L.; Robert Blank,; Roche, Jim; Chase, Jennifer T.; Sylvia Haultain,

    2014-01-01

    Pack and saddle stock, including, but not limited to domesticated horses, mules, and burros, are used to support commercial, private and administrative activities in the Sierra Nevada. The use of pack stock has become a contentious and litigious issue for land management agencies in the region inter alia due to concerns over effects on the environment. The potential environmental effects of pack stock on Sierra Nevada meadow ecosystems are reviewed and it is concluded that the use of pack stock has the potential to influence the following: (1) water nutrient dynamics, sedimentation, temperature, and microbial pathogen content; (2) soil chemistry, nutrient cycling, soil compaction and hydrology; (3) plant individuals, populations and community dynamics, non-native invasive species, and encroachment of woody species; and (4) wildlife individuals, populations and communities. It is considered from currently available information that management objectives of pack stock should include the following: minimise bare ground, maximise plant cover, maintain species composition of native plants, minimise trampling, especially on wet soils and stream banks, and minimise direct urination and defecation by pack stock into water. However, incomplete documentation of patterns of pack stock use and limited past research limits current understanding of the effects of pack stock, especially their effects on water, soils and wildlife. To improve management of pack stock in this region, research is needed on linking measurable monitoring variables (e.g. plant cover) with environmental relevancy (e.g. soil erosion processes, wildlife habitat use), and identifying specific environmental thresholds of degradation along gradients of pack stock use in Sierra Nevada meadows.

  2. Climatology of Westerly Wind Events in the Lee of the Sierra Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grubišić, Vanda; Serafin, Stefano; Strauss, Lukas

    2014-05-01

    Owens Valley is a narrow valley in eastern California, approximately north-south oriented and bounded by the highest portion of the Sierra Nevada to the west and by the White-Inyo Range to the east. There is abundance of anecdotal evidence for the occurrence of downslope windstorms in Owens Valley, in particular on the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada. Indeed, the area has been the theatre of two major research efforts and several field campaigns, including the Sierra Wave and Jet Stream Projects in the 1950s and the Sierra Rotors Project (2004) and the Terrain-induced Rotor Experiment (2006) in the mid 2000s. However, existing climatological studies of strong wind events in this region reveal hardly any signature of westerly winds. In the present contribution, a climatology of westerly wind events in Owens Valley is derived from data measured by a mesonet of sixteen automatic weather stations. Compared to previous climatologies, which have primarily used measurements from stations located along the valley's main axis, this paper presents the analysis of data from stations placed along several cross-valley transects that reach a significant distance up the western slope. Data from these stations conclusively demonstrate the frequent occurrence of westerly downslope windstorms in the valley. Thermally driven up- and down-valley flows (from the South and North, respectively) are found to account for a large part of the wind variability in the area. However, a significant fraction of high wind speed events observed on the western side of the valley deviates from this basic pattern by showing a higher percentage of westerly winds. Strong westerly wind events tend to be more persistent and to display higher sustained wind speeds than winds from the other quadrants. Although the highest frequency of westerly wind events is found in the afternoon hours from April to September, the intense episodes can happen at any time of the day throughout the year. The key dynamical

  3. Isotopic age constraints on middle Paleozoic deformation in the northern Sierra Nevada, California

    SciTech Connect

    Saleeby, J.; Hannah, J.L.; Varga, R.J.

    1987-08-01

    Allochthons of the lower Paleozoic Shoo Fly Complex in the northern Sierra Nevada were assembled and internally deformed prior to formation of a Devonian-Permian island-arc sequence. U/Pb data on zircons indicate ages of 423 +5/-15 Ma for a submarine tuff within the uppermost thrust slice of the Shoo Fly Complex and 378 +5/-10 Ma for a granitic intrusion that may be cogenetic with the lower part of the arc sequence. These data indicate late Early Silurian Shoo Fly deposition and proximity to active volcanism, as well as late Middle Devonian initiation of arc-related magmatism.

  4. A new species of salamander (Caudata: Plethodontidae, Bolitoglossa) from Sierra Nevada de Mérida, Venezuela.

    PubMed

    García-Gutiérrez, Javier; Escalona, Moisés; Mora, Andrés; Díaz De Pascual, Amelia; Fermin, Gustavo

    2013-01-01

    In this article, a new species of salamander of the genus Bolitoglossa (Eladinea) from the cloud forest near La Mucuy in Sierra Nevada de Mérida, Venezuelan Andes, is described. Bolitoglossa mucuyensis sp. nov. differs from all Venezuelan salamanders, except B. orestes, by a larger SVL/TL ratio, and from La Culata salamander B. orestes by a reduced webbing extension of the front and hind limbs. Additionally, B. mucuyensis sp. nov. and B. orestes diverge 3.12% in terms of the nucleotide sequence of the 16S rRNA gene, as previously reported, and in 8.1% for the cytb gene as shown in this study.

  5. LANDSAT-D investigations in snow hydrology. [Sierra Nevada Mountains, California

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dozier, J.

    1983-01-01

    Two tapes of the southern Sierra Nevada study area were received and the TM data are being registered to digital data. The spectral, spatial, temporal, and economic characteristics of data from LANDSAT 4 TM and MSS were compared with those of NOAA-r AVHRR data for snow cover mapping. An atmospheric radiative transfer model which accounts for both the zenith and aximuth variation in the radiative field is presented and its advantages are discussed. A Monte Carlo method for solving the atmospheric correction problem for an inhomogeneous surface is also considered.

  6. Data on snow chemistry of the Cascade-Sierra Nevada Mountains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Laird, L.B.; Taylor, H.E.; Lombard, R.E.

    1986-01-01

    Snow chemistry data were measured for solutes found in snow core samples collected from the Cascade-Sierra Nevada Mountains from late February to mid-March 1983. The data are part of a study to assess geographic variations in atmospheric deposition in Washington, Oregon, and California. The constituents and properties include pH and concentrations of hydrogen ion, calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, chloride, sulfate, nitrate, fluoride, phosphate, ammonium, iron, aluminum, manganese, copper, cadmium, lead, and dissolved organic carbon. Concentrations of arsenic and bromide were below the detection limit. (USGS)

  7. Nutrient hotspots and O horizon runoff in a Sierra Nevada Watershed

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, D. W.; Miller, W. W.; Meadows, M.; Rau, B.

    2009-12-01

    Because of the extremely dry summers, rooting is entirely absent in the O horizons of many forest ecosystems in the eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains of Nevada and California. Thus, decomposition/N mineralization and vegetation uptake processes are spatially discoupled, and the intense competition for N between roots and decomposers in the O horizon which characterizes more humid forest ecosystems is absent. Because of this discoupling, the N returned in littterfall is not recycled to the trees until: 1) N supply exceeds microbial demand, and 2) N is leached to lower horizons where roots are present. Both O horizons and the mineral soil surface in these ecosystems are extremely hydrophobic in summer, restricting the ability of summer rainfall to wet underlying mineral soils except via preferential flowpaths. Recent studies have found very high concentrations of ionic forms of N in O horizon interflow solutions that flow over the top of mineral soils. We hypothesize that this O horizon interflow creates biogeochemical “hot spots” and “hot moments” (Schimel and Bennett, 2004) where it infiltrates into preferential flowpaths present in the mineral soil. This paper reports the initial results of a study aimed at detecting O horizon runoff and nutrient hot spots in soils of the King’s River Experimental Watershed (KREW) in the western Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, one of the Critical Zone Observatory sites. We hypothesized that 1) nutrient rich runoff would occur in the KREW watersheds, as in the eastern Sierra; and 2) this runoff would contribute to the presence of nutrient hotspots on a centimeter scale in the soil. Testing Hypothesis 1) was straightforward: we installed O horizon runoff collectors in the KREW watersheds and found substantial amounts of runoff did occur, but the runoff waters were somewhat less nutrient-rich than in the drier forests of the eastern Sierra Nevada. Testing Hypothesis 2 was less straightforward because the most precise

  8. Early Photographs of the Distant Sierra Nevada Mountains Taken from Lick Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osterbrock, Donald E.

    2006-12-01

    During World War I, a group of American chemists, physicists and astronomers developed processes for greatly increasing the infrared sensitivity of photographic emulsions, for long-distance reconnaissance from airplanes or the ground. After the war Lick Observatory astronomers, beginning with C.D. Shane and Mary Lea Heger, used long-focal-length astronomical cameras and these hypersensitization methods to photograph the distant Sierra Nevada range, including Yosemite Valley and Half Dome, nearly one hundred miles away across the Central Valley of California. These pictures, widely exhibited and admired, strengthened links between astronomers, the Eastman Kodak Company and the public.

  9. Cenozoic Volcanic Rocks of the Devils Postpile Quadrangle, Eastern Sierra Nevada, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Huber, N. King; Rinehart, C. Dean

    1967-01-01

    Cenozoic volcanic rocks of the Devils Postpile quadrangle are of late Pliocene to Recent age and are divided into 11 map units. The suite is alkalic-calcic and ranges in composition from basalt to rhyolite. It includes a rhyolitic welded ash-flow tuff which is probably correlative with the Bishop Tuff, although the two units are geographically isolated by the Sierra Nevada drainage divide. The Devils Postpile itself is a classic example of columnar jointing in the lower part of a lava flow.

  10. A New View of Cenozoic Lithosphere Degradation ("Delamination") Beneath the Sierra Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Putirka, K. D.

    2011-12-01

    There presently exists a conflict in our understanding of basaltic volcanism in the Sierra Nevada. Some geophysical studies (Fliedner and Ruppert, 1996; Savage et al., 2004; Jones et al., 2004) indicate that the continental crust beneath the southern Sierra lies directly upon asthenosphere. In contrast, volcanic rock and mantle xenolith compositions show that enriched mantle lithosphere currently exists beneath the eastern Sierra range front (Leeman, 1974; Beard and Glazner, 1995; Cousens, 1996; Lee, 2005; Putirka and Busby, 2007; Cousens et al., 2008; Blondes et al., 2008). For example, volcanic rocks have 87Sr/86Sr ratios (at MgO>8%) >0.705, and 143Nd/144Nd <0.5127, which are unlike asthenosphere (at the EPR, 87Sr/86Sr <0.7027; 143Nd/144Nd > 0.5129), but very much like Cordilleran mantle lithosphere. Sierran volcanic rocks also have continental mantle lithosphere-like trace element ratios, with La/Nb>3 and Th/Nb>1 (asthenosphere-derived melts have La/Nb<1.5, Th/Nb<0.08). Finally, spinel-bearing mantle xeonoliths from the eastern Sierra have 87Sr/86Sr and ɛNd ratios that range to 0.7065 and -3.4 respectively. To test where such enriched mantle may exist, we calculate melt extraction depths using Si activity barometers (Putirka, 2008; Lee et al. 2009); these models show that such enriched mantle occurs at 40-75 km, and so extends to the base of the crust, and occupies precisely the depth range where Savage et al. (2004) indicate that continental mantle lithosphere is absent. Melt extraction depths estimated from mineralogy-sensitive trace element ratios (Sm/Yb, Lu/Hf) are consistent with the Si-activity results, and require partial melting depths for high K2O Pliocene volcanics to extend to 110 km, i.e., into the garnet-peridotite stability field. These results show that garnet-bearing lithologies could not have been dislodged from beneath the Sierra during or before the eruption of Pliocene-age magmas; they do allow for removal of garnet-bearing mantle

  11. Montane meadows and hydrologic connections between forests and streams in the Sierra Nevada, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lucas, R. G.; Conklin, M. H.

    2013-12-01

    Montane meadows of the Sierra Nevada often serve as the interface between up-gradient forested area and down-gradient streamflow. We investigated the roles that meadow groundwater and evapotranspiration play in the greater catchment water cycle using a water-column data from monitoring wells and piezometers in two meadows for water years 2008-2012. Analyses include mass balance and modeling using 1-D HYDRUS. Though spatially heterogeneous, groundwater fluxes contribute to evapotranspiration (ETg) across the meadows, and are constrained by surface-water discharge. Near the meadow center groundwater discharges occur for the duration of the snow-free season, ET¬g is relatively low. At the meadow edge the groundwater flux changes from discharge to recharge when the growing season begins; also ETg increases, and major-ion concentrations in groundwater are more dilute than those near the meadow center. When groundwater is discharged throughout the meadow during snowmelt, the stream-water ion content more closely resembles water sampled from wells at the meadow edge. These trends change as the summer season progresses--groundwater is no longer discharged at the meadow edge and the stream water ion concentration matches the groundwater sampled from the center of the meadow. Slug tests performed in the monitoring wells indicate a saturated hydraulic conductivity (Kh) of meadow substrates between 10-5 and 10-6 m s-1. The upper end of this range reflects substrate with large sand fractions, while lower values reflect finer-grained or higher-organic-content substrate. Applying the higher Kh values to groundwater gradients during snowmelt results in groundwater discharge rates greater than streamflow measured at the meadow outlet. This suggests that the peat layer at the meadow surface, with significantly lower Kh values, retards groundwater discharge from the meadow during snowmelt. ETg signals in wells at the meadow edge and in wells installed just outside of the meadow

  12. Constraints on the history and topography of the Northeastern Sierra Nevada from a Neogene sedimentary basin in the Reno-Verdi area, Western Nevada

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Trexler, James; Cashman, Patricia; Cosca, Michael

    2012-01-01

    Neogene (Miocene–Pliocene) sedimentary rocks of the northeastern Sierra Nevada were deposited in small basins that formed in response to volcanic and tectonic activity along the eastern margin of the Sierra. These strata record an early phase (ca. 11–10 Ma) of extension and rapid sedimentation of boulder conglomerates and debrites deposited on alluvial fans, followed by fluvio-lacustrine sedimentation and nearby volcanic arc activity but tectonic quiescence, until ~ 2.6 Ma. The fossil record in these rocks documents a warmer, wetter climate featuring large mammals and lacking the Sierran orographic rain shadow that dominates climate today on the eastern edge of the Sierra. This record of a general lack of paleo-relief across the eastern margin of the Sierra Nevada is consistent with evidence presented elsewhere that there was not a significant topographic barrier between the Pacific Ocean and the interior of the continent east of the Sierra before ~ 2.6 Ma. However, these sediments do not record an integrated drainage system either to the east into the Great Basin like the modern Truckee River, or to the west across the Sierra like the ancestral Feather and Yuba rivers. The Neogene Reno-Verdi basin was one of several, scattered endorheic (i.e., internally drained) basins occupying this part of the Cascade intra-arc and back-arc area.

  13. Dataset of Phenology of Mediterranean high-mountain meadows flora (Sierra Nevada, Spain).

    PubMed

    Pérez-Luque, Antonio Jesús; Sánchez-Rojas, Cristina Patricia; Zamora, Regino; Pérez-Pérez, Ramón; Bonet, Francisco Javier

    2015-01-01

    Sierra Nevada mountain range (southern Spain) hosts a high number of endemic plant species, being one of the most important biodiversity hotspots in the Mediterranean basin. The high-mountain meadow ecosystems (borreguiles) harbour a large number of endemic and threatened plant species. In this data paper, we describe a dataset of the flora inhabiting this threatened ecosystem in this Mediterranean mountain. The dataset includes occurrence data for flora collected in those ecosystems in two periods: 1988-1990 and 2009-2013. A total of 11002 records of occurrences belonging to 19 orders, 28 families 52 genera were collected. 73 taxa were recorded with 29 threatened taxa. We also included data of cover-abundance and phenology attributes for the records. The dataset is included in the Sierra Nevada Global-Change Observatory (OBSNEV), a long-term research project designed to compile socio-ecological information on the major ecosystem types in order to identify the impacts of global change in this area. PMID:25878552

  14. Atmospheric dry deposition on pines in the Eastern Brook Lake Watershed, Sierra Nevada, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bytnerowicz, Andrzej; Dawson, P. J.; Morrison, C. L.; Poe, M. P.

    Atmospheric dry deposition to branches of Pinus contorta and P. albicaulis was measured during summer 1987 in a sub-alpine zone at Eastern Brook Lake Watershed (EBLW), eastern Sierra Nevada, California. Results are presented as deposition fluxes of NO 3-, SO 42-, PO 43-, Cl -, F -, NH 4+, Ca 2+, Mg 2+, Na +, K +, Zn 2+, Fe 3+, Mn 2+, Pb 2+ and H +, and compared with other locations in California and elsewhere. Deposition fluxes of anions and cations to the pine branches were low, several times lower than the values determined near the Emerald Lake Watershed (ELW), another sub-alpine location in the western Sierra Nevada. The sums of deposition fluxes of the measured cations and anions to pine surfaces were similar, in contrast to the ELW location where the sums of cation fluxes were much higher than the sums of anion fluxes. A strong positive correlation between depositions of NO 3- and NH 4+, as well as SO 42- and Ca 2+, suggested that large portions of these ions might have originated from particulate NH 4NO 3 and CaSO 4 deposited on pine surfaces. An estimated total N dry deposition (surface deposition of NO 3- and NH 4+ and internal uptake of NO 2 and HNO 3) to the forested area of the EBLW was 29.54 eq ha -1 yr - (about 414 g H ha -1 yr -1).

  15. Increasing elevation of fire in the Sierra Nevada and implications for forest change

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schwartz, Mark W.; Butt, Nathalie; Dolanc, Christopher R.; Holguin, Andrew; Moritz, Max A.; North, Malcolm P.; Safford, Hugh D.; Stephenson, Nathan L.; Thorne, James H.; van Mantgem, Phillip J.

    2015-01-01

    Fire in high-elevation forest ecosystems can have severe impacts on forest structure, function and biodiversity. Using a 105-year data set, we found increasing elevation extent of fires in the Sierra Nevada, and pose five hypotheses to explain this pattern. Beyond the recognized pattern of increasing fire frequency in the Sierra Nevada since the late 20th century, we find that the upper elevation extent of those fires has also been increasing. Factors such as fire season climate and fuel build up are recognized potential drivers of changes in fire regimes. Patterns of warming climate and increasing stand density are consistent with both the direction and magnitude of increasing elevation of wildfire. Reduction in high elevation wildfire suppression and increasing ignition frequencies may also contribute to the observed pattern. Historical biases in fire reporting are recognized, but not likely to explain the observed patterns. The four plausible mechanistic hypotheses (changes in fire management, climate, fuels, ignitions) are not mutually exclusive, and likely have synergistic interactions that may explain the observed changes. Irrespective of mechanism, the observed pattern of increasing occurrence of fire in these subalpine forests may have significant impacts on their resilience to changing climatic conditions.

  16. Late Cretaceous age of fractures in the Sierra Nevada batholith, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Segall, P.; McKee, E.H.; Martel, S.J.; Turrin, B.D.

    1990-01-01

    Regional sets of steeply dipping joints and faults are common throughout the Sierra Nevada batholith, yet relatively little is known about how or when they formed. Within some east-northeast-striking, left-lateral fault zones in the Mount Abbot quadrangle of the central Sierra Nevada, the host granodiorite is hydrothermally altered to a lower greenschist assemblage that contains muscovite. The muscovite yields a mean K-Ar and 40Ar/39Ar age of 79 Ma, which provides a minimum age for the faulting. Field relations show that these faults developed from earlier formed, mineralized joints, so these ages also provide a minimum age for the jointing. Published ages of biotite, hornblende, and zircon from the host granodiorite of Lake Edison are 80 Ma (K-Ar), 85 Ma (K-Ar), and 90 Ma (U-Pb), respectively. The geochronology, field relations, and hydrothermal mineral assemblages together suggest that the mineralized joints and faults all formed between 85 and 79 Ma, soon after the host pluton was emplaced. -Authors

  17. Fumio Matsumura--accomplishments at the University of California, Davis, and in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

    PubMed

    Seiber, James N

    2015-05-01

    Fumio Matsumura joined the University of California, Davis, faculty in 1987 where he served as founding director of the Center for Environmental Health Sciences, associate director of the U.C. Toxic Substances Research and Teaching Program, and chair of the Department of Environmental Toxicology. He was an active affiliate with the NIEHS-funded Superfund Basic Research Program and the NIH Comprehensive Cancer Center. He was in many instances a primary driver or otherwise involved in most activities related to environmental toxicology at Davis, including the education of students in environmental biochemistry and ecotoxicology. A significant part of his broad research program was focused on the long range transport of chemicals such as toxaphene, PCBs and related contaminants used or released in California to the Sierra Nevada mountains, downwind of the urban and agricultural regions of the state. He hypothesized that these chemical residues adversely affected fish and wildlife, and particularly the declining populations of amphibians in Sierra Nevada streams and lakes. Fumio and his students and colleagues found residues of toxaphene and PCBs at higher elevations, an apparent result of atmospheric drift and deposition in the mountains. Fumio and his wife Teruko had personal interests in, and a love of the mountains, as avid skiers, hikers, and outdoor enthusiasts.

  18. Mediterranean climate effects. I. Conifer water use across a Sierra Nevada ecotone.

    PubMed

    Royce, E B; Barbour, M G

    2001-05-01

    Xylem water potential of the midelevation conifers Pinus jeffreyi, Pinus lambertiana, Abies concolor, and Calocedrus decurrens, the higher elevation Pinus monticola and Abies magnifica, and co-occurring evergreen angiosperm shrubs, together with soil moisture under these plants, were monitored at three sites on the Kern Plateau in the southernmost Sierra Nevada Range of California. Site locations spanned the ecotone between the mid- and upper montane forests at elevations of 2230-2820 m. Measurements were made through a low-snowfall year and a heavy-snowfall year.In the Mediterranean climate of the Sierra Nevada, the heavy winter snowpack persists into late spring, after precipitation has effectively stopped. We found the subsequent depletion of soil moisture due to plant water uptake to result in predawn xylem water potentials for conifers more negative by 0.6-1.4 MPa than those for shrubs or inferred soil potentials. Shrubs generally depleted soil moisture more rapidly and ultimately extracted a greater fraction of the available soil moisture than did the conifers. This depletion of soil moisture by shrubs, particularly Arctostaphylos patula, may limit conifer growth and regeneration by prematurely terminating growth on the shallow soils studied. The conifers all generally showed similar patterns of soil moisture use, except that A. magnifica extracted moisture more rapidly early in the season.

  19. Fumio Matsumura--accomplishments at the University of California, Davis, and in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

    PubMed

    Seiber, James N

    2015-05-01

    Fumio Matsumura joined the University of California, Davis, faculty in 1987 where he served as founding director of the Center for Environmental Health Sciences, associate director of the U.C. Toxic Substances Research and Teaching Program, and chair of the Department of Environmental Toxicology. He was an active affiliate with the NIEHS-funded Superfund Basic Research Program and the NIH Comprehensive Cancer Center. He was in many instances a primary driver or otherwise involved in most activities related to environmental toxicology at Davis, including the education of students in environmental biochemistry and ecotoxicology. A significant part of his broad research program was focused on the long range transport of chemicals such as toxaphene, PCBs and related contaminants used or released in California to the Sierra Nevada mountains, downwind of the urban and agricultural regions of the state. He hypothesized that these chemical residues adversely affected fish and wildlife, and particularly the declining populations of amphibians in Sierra Nevada streams and lakes. Fumio and his students and colleagues found residues of toxaphene and PCBs at higher elevations, an apparent result of atmospheric drift and deposition in the mountains. Fumio and his wife Teruko had personal interests in, and a love of the mountains, as avid skiers, hikers, and outdoor enthusiasts. PMID:25987222

  20. Dataset of Phenology of Mediterranean high-mountain meadows flora (Sierra Nevada, Spain).

    PubMed

    Pérez-Luque, Antonio Jesús; Sánchez-Rojas, Cristina Patricia; Zamora, Regino; Pérez-Pérez, Ramón; Bonet, Francisco Javier

    2015-01-01

    Sierra Nevada mountain range (southern Spain) hosts a high number of endemic plant species, being one of the most important biodiversity hotspots in the Mediterranean basin. The high-mountain meadow ecosystems (borreguiles) harbour a large number of endemic and threatened plant species. In this data paper, we describe a dataset of the flora inhabiting this threatened ecosystem in this Mediterranean mountain. The dataset includes occurrence data for flora collected in those ecosystems in two periods: 1988-1990 and 2009-2013. A total of 11002 records of occurrences belonging to 19 orders, 28 families 52 genera were collected. 73 taxa were recorded with 29 threatened taxa. We also included data of cover-abundance and phenology attributes for the records. The dataset is included in the Sierra Nevada Global-Change Observatory (OBSNEV), a long-term research project designed to compile socio-ecological information on the major ecosystem types in order to identify the impacts of global change in this area.

  1. Late Cretaceous age of fractures in the Sierra Nevada batholith, California

    SciTech Connect

    Segall, P. Stanford Univ., CA ); McKee, E.H.; Turrin, B.D. ); Martel, S.J. )

    1990-12-01

    Regional sets of steeply dipping joints and faults are common throughout the Sierra Nevada batholith, yet relatively little is known about how or when they formed. Within some east-northeast-striking, left-lateral fault zones in the Mount Abbot quadrangle of the central Sierra Nevada, the host granodiorite is hydrothermally altered to a lower greenschist assemblage that contains muscovite. The muscovite yields a mean K-Ar and {sup 40}Ar/{sup 39}Ar age of 79 Ma, which provides a minimum age for the faulting. Field relations show that these faults developed from earlier formed, mineralized joints, so these ages also provide a minimum age for the jointing. Published ages of biotite, hornblende, and zircon from the host granodiorite of Lake Edison are 80 Ma (K-Ar), 85 Ma (K-Ar), and 90 Ma (U-Pb), respectively. The geochronology, field relations, and hydrothermal mineral assemblages together suggest that the mineralized joints and faults all formed between 85 and 79 Ma, soon after the host pluton was emplaced.

  2. Montane meadows in the Sierra Nevada: comparing terrestrial and aquatic assessment methods.

    PubMed

    Purdy, Sarah E; Moyle, Peter B; Tate, Kenneth W

    2012-11-01

    We surveyed montane meadows in the northern Sierra Nevada and southern Cascades for two field seasons to compare commonly used aquatic and terrestrial-based assessments of meadow condition. We surveyed (1) fish, (2) reptiles, (3) amphibians, (4) aquatic macroinvertebrates, (5) stream geomorphology, (6) physical habitat, and (7) terrestrial vegetation in 79 meadows between the elevations of 1,000 and 3,000 m. From the results of those surveys, we calculated five multi-metric indices based on methods commonly used by researchers and land management agencies. The five indices consisted of (1) fish only, (2) native fish and amphibians, (3) macroinvertebrates, (4) physical habitat, and (5) vegetation. We compared the results of the five indices and found that there were significant differences in the outcomes of the five indices. We found positive correlations between the vegetation index and the physical habitat index, the invertebrate index and the physical habitat index, and the two fish-based indices, but there were significant differences between indices in both range and means. We concluded that the five indices provided very different interpretations of the condition in a given meadow. While our assessment of meadow condition changed based on which index was used, each provided an assessment of different components important to the overall condition of a meadow system. Utilizing a multimetric approach that accounts for both terrestrial and aquatic habitats provides the best means to accurately assess meadow condition, particularly given the disproportionate importance of these systems in the Sierra Nevada landscape. PMID:22183163

  3. Vertical distribution of ozone and nitric acid vapor on the Mammoth Mountain, eastern Sierra Nevada, California.

    PubMed

    Bytnerowicz, Andrzej; Parker, David R; Padgett, Pamela E

    2002-01-01

    In August and September 1999 and 2000, concentrations of ozone (O3) and nitric acid vapor (HNO3) were monitored at an elevation gradient (2184-3325 m) on the Mammoth Mountain, eastern Sierra Nevada, California. Passive samplers were used for monitoring exposure to tropospheric O3 and HNO3 vapor. The 2-week average O3 concentrations ranged between 45 and 72 ppb, while HNO3 concentrations ranged between 0.06 and 0.52 microg/m3. Similar ranges of O3 and HNO3 were determined for 2 years of the study. No clear effects of elevation on concentrations of the two pollutants were detected. Concentrations of HNO3 were low and at the background levels expected for the eastern Sierra Nevada, while the measured concentrations of O3 were elevated. High concentrations of ozone in the study area were confirmed with an active UV absorption O3 monitor placed at the Mammoth Mountain Peak (September 5-14, 2000, average 24-h concentration of 56 ppb). PMID:12806035

  4. Assessment of acidity of lakes and precipitation in the Sierra Nevada

    SciTech Connect

    Melack, J.M.

    1983-06-01

    The east central Sierra Nevada received acid precipitation (pH 3.7 to 4.9) during the convective storms interspersed through the dry seasons of 1981 and 1982. In contrast, late autumn, winter and early spring snow (1981-1982) ranged in pH from 5.2 to 6.1 (mean 5.7) and had low ammonium, nitrate and sulfate concentrations. As of 1981 most of the alpine lakes of the Sierra Nevada remain very weakly buffered, bicarbonate lakes that receive a small loading of acid precipitation and a large annual input of snowmelt uncontaminated by strong acids. These lakes contain low concentrations of orthophosphate, nitrate and ammonium and are oligotrophic. The zooplankton communities fall into two major groups, those dominated by large-bodied species in the absence of fish, and those dominated by smaller species where fish are present. If the acidity of the precipitation increases the pH of the lakes will decrease rapidly with adverse biological impacts because the lakes and their basins have extremely low buffer capacity and the biota cannot tolerate acidic water. 65 references, 14 figures, 6 tables.

  5. Dataset of Phenology of Mediterranean high-mountain meadows flora (Sierra Nevada, Spain)

    PubMed Central

    Pérez-Luque, Antonio Jesús; Sánchez-Rojas, Cristina Patricia; Zamora, Regino; Pérez-Pérez, Ramón; Bonet, Francisco Javier

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Sierra Nevada mountain range (southern Spain) hosts a high number of endemic plant species, being one of the most important biodiversity hotspots in the Mediterranean basin. The high-mountain meadow ecosystems (borreguiles) harbour a large number of endemic and threatened plant species. In this data paper, we describe a dataset of the flora inhabiting this threatened ecosystem in this Mediterranean mountain. The dataset includes occurrence data for flora collected in those ecosystems in two periods: 1988–1990 and 2009–2013. A total of 11002 records of occurrences belonging to 19 orders, 28 families 52 genera were collected. 73 taxa were recorded with 29 threatened taxa. We also included data of cover-abundance and phenology attributes for the records. The dataset is included in the Sierra Nevada Global-Change Observatory (OBSNEV), a long-term research project designed to compile socio-ecological information on the major ecosystem types in order to identify the impacts of global change in this area. PMID:25878552

  6. Wavelet analysis of Snow course data within the Sierra Nevada Mountains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rios, T.; Dracup, J. A.

    2003-12-01

    In recent years, an analytical method known as wavelet analysis has received increasing applications in geophysical fields (Foufoula-Georgiou and Kumar 1994). Wavelet analysis can be used to identify the time and frequency regime in data while still maintaining the time coordinate. By applying the wavelet analysis method to the Mount Shasta snow course for the time period from 1937-1997 using the continuous 1-D wavelet toolbox in MATLAB, we found that several frequency regimes are present within the signal. The inter-annual noise dominates the frequency regime below the seven-year scale, but there is a relatively consistent 9-13 year oscillation that is present within the snow data. This frequency regime is also observed to shift to lower scales as the time series progresses, possibly indicating a shift in the climate variability due to climate change. In addition, analyses of the depth and the water content data exhibit nearly identical wavelet images. We are currently in the process of identifying other climate variables that may exhibit similar periodicity with the continuous 1-D wavelet analysis, such as the PDO and ENSO. Preliminary results show that by analyzing the hydrologic variables of the Sierra Nevada snowpack depth and/or water content using the wavelet method, we may be able to provide useful insights into the synergy and expression of climate change and variability within the California Sierra Nevadas.

  7. Compositions of biotite from granitoids of the Sierra Nevada batholith: constraints on magmatic source rocks

    SciTech Connect

    Ague, J.J.; Brimhall, G.H.

    1985-01-01

    Two compositional types of biotite from the Cretaceous Sierra Nevada batholith occur in a systematic regional pattern which reflects magmatic source material and correlates with tungsten mineralization. Biotite from each group may be characterized in terms of F/OH and Mg/Fe as follows. Type I biotites generally coexist with hornblende and magnetite + sphene. Type II biotites coexist with ilmenite +/- magnetite, but hornblende only occurs at contacts with Type I intrusives. Intrusives with Type IA biotite occur as a continuous belt along the entire western margin of the exposed batholith. Type IB biotite is found to the east of this belt, and Type IC biotite is confined to the eastern side of the Sierra. Type II biotite is present in the eastern and south-western portions of the Sierra, and sporadically in the metamorphic foothills belt. The two intrusive groups, here characterized by biotite compositions, correspond to two of the source rock and porphyry mineralization models of Burnham (1981). Type I rocks (Cu deposits) are derived from mafic amphiobolites whereas Type II (Sn-W deposits) form from relatively reduced muscovite-rich metasediments. The biotite compositions indicate that the majority of the batholith formed from amphibolite sources. Type II intrusives and W deposits occur in areas underlain by Precambrian crust as defined by radiogenic isotope studies.

  8. 10Be exposure dating of Holocene moraines in the Sierra Nevada, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hidy, Alan; Zimmerman, Susan; Finkel, Robert; Schaefer, Jeorg; Clark, Douglas

    2016-04-01

    Constraint on the extent and timing of Holocene glaciations is critical to addressing standing hypotheses that ascribe climatic fluctuations to changes in atmospheric and oceanic circulation patterns, or anthropogenic forcing. In the terrestrial record, such constraint typically relies on chronologies obtained from 10Be exposure dating of moraine deposits. However, the short exposure time of Holocene moraines, particularly those formed during the Little Ice Age (LIA), makes obtaining precise chronologies extremely challenging. To date, only a handful of LIA deposits in two locations (New Zealand and the Swiss Alps) have been successfully dated with 10Be. Here, we report new 10Be exposure ages from LIA and Neoglacial moraines from multiple sites in the Sierra Nevada (Lyell, Maclure, and Palisade glaciers). The Sierran LIA record will be compared to those from New Zealand and the Swiss Alps to test whether LIA deglaciation was globally synchronous. This result would support the contention that the LIA was terminated by anthropogenically-driven warming. Chronology from the neoglacial deposits will be used to test whether the timing of the return to glacial conditions in the Sierras correlates to a southward shift in the Intertropical Convergence Zone, which has been hypothesized to increase El Nino-like conditions in the Pacific Ocean. This record should be ideal for testing this hypothesis since precipitation in the Sierras is highly sensitive to El Nino conditions.

  9. Spatial patterns of atmospherically deposited organic contaminants at high elevation in the southern Sierra Nevada mountains, California, USA

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Airborne contaminants in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California have been implicated as a factor adversely affecting biological resources like amphibians and fish, yet the distributions of contaminants within the mountains are poorly known, particularly at high elevation. we evaluated contaminan...

  10. REGIONAL ANALYSIS OF INORGANIC NITROGEN YIELD AND RETENTION IN HIGH-ELEVATION ECOSYSTEMS OF THE SIERRA NEVADA AND ROCKY MOUNTAINS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Yields and retention of inorganic nitrogen (DIN) and nitrate concentrations in surface runoff are summarized for 28 high elevation watersheds in the Sierra Nevada, California and Rocky Mountains of Wyoming and Colorado. Catchments ranged in elevation from 2475 to 3603 m and from...

  11. Concerning KAr dating of a basalt flow from the Tahoe-Tioga interglaciation, Sawmill Canyon, southeastern Sierra Nevada, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dalrymple, G.B.; Burke, R.M.; Birkeland, P.W.

    1982-01-01

    New KAr ages for a basalt flow interbedded with Tahoe and Tioga tills in Sawmill Canyon, southeastern Sierra Nevada, slightly refine previously published ages for the flow and provide an estimate of 53,000 ?? 44,000 yr for the Tahoe-Tioga interglaciation. ?? 1982.

  12. Improving stable isotope-based reconstructions of Sierra Nevada paleotopography using insights from regional air parcel trajectories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lechler, A.; Galewsky, J.

    2012-12-01

    The geodynamic evolution of the Sierra Nevada Mountains of the western US remains subject to debate due to the lack of consensus on the Cenozoic paleoelevation history of the range. The majority of recent studies attempting to quantify the surface uplift history of the Sierra Nevada rely on stable isotope paleoaltimetry methods that often implicitly assume that atmospheric flow interactions with topography can be simply modeled as a Rayleigh distillation process in which air mass trajectories ascend and rainout heavy isotopologues of water (18O and D) across topographic barriers relatively unimpeded. Accordingly, stable isotope paleoaltimetry studies commonly target leeward side paleo-meteoric water proxies to constrain paleotopography of the windward barrier. We present a modern (1979 - 2010) air parcel trajectory analysis using the Hybrid Single Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory (HYSPLIT) model that shows that the fundamental assumptions of stable isotope paleoaltimetry are often violated in the Sierra Nevada region. Trajectory analysis indicates that westerly air masses are frequently orographically blocked by and redirected around the higher elevations (> 2.5 km) of the Sierra Nevada. As a result, trajectories reaching the Sierran lee commonly travel around, rather than over, the highest range elevations. These blocking and redirection effects are particularly pronounced for leeward sites that are distal (> 150 km) from the Sierran crest but are also evident in trajectory patterns for both windward and proximal leeward locations in the northern Sierra Nevada. In addition, trajectory patterns indicate that much of the Sierran lee receives a non-negligible proportion of annual precipitation from summer storm systems sourced in the subtropical Pacific Ocean and Gulf of California that have little to no interaction with Sierran topography. This trajectory analysis highlights the complexity of orographic precipitation patterns and processes in the Sierra

  13. Ecological impacts of wheat seeding after a Sierra Nevada wildfire

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Keeley, J.E.

    2004-01-01

    The Highway Fire burned 1680 ha of mixed ponderosa pine-oak-chaparral in the newly created Giant Sequoia National Monument and the adjacent Sequoia National Forest of Fresno County, California in August 2001. The USDA Forest Service Burned Area Emergency Rehabilitation (BAER) program recommended that portions of the burned forest be seeded with a non-persistent variety of wheat at a density of 157 kg ha-1 (140 lb/ac). The present study compared the vascular plant diversity and cover in seeded and unseeded parts of this burn to evaluate the ecological impact of seeding an alien grass. In the first post-fire growing season, the natural regeneration of unseeded control sites averaged ???55% ground surface covered. Wheat seeding enhanced the ground cover, averaging 95% ground surface cover. Wheat was the dominant species on the seeded sites, comprising 67% of the total cover. Dominance-diversity curves were markedly affected by the seeding and indicated a disruption in the natural ecological structure of these communities. On seeded sites, wheat dominated and all other species were poorly represented whereas, on unseeded control sites, there was a more equitable distribution of species. Correlated with the wheat cover was a significant decrease in species richness at all scales examined. Total species richness was reduced from 152 species across all unseeded sites to 104 species on all seeded sites. Average species richness, at scales from 1 to 1000 m2, was 30-40% lower on seeded sites. Species most strongly inhibited were post-fire endemics whose lifecycle is restricted to immediate post-fire environments. Seeded sites had fewer alien species than unseeded sites; however, this may not have any lasting effect since other studies show the primary alien threat is not in the first post-fire year. Seeding was also associated with an order of magnitude drop in Pinus ponderosa seedling recruitment and, coupled with the massive thatch still remaining on the site, it is likely

  14. Ecological impacts of wheat seeding after a Sierra Nevada wildfire

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Keeley, Jon E.

    2004-01-01

    The Highway Fire burned 1680 ha of mixed ponderosa pine–oak–chaparral in the newly created Giant Sequoia National Monument and the adjacent Sequoia National Forest of Fresno County, California in August 2001. The USDA Forest Service Burned Area Emergency Rehabilitation (BAER) program recommended that portions of the burned forest be seeded with a non-persistent variety of wheat at a density of 157 kg ha–1 (140 lb/ac). The present study compared the vascular plant diversity and cover in seeded and unseeded parts of this burn to evaluate the ecological impact of seeding an alien grass. In the first post-fire growing season, the natural regeneration of unseeded control sites averaged ~55% ground surface covered. Wheat seeding enhanced the ground cover, averaging 95% ground surface cover. Wheat was the dominant species on the seeded sites, comprising 67% of the total cover. Dominance–diversity curves were markedly affected by the seeding and indicated a disruption in the natural ecological structure of these communities. On seeded sites, wheat dominated and all other species were poorly represented whereas, on unseeded control sites, there was a more equitable distribution of species. Correlated with the wheat cover was a significant decrease in species richness at all scales examined. Total species richness was reduced from 152 species across all unseeded sites to 104 species on all seeded sites. Average species richness, at scales from 1 to 1000 m2, was 30–40% lower on seeded sites. Species most strongly inhibited were post-fire endemics whose lifecycle is restricted to immediate post-fire environments. Seeded sites had fewer alien species than unseeded sites; however, this may not have any lasting effect since other studies show the primary alien threat is not in the first post-fire year. Seeding was also associated with an order of magnitude drop in Pinus ponderosa seedling recruitment and, coupled with the massive thatch still remaining on the site, it

  15. The northern Walker Lane refraction experiment: Pn arrivals and the northern Sierra Nevada root

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Louie, John N.; Thelen, Weston; Smith, Shane B.; Scott, James B.; Clark, Matthew; Pullammanappallil, Satish

    2004-09-01

    In May 2002, we collected a new crustal refraction profile from Battle Mountain, Nevada across western Nevada, the Reno area, Lake Tahoe, and the northern Sierra Nevada Mountains to Auburn, CA. Mine blasts and earthquakes were recorded by 199 Texan instruments extending across this more than 450-km-long transect. The use of large mine blasts and the ultra-portable Texan recorders kept the field costs of this profile to less than US$10,000. The seismic sources at the eastern end were mining blasts at Barrick's GoldStrike mine. The GoldStrike mine produced several ripple-fired blasts using 8000-44,000 kg of ANFO each, a daily occurrence. First arrivals from the larger GoldStrike blasts are obvious to distances of 300 km in the raw records. First arrivals from a quarry blast west of the survey near Watsonville, CA, located by the Northern California Seismic Network with a magnitude of 2.2, can be picked across the recording array to distances of 600 km. The Watsonville blast provides a western source, nearly reversing the GoldStrike blasts. A small earthquake near Bridgeport, CA. also produced pickable P-wave arrivals across the transect, providing fan-shot data. Arrivals from M5 events in the Mariana and Kuril Islands also appear in the records. This refraction survey observes an unexpectedly deep crustal root under the northern Sierra Nevada range, over 50 km in thickness and possibly centered west of the topographic crest. Pn delays of 4-6 s support this interpretation. At Battle Mountain, Nevada, we observe anomalously thin crust over a limited region perhaps only 150 km wide, with a Moho depth of 19-23 km. Pn crossover distances of less than 80 km support this anomaly, which is surrounded by observations of more normal, 30-km-thick crust. A 10-km-thick and high-velocity lower-crustal "pillow" is an alternative hypothesis, but unlikely due to the lack of volcanics west of Battle Mountain. Large mine and quarry blasts prove very effective crustal refraction sources

  16. Solifluction activity in the present periglacial belt of Sierra Nevada during the last 8 ky BP

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oliva, M.; Schulte, L.; Gómez Ortiz, A.

    2009-04-01

    Solifluction records in Sierra Nevada (Andalusia, Spain) reveal a succession of environmental changes during the last millennia in this massif mostly related to Holocene climate dynamics. Geomorphological processes in Sierra Nevada react sensitively to small changes in temperature or moisture regimes, showing the proximity of these processes to their climate boundaries and the small climate range necessary to carry environmental changes in the summits of this massif. Solifluction dynamics in Sierra Nevada is influenced by a complex interaction between environmental factors (slope, vegetation cover, texture) and climate parameters (ground thermal regime, length and thickness of the snow cover, water supply). Interdependant feed-back mechanisms among all these variables make difficult to understand the key factors involved in present and past solifluction processes, although monitoring control performed on lobes with different emplacements suggest today's favourable environmental conditions for solifluction displacements. Water availability controls both vegetation cover and slope processes. In fact, currently water supply determines the grass cover in gentle valley floors, but it is also decisive to provide water for the small solifluction displacements detected during the monitored period. Thermal conditions also play a decisive role to activate solifluction or soil formation with similar moisture regimes. The very weak activity pattern of hundreds of solifluction lobes suggests that they must have developed in other more favourable climate conditions. We studied more than 30 sedimentological profiles from solifluction lobes in San Juan and Rio Seco valleys, which reveal an alternation of solifluction/edaphic cycles during the Holocene, with nine different geomorphic phases in the highest western cirques of Sierra Nevada. In San Juan valley, north exposed, there are several generations of solifluction lobes covering the last 8-9 ky BP, while in the southern Rio

  17. A Stable Isotope Study of Fluid-Rock Interactions in the Saddlebag Lake Roof Pendant, Sierra Nevada, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lojasiewicz, I.; Hartman, S. M.; Holk, G. J.; Paterson, S. R.

    2015-12-01

    The Saddlebag Lake Pendant (SLP) is a ~ 100 km2 zone of Ordovician-Cretaceous metasedimentary and metavolcanic rocks just east of the 95-85 Ma Tuolumne Intrusive Complex (TIC) in the Sierra Nevada of central California. Western SLP and adjacent parts of TIC are affected by the Steelhead Lake Shear Zone (SLSZ), with leucogranitic dikes, abundant qz-tm veins, ductile epidote-chlorite alteration, and massive qz veins. While TIC shows uniform stable isotope values, isotope studies of other Sierra Nevada pendants evidence diversity of fluid sources: Jurassic seawater, Cretaceous magmatic fluids, metamorphic fluids, and meteoric-hydrothermal fluids. We conducted a stable isotope study of 49 samples from units across the SLSZ, focusing on the shear zone. Unlike other pendants, both δ18 O and δD values from SLSZ showed great variability, and most samples were not in isotopic equilibrium. Overall, δ18 O mineral values ranged from -1.5‰(plag) to +15.8‰(bt); mineral δD values ranged from -140‰(tm) to -67‰(bt). TIC δ18 O was +7.8 to +10.0 (plag) and +4.8 to +9.2 (tm), normal magmatic values, and δD were -105 to -75. Paleozoic and Triassic metasedimentary units had most qz δ18 O from +11.3 to +15.8, so within metamorphic range, and δD from -100 to -72 (ep and tm). Jurassic metasedimentary units (Sawmill) and Triassic metavolcanics (Koip) had largest isotopic variability: δ18 O qz from +8.1 to +14.8, plag from -1.1 to +11.8, but ep and tm between +1.3 and +9.3 and δD between -108 and -81. All lower (submagmatic) isotopic values were from a wider, possibly transtensional, part of the SLSZ, transected by Sawmill Canyon. Although TIC and many of the Paleozoic units do not show isotopic evidence for alteration, the Koip and Sawmill units were likely infiltrated by later magmatic waters, and then subjected to very localized meteoric water infiltration in the area surrounding Sawmill Canyon.

  18. Holocene hydrologic variability in the Sierra Nevada from D/H ratios in leaf waxes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Street, J. H.; Sessions, A. L.; Anderson, R. S.; Welker, J. M.; Paytan, A.

    2009-12-01

    Large-scale atmospheric circulation patterns and underlying ocean conditions in the Northeastern Pacific have a strong bearing on continental climate conditions and water availability in California on seasonal to decadal timescales, as demonstrated in the instrumental record. However, the nature and pacing of the relationship between ocean-atmosphere processes and hydrologic variability in California remain poorly understood over longer timescales and during past climate regimes of the Holocene and late Pleistocene, particularly in the large Sacramento-San Joaquin River watershed draining the western Sierra Nevada. The continuous ~20,000-yr sedimentary record recovered from Swamp Lake, a small mid-elevation (1554 m) lake in Yosemite NP, provides a rare opportunity to reconstruct hydrologic variability in the central Sierra Nevada at high resolution (<100 yr) in relation to known or theorized regime shifts in the North Pacific sector and global drivers of climate change. Here we present the results of organic geochemical and isotopic analyses of sedimentary organic matter from this core. In particular, we explore the utility of compound-specific hydrogen isotope (D/H) measurements on leaf-wax n-alkanes extracted from the sediment as a hydrologic tracer. We examine a precipitation isotopes time series (1990-2001) collected in Yosemite near Swamp Lake (NADP station CA99, 1400 m) to assess modern controls (e.g., temperature, storm track, precipitation amount) on the D/H of precipitation, and compare n-alkane D/H values in recent sediments to instrumental and latest Holocene proxy records in order to evaluate the relative contributions of precipitation D/H and local aridity (precipitation v. evapotranspiration) to the D/H signal integrated in sedimentary n-alkanes. Our down-core D/H results suggest a strong sensitivity to atmospheric circulation changes on multiple timescales, which in turn led to altered hydrologic conditions in the Sierra Nevada: (1) A long

  19. Seasonal frost conditions and permafrost regime distribution in the high lands of Sierra Nevada (Spain)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oliva, Marc; Gómez-Ortiz, Antonio; Salvador-Franch, Ferran; Salvà-Catarineu, Montserrat; Palacios, David; Tanarro, Luis Miguel; Ramos, Miguel

    2016-04-01

    Sierra Nevada, Southern Spain (37°S, 3°W), is the massif including the southernmost permafrost remnants in Europe. Over the last decades the distribution of permafrost in this massif has been examined through a combined approach including geomorphological, geophysical and monitoring studies. The purpose of this communication is to summarize all the studies relating to soil thermal regime in the high lands of Sierra Nevada. A 114.5 m deep borehole was drilled in 2000 in the Veleta summit (3380 m) in order to monitor soil temperatures in the summits of the massif. No permafrost regime was detected, with average temperatures stabilizing at 20 m depth at 2 °C. Seasonal frost conditions were also detected in periglacial landforms such as solifluction lobes and sorted-circles. In the Rio Seco cirque the mean annual temperatures in a solifluction lobe located in a southern glacial cirque of the massif (3005 m) were 3.9 °C at 1 m depth between 2006 and 2012; in the north-exposed San Juan valley, soil temperatures in another solifluction landform (2864 m) were 3.9 °C at 1 m depth between 2003 and 2012. In a sorted-circle located in the high plateau of Cerro de los Machos (3297 m) soil temperatures recorded an average of 1.7 °C at 50 cm depth between 2003 and 2011. The only place where temperatures were permanently negative was inside of the only active rock glacier distributed in the Veleta cirque, on the northern slope of the Veleta peak. Here, the remnants of a small glacier that existed during the Little Ice Age (LIA) are still present in the form of buried ice and permafrost buried under the boulders of this rock glacier. Temperatures averaged 0.2 °C at 1 m depth between 2006 and 2013, with permanently negative temperatures below this level until, at least, 10 m depth. Consequently, seasonal frost is widespread nowadays in most of the Sierra Nevada, with permafrost conditions strongly conditioned by the geomorphological setting and the recent environmental

  20. Mineralogy and geochemistry of two metamorphosed sedimentary manganese deposits, Sierra Nevada, California, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Flohr, M.J.K.; Huebner, J.S.

    1992-01-01

    Laminated to massive rhodochrosite, hausmannite, and Mn-silicates from the Smith prospect and Manga-Chrome mine, Sierra Nevada, California were deposited as ocean floor sediments associated with chert and shale. The principal lithologies at Smith are chert, argillite, rhodochrosite-, hausmannite- and chlorite-rich layers, and relatively uncommon layers of jacobsite. The Manga-Chrome mine also contains layers rich in manganoan calcite and caryopilite. Tephroite, rhodonite, spessartine, and accessory alleghanyite and sonolite formed during metamorphism. Volcaniclastic components are present at Manga-Chrome as metavolcanic clasts and as Mn-poor, red, garnet- and hematite-rich layers. There is no evidence, such as relict lithologies, that Mn was introduced into Mn-poor lithologies such as chert, limestone or mudstone. Replacement of Mn-poor phases by Mn-rich phases is observed only in the groundmass of volcanic clasts that appear to have fallen into soft Mn-rich mud. Manganiferous samples from the Smith prospect and Manga-Chrome mine have high Mn Fe and low concentrations of Ni, Cu, Zn, Co, U, Th and the rare-earth elements that are similar to concentrations reported from other ancient Mn deposits found in chert-greenstone complexes and from manganiferous sediments and crusts that are forming near modern sea floor vents. The Sierra Nevada deposits formed as precipitates of Mn-rich sediments on the sea floor, probably from mixtures of circulating hydrothermal fluids and seawater. The composition of a metabasalt from the Smith prospect is consistent with those of island-arc tholeiites. Metavolcanic clasts from the Manga-Chrome mine are compositionally distinct from the Smith metabasalt and have alkaline to calc-alkaline affinities. A back-arc basin is considered to be the most likely paleoenvironment for the formation of the Mn-rich lenses at the Manga-Chrome mine and, by association, the Smith prospect. Layers of rhodochrosite, hausmannite and chert preserve the

  1. Sierra Nevada serpentinites. An important element in the architectonic heritage of Granada (Spain).

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Navarro, Rafael; Pereira, Dolores; Rodríguez-Navarro, Carlos; Sebastián-Pardo, Eduardo

    2013-04-01

    Serpentinites are widely used in historic buildings in the whole world, from Ancient Greek or Egypt to more recent colonial buildings in the USA. Serpentinites from Sierra Nevada (S of Spain) have been traditionally used as ornamental elements in historic buildings of Granada city, both indoors and outdoors. The Cathedral, Carlos V Palace, Royal Chancery and some others are good examples of their use. Some other important cases can be found outside Granada, like El Escorial monastery, Las Salesas Reales convent, etc… all of them part of Madrid architectonic heritage. There are two quarries located in Sierra Nevada that supplied all the material to make the different elements in the cited buildings. In this work, a thorough characterization of the main serpentinites from Sierra Nevada, their uses, and their state of conservation in selected buildings from Granada has been performed. Samples from the main original quarry and from one historical building (Real Chancillería) have been analysed, determining the mineralogical and geochemical composition, texture, water parameters (absorption, porosity, density) and possible alteration by salt formation. It has been observed that the mineralogical and geochemical compositions are similar in both sets of samples, although the ones coming from the historical building show a highly advanced state of alteration. Regarding physical and mechanical parameters, samples from the quarry have very low water absorption values, while the porosity of serpentinites sampled from the Real Chancillería is comparatively much higher. We explain this difference as due to the weathering of the emplaced serpentinites by salt crystallization processes (mainly gypsum or epsomite), that generate strong internal pressures causing the disintegration of the whole natural stone. In addition, the increase of the porosity can be caused by dissolution processes related to the presence of acid solutions related to oxidation and hydrolysis of iron

  2. Recent crustal movements in the Sierra Nevada-Walker lane region of California-Nevada: Part i, rate and style of deformation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Slemmons, D.B.; Wormer, D.V.; Bell, E.J.; Silberman, M.L.

    1979-01-01

    This review of geological, seismological, geochronological and paleobotanical data is made to compare historic and geologic rates and styles of deformation of the Sierra Nevada and western Basin and Range Provinces. The main uplift of this region began about 17 m.y. ago, with slow uplift of the central Sierra Nevada summit region at rates estimated at about 0.012 mm/yr and of western Basin and Range Province at about 0.01 mm/yr. Many Mesozoic faults of the Foothills fault system were reactivated with normal slip in mid-Tertiary time and have continued to be active with slow slip rates. Sparse data indicate acceleration of rates of uplift and faulting during the Late Cenozoic. The Basin and Range faulting appears to have extended westward during this period with a reduction in width of the Sierra Nevada. The eastern boundary zone of the Sierra Nevada has an irregular en-echelon pattern of normal and right-oblique faults. The area between the Sierra Nevada and the Walker Lane is a complex zone of irregular patterns of ho??rst and graben blocks and conjugate normal-to right- and left-slip faults of NW and NE trend, respectively. The Walker Lane has at least five main strands near Walker Lake, with total right-slip separation estimated at 48 km. The NE-trending left-slip faults are much shorter than the Walker Lane fault zone and have maximum separations of no more than a few kilometers. Examples include the 1948 and 1966 fault zone northeast of Truckee, California, the Olinghouse fault (Part III) and possibly the almost 200-km-long Carson Lineament. Historic geologic evidence of faulting, seismologic evidence for focal mechanisms, geodetic measurements and strain measurements confirm continued regional uplift and tilting of the Sierra Nevada, with minor internal local faulting and deformation, smaller uplift of the western Basin and Range Province, conjugate focal mechanisms for faults of diverse orientations and types, and a NS to NE-SW compression axis (??1) and an

  3. Clustering of velocities in a GPS network spanning the Sierra Nevada Block, the northern Walker Lane Belt, and the Central Nevada Seismic Belt, California-Nevada

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Savage, James C.; Simpson, Robert W.

    2013-01-01

    The deformation across the Sierra Nevada Block, the Walker Lane Belt, and the Central Nevada Seismic Belt (CNSB) between 38.5°N and 40.5°N has been analyzed by clustering GPS velocities to identify coherent blocks. Cluster analysis determines the number of clusters required and assigns the GPS stations to the proper clusters. The clusters are shown on a fault map by symbols located at the positions of the GPS stations, each symbol representing the cluster to which the velocity of that GPS station belongs. Fault systems that separate the clusters are readily identified on such a map. Four significant clusters are identified. Those clusters are strips separated by (from west to east) the Mohawk Valley-Genoa fault system, the Pyramid Lake-Wassuk fault system, and the Central Nevada Seismic Belt. The strain rates within the westernmost three clusters approximate simple right-lateral shear (~13 nstrain/a) across vertical planes roughly parallel to the cluster boundaries. Clustering does not recognize the longitudinal segmentation of the Walker Lane Belt into domains dominated by either northwesterly trending, right-lateral faults or northeasterly trending, left-lateral faults.

  4. Inevitable changes in snowpack and water resources over California's Sierra Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hall, A. D.; Sun, F.; Walton, D.; Berg, N.; Schwartz, M. A.

    2015-12-01

    Here we use a downscaling technique incorporating both dynamical and statistical methods to project end-of-century changes in spring snow water equivalent in California's Sierra Nevada. The technique produces outcomes for all Global Climate Models (GCMs) and the four greenhouse gas forcing scenarios adopted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). For all GCMs and forcing scenarios, significant snow loss occurs at elevations below 2500 meters, despite increasing precipitation in many GCMs. The loss is significantly enhanced by snow albedo feedback. The approximate intermodel range in percent of total snow remaining in the entire region is 60-85% for a likely "mitigation" scenario, and 35-55% for the "business-as-usual" scenario. Thus significant snowpack decrease by century's end is inevitable, even if the loss can be cushioned through greenhouse gas emissions reductions over the coming decades. The snowpack loss also leads to significant changes in runoff timing, which are also inevitable.

  5. Osmium isotopic evidence for mesozoic removal of lithospheric mantle beneath the sierra nevada, california

    PubMed

    Lee; Yin; Rudnick; Chesley; Jacobsen

    2000-09-15

    Thermobarometric and Os isotopic data for peridotite xenoliths from late Miocene and younger lavas in the Sierra Nevada reveal that the lithospheric mantle is vertically stratified: the shallowest portions (<45 to 60 kilometers) are cold (670 degrees to 740 degrees C) and show evidence for heating and yield Proterozoic Os model ages, whereas the deeper portions (45 to 100 kilometers) yield Phanerozoic Os model ages and show evidence for extensive cooling from temperatures >1100 degrees C to 750 degrees C. Because a variety of isotopic evidence suggests that the Sierran batholith formed on preexisting Proterozoic lithosphere, most of the original lithospheric mantle appears to have been removed before the late Miocene, leaving only a sliver of ancient mantle beneath the crust. PMID:10988067

  6. Chemical composition of snow in the northern Sierra Nevada and other areas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Feth, John Henry Frederick; Rogers, S.M.; Roberson, Charles Elmer

    1964-01-01

    Melting snow provides a large part of the water used throughout the western conterminous United States for agriculture, industry, and domestic supply. It is an active agent in chemical weathering, supplies moisture for forest growth, and sustains fish and wildlife. Despite its importance, virtually nothing has been known of the chemical character of snow in the western mountains until the present study. Analysis of more than 100 samples, most from the northern Sierra Nevada, but some from Utah, Denver, Colo., and scattered points, shows that melted snow is a dilute solution containing measurable amounts of some or all of the inorganic constituents commonly found in natural water. There are significant regional differences in chemical composition; the progressive increase in calcium content with increasing distance eastward from the west slope of the Sierra Nevada is the most pronounced. The chemical character of individual snowfalls is variable. Some show predominant influence of oceanic salt; others show strong effects of mineralization from continental sources, probably largely dust. Silica and boron were found in about half the samples analyzed for these constituents; precipitation is seldom analyzed for these substances. Results of the chemical analyses for major constituents in snow samples are summarized in the following table. The median and mean values for individual constituents are derived from 41-78 samples of Sierra Nevada snow, 6-18 samples of Utah snow, and 6-17 samples of Denver, Colo., snow. [Table] The sodium, chloride, and perhaps boron found in snow are probably incorporated in moisture-laden air masses as they move over the Pacific Ocean. Silica, although abundant in the silicate-mineral nuclei found in some snowflakes, may be derived in soluble form largely from dust. Calcium, magnesium, and some bicarbonate are probably added by dust of continental origin. The sources of the other constituents remain unknown. When snowmelt comes in contact

  7. Gravity model and structural implications of the Goddard Pendant, Sierra Nevada, California.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    du Bray, E.A.; Oliver, H.W.

    1981-01-01

    A subsurface model for the Goddard pendant is constructed from a residual gravity high of about 7mGal over the pendant. The model, which is the simplest and most geologically reasonable possibility, shows a metamorphic block that tapers with depth and extends about 3.5km below the surface. The structures in the Goddard pendant are similar in style and orientation to those in other Sierra Nevada pendants, indicating that the country rock was neither deformed nor rotated during pluton emplacement. Consequently, emplacement must have been a passive rather than a forceful process. The pendant itself represents a piece of country rock trapped between plutons which are dome shaped in cross section. -Authors

  8. DC-8 Airborne Laboratory in flight over snow-capped Sierra Nevada mountain range

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    NASA's DC-8 Airborne Laboratory during a flight over the snow-covered Sierra Nevada Mountains. Over the past several years the DC-8 has conducted research missions in such diverse places as the Pacific in spring and Sweden in winter. NASA is using a DC-8 aircraft as a flying science laboratory. The platform aircraft, based at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, Calif., collects data for many experiments in support of scientific projects serving the world scientific community. Included in this community are NASA, federal, state, academic and foreign investigators. Data gathered by the DC-8 at flight altitude and by remote sensing have been used for scientific studies in archeology, ecology, geography, hydrology, meteorology, oceanography, volcanology, atmospheric chemistry, soil science and biology.

  9. Whole Genome Analysis of Sierra Nevada Virus, a Novel Mononegavirus in the Family Nyamiviridae

    PubMed Central

    Rogers, Matthew B.; Cui, Lijia; Fitch, Adam; Popov, Vsevolod; Travassos da Rosa, Amelia P. A.; Vasilakis, Nikos; Tesh, Robert B.; Ghedin, Elodie

    2014-01-01

    A novel mononegavirus was isolated in 1975 from ticks (Ornithodoros coriaceus) collected during investigation of an outbreak of epizootic bovine abortion (EBA) in northern California. It was originally designated “bovine abortion-tick virus” (BA-T virus). The EBA is now known to be associated with a deltaproteobacterium infection, and not a virus. The BA-T virus had remained uncharacterized until now. We have determined by electron microscopy, serology, and genome sequencing that the BA-T virus is a fourth member of the newly proposed family Nyamiviridae, and we have renamed it Sierra Nevada virus (SNVV). Although antigenically distinct, phylogenetically SNVV is basal to Nyamanini virus (NYMV) and Midway virus (MIDWV), two other tick-borne agents. Although NYMV was found to infect land birds, and MIDWV seabirds, it is presently unknown whether SNVV naturally infects birds or mammals. PMID:24778199

  10. Sources of continental crust: neodymium isotope evidence from the sierra nevada and peninsular ranges.

    PubMed

    Depaolo, D J

    1980-08-01

    Granitic rocks from batholiths of the Sierra Nevada and Peninsular Ranges exhibit initial (143)Nd/(144)Nd ratios that vary over a large range and correlate with (87)Sr/(86)Sr ratios. The data suggest that the batholiths represent mixtures of materials derived from (i) chemically depleted mantle identical to the source of island arcs and (ii) old continental crust, probably sediments or metasediments with a provenance age of approximately 1.6 x 10(9) years. These conclusions are consistent with a model for continental growth whereby new crustal additions are repeatedly extracted from the same limited volume of the upper mantle, which has consequently become depleted in elements that are enriched in the crust. There is little evidence that hydrothermally altered, subducted oceanic crust is a primary source of the magmas. PMID:17821189

  11. Sources of continental crust: neodymium isotope evidence from the Sierra Nevada and Peninsular ranges

    SciTech Connect

    DePaolo, D.J.

    1980-08-08

    Granitic rocks from batholiths of the Sierra Nevada and Peninsular Ranges exhibit initial /sup 143/Nd//sup 144/Nd ratios that vary over a large range and correlate with /sup 87/Sr//sup 86/Sr ratios. The data suggest that the batholiths represent mixtures of materials derived from (i) chemically depleted mantle identical to the source of island arcs and (ii) old continental crust, probably sediments or metasediments with a provenance age of approx. 1.6 x 10/sup 9/ years. These conclusions are consistent with a model for continental growth whereby new crustal additions are repeatedly extracted from the same limited volume of the upper mantle, which has consequently become depleted in elements that are enriched in the crust. There is little evidence that hydrothermally altered, subducted oceanic crust is a primary source of the magmas.

  12. Lead and cadmium in wild boar (Sus scrofa) in the Sierra Nevada Natural Space (southern Spain).

    PubMed

    Mulero, Rocío; Cano-Manuel, Javier; Ráez-Bravo, Arián; Pérez, Jesús M; Espinosa, José; Soriguer, Ramón; Fandos, Paulino; Granados, José E; Romero, Diego

    2016-08-01

    The aims of the present study were to investigate Pb and Cd levels in tissues of wild boar (Sus scrofa) from the Sierra Nevada Natural Space (SNNS) (southern Spain). Heavy metal concentrations in livers, kidneys and bones from 111 animals were determined by inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES). Bones and kidneys were the most Pb- and Cd-contaminated tissues, respectively; Cd concentrations were 5.6 times higher in kidneys than in livers. This is the first biomonitoring study of these pollutants in wild boar tissues in the SNNS, and findings indicate that this population is chronically exposed to these heavy metals. The detected Pb and Cd concentrations were lower than those found in many studies performed in Europe on the same species. PMID:27178294

  13. Some additional observations on inclusions in the granitic rocks of the Sierra Nevada

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dodge, F.C.W.; Kistler, R.W.

    1990-01-01

    Microgranular quartz diorite and diorite inclusions are widespread in central Sierra Nevada granitoid rocks and are almost exclusively restricted to hornblende-bearing rocks, most commonly felsic tonalites and mafic granodiorites. The Nd-Sm and Rb-Sr systematics indicate that most inclusions were in isotopic equilibrium with enclosing materials at the time of formation. Silica contents of inclusions and granitoids are contiguous, but inclusions generally contain less than, and granitoids more than, 60% SiO2. Ferric oxide and H2O+ trends relative to SiO2 suggests many inclusions formed as concentrations of hydrous mafic minerals. Variation of other major element oxides and trace elements support this inference. Most inclusions represent fragmented crystal accumulations of early-formed, near-liquidus minerals generated from these previously mixed magmas. -from Authors

  14. Lead and cadmium in wild boar (Sus scrofa) in the Sierra Nevada Natural Space (southern Spain).

    PubMed

    Mulero, Rocío; Cano-Manuel, Javier; Ráez-Bravo, Arián; Pérez, Jesús M; Espinosa, José; Soriguer, Ramón; Fandos, Paulino; Granados, José E; Romero, Diego

    2016-08-01

    The aims of the present study were to investigate Pb and Cd levels in tissues of wild boar (Sus scrofa) from the Sierra Nevada Natural Space (SNNS) (southern Spain). Heavy metal concentrations in livers, kidneys and bones from 111 animals were determined by inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES). Bones and kidneys were the most Pb- and Cd-contaminated tissues, respectively; Cd concentrations were 5.6 times higher in kidneys than in livers. This is the first biomonitoring study of these pollutants in wild boar tissues in the SNNS, and findings indicate that this population is chronically exposed to these heavy metals. The detected Pb and Cd concentrations were lower than those found in many studies performed in Europe on the same species.

  15. Osmium isotopic evidence for mesozoic removal of lithospheric mantle beneath the sierra nevada, california

    PubMed

    Lee; Yin; Rudnick; Chesley; Jacobsen

    2000-09-15

    Thermobarometric and Os isotopic data for peridotite xenoliths from late Miocene and younger lavas in the Sierra Nevada reveal that the lithospheric mantle is vertically stratified: the shallowest portions (<45 to 60 kilometers) are cold (670 degrees to 740 degrees C) and show evidence for heating and yield Proterozoic Os model ages, whereas the deeper portions (45 to 100 kilometers) yield Phanerozoic Os model ages and show evidence for extensive cooling from temperatures >1100 degrees C to 750 degrees C. Because a variety of isotopic evidence suggests that the Sierran batholith formed on preexisting Proterozoic lithosphere, most of the original lithospheric mantle appears to have been removed before the late Miocene, leaving only a sliver of ancient mantle beneath the crust.

  16. Individual acoustic variation in Belding's ground squirrel alarm chirps in the High Sierra Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCowan, Brenda; Hooper, Stacie L.

    2002-03-01

    The acoustic structure of calls within call types can vary as function of individual identity, sex, and social group membership and is important in kin and social group recognition. Belding's ground squirrels (Spermophilus beldingi) produce alarm chirps that function in predator avoidance but little is known about the acoustic variability of these alarm chirps. The purpose of this preliminary study was to analyze the acoustic structure of alarm chirps with respect to individual differences (e.g., signature information) from eight Belding's ground squirrels from four different lakes in the High Sierra Nevada. Results demonstrate that alarm chirps are individually distinctive, and that acoustic similarity among individuals may correspond to genetic similarity and thus dispersal patterns in this species. These data suggest, on a preliminary basis, that the acoustic structure of calls might be used as a bioacoustic tool for tracking individuals, dispersal, and other population dynamics in Belding's ground squirrels, and perhaps other vocal species.

  17. Reconstruction of 20th Century Atmospheric Deposition Rates in the Sierra Nevada (California) using Spheroidal Carbonaceous Particles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heard, A.; Sickman, J. O.; Rose, N.

    2012-12-01

    Atmospheric nitrogen deposition is altering biogeochemical cycles and ecological processes in high-elevation aquatic ecosystems. A need for stricter standards based on measurable ecological effects has been identified as an important step towards their long-term protection. One of the challenges with identifying ecological thresholds is a lack of knowledge of background conditions (pre- industrial) and changes that may have occurred prior to extensive monitoring programs. However, this information can be obtained using paleolimnological approaches. We are investigating historic atmospheric deposition in the Sierra Nevada using spheroidal carbonaceous particles (SCPs) in lake sediments. SCPs are strong geochemical indicators of anthropogenic atmospheric deposition because they are only produced by industrial combustion of fossil fuels---there are no natural sources. We detected SCPs as early as 1870 at Moat Lake in the eastern Sierra Nevada. SCP concentrations increased over time, peaking in the mid-1980's (2,399 gDM-1) while SCP accumulation rates peaked in the early 1920's (105 no, cm-2 yr-1) (Figure 1). Lakes along the western slope of the Sierra (Pear and Emerald) show similar patterns although differences vary by site and are likely explained by watershed characteristics and proximity to emission sources. SCP concentrations at Pear and Emerald lakes peak 10-15 years earlier than Moat. A consistent decrease was observed at Pear and Moat following the peak concentrations until present. Present day concentrations are 556 gDM-1 at Moat and 473 gDM-1 at Pear. At Emerald lake SCPs also initially decreased starting in 1964, but an increasing trend is observed from 1995 through present. These data improve our understanding of historic atmospheric deposition patterns and are being used to inform additional palaeolimnological research, including diatom analyses, with the broader objective of reconstructing historic nitrogen deposition and estimating critical loads for

  18. A quantitative evaluation of the conservation umbrella of spotted owl management areas in the Sierra Nevada.

    PubMed

    Burnett, Ryan D; Roberts, L Jay

    2015-01-01

    Whether by design or default, single species management often serves as an umbrella for species with similar habitat requirements. In recent decades the focus of National Forest management in the Sierra Nevada of California has shifted towards increasing closed canopy mature forest conditions through the protection of areas occupied by the California Spotted Owl (Strix occidentalis occidentalis). To evaluate the implications of these habitat changes and the potential umbrella resulting from a system of owl reserves on the broader avian community, we estimated occupancy of birds inside and outside of Spotted Owl Home Range Core Areas in northeastern California. We used point count data in a multi-species hierarchical Bayesian model incorporating the detection history of 81 species over a two-year time period (2005-2006). A small set of vegetation cover and topography covariates were included in the model to account for broad differences in habitat conditions, as well as a term identifying whether or not a site was within a Core Area. Seventeen species had a negative Core Area effect, seven had a positive effect, and the rest were not significant. Estimated species richness was significantly different with 23.1 species per 100 m radius circle outside Core Areas and 21.7 inside Core Areas. The majority of the species negatively associated with Core Areas are tied to early successional and other disturbance-dependent habitats. Conservation and climate vulnerability rankings were mixed. On average we found higher scores (greater risk) for the species positively associated with Core Areas, but a larger number of species with the highest scores were negatively associated with Core Areas. We discuss the implications for managing the Sierra Nevada ecosystem and illustrate the role of monitoring broader suites of species in guiding management of large complex ecosystems.

  19. Atmospheric transport of organophosphate pesticides from California's Central Valley to the Sierra Nevada Mountains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zabik, John M.; Seiber, James N.

    1993-01-01

    Atmospheric transport of organophosphate pesticides from California's Central Valley to the Sierra Nevada mountains was assessed by collecting air- and wet-deposition samples during December, January, February, and March, 1990 to 1991. Large-scale spraying of these pesticides occurs during December and January to control insect infestations in valley orchards. Sampling sites were placed at 114- (base of the foothills), 533-, and 1920-m elevations. Samples acquired at these sites contained chlorpyrifos [phosphorothioic acid; 0,0-diethyl 0-(3,5,6-trichloro-2-pyridinyl) ester], parathion [phosphorothioic acid, 0-0-diethylo-(4-nitrophenyl) ester], diazinon {phosphorothioic acid, 0,0-diethyl 0-[6-methyl-2-(1-methylethyl)-4-pyrimidinyl] ester} diazinonoxon {phosphoric acid, 0,0-diethyl 0-[6-methyl-2-(1-methylethyl)-4-pyrimidinyl] ester}, and paraoxon [phosphoric acid, 0,0-diethyl 0-(4-nitrophenyl) ester] in both air and wet deposition samples. Air concentrations of chloropyrifos, diazinon and parathion ranged from 13 to 13 000 pg/m3 at the base of the foothills. At 533-m air concentrations were below the limit of quantification (1.4 pg/m3) to 83 pg/m3 and at 1920 m concentrations were below the limit of quantification. Concentrations in wet deposition varied with distance and elevation from the Central Valley. Rainwater concentrations at the base of the foot hills ranged from 16 to 7600 pg/mL. At 533-m rain and snow water concentrations ranged from below the limit of quantification (1.3 pg/mL) to 140 pg/mL and at 1920 m concentrations ranged from below the limit of quantification to 48 pg/mL. These findings indicate that atmospheric transport of pesticides applied in the valley to the Sierra Nevada mountains is occurring, but the levels decrease as distance and elevation increase from the valley floor.

  20. A quantitative evaluation of the conservation umbrella of spotted owl management areas in the Sierra Nevada.

    PubMed

    Burnett, Ryan D; Roberts, L Jay

    2015-01-01

    Whether by design or default, single species management often serves as an umbrella for species with similar habitat requirements. In recent decades the focus of National Forest management in the Sierra Nevada of California has shifted towards increasing closed canopy mature forest conditions through the protection of areas occupied by the California Spotted Owl (Strix occidentalis occidentalis). To evaluate the implications of these habitat changes and the potential umbrella resulting from a system of owl reserves on the broader avian community, we estimated occupancy of birds inside and outside of Spotted Owl Home Range Core Areas in northeastern California. We used point count data in a multi-species hierarchical Bayesian model incorporating the detection history of 81 species over a two-year time period (2005-2006). A small set of vegetation cover and topography covariates were included in the model to account for broad differences in habitat conditions, as well as a term identifying whether or not a site was within a Core Area. Seventeen species had a negative Core Area effect, seven had a positive effect, and the rest were not significant. Estimated species richness was significantly different with 23.1 species per 100 m radius circle outside Core Areas and 21.7 inside Core Areas. The majority of the species negatively associated with Core Areas are tied to early successional and other disturbance-dependent habitats. Conservation and climate vulnerability rankings were mixed. On average we found higher scores (greater risk) for the species positively associated with Core Areas, but a larger number of species with the highest scores were negatively associated with Core Areas. We discuss the implications for managing the Sierra Nevada ecosystem and illustrate the role of monitoring broader suites of species in guiding management of large complex ecosystems. PMID:25905920

  1. The mineral resources of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Columbia (Zone I)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tschanz, Charles McFarland; Jimeno V., Andres; Cruz, Jaime B.

    1970-01-01

    The Sierra Nevada de Santa Maria on the north coast of Colombia is an isolated triangular mountain area that reaches altitudes of almost 19,000 feet. The exceedingly complex geology is shown on the 1:200,000 geologic map. Despite five major periods of granitic intrusion, three major periods of metamorphism, and extensive volcanic eruptions, metallic deposits are small and widely scattered. Sulfide deposits of significant economic value appear to be absent. Many small copper deposits, of chalcocite, cuprite, malachite, and azurite are found in epidotized rock in Mesozoic redbeds and intercalated volcanic rocks, but their economic potential is very small. Deposits of other common base metals appear to be absent. The most important metallic deposits may prove to be unusual bimineralic apatite-ilmenite deposits associated with gneissic anorthosite. The known magnetite deposits are too small to be exploited commercially. Primary gold deposits have not been identified and the placer deposits are uneconomic and very small. The largest and most important deposits are nonmetallic. Enormous reserves of limestone are suitable for cement manufacture and some high-purity limestone is suitable for the most exacting chemical uses. Small deposits of talc-tremolite could be exploited locally for ceramic use. The important noncoking bituminous coal deposits in the Cerrej6n area are excluded from this study. Other nonmetallic resources include igneous dimension stone in a variety of colors and textures, and agricultural dolomite. There probably are important undeveloped ground water resources on the slopes of the wide Rancheria and Cesar valleys, which separate the Sierra Nevada from the Serrania de Persia.

  2. Partitioning of water flux in a Sierra Nevada ponderosa pine plantation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kurpius, M.R.; Panek, J.A.; Nikolov, N.T.; McKay, M.; Goldstein, Allen H.

    2003-01-01

    The weather patterns of the west side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains (cold, wet winters and hot, dry summers) strongly influence how water is partitioned between transpiration and evaporation and result in a specific strategy of water use by ponderosa pine trees (Pinus ponderosa) in this region. To investigate how year-round water fluxes were partitioned in a young ponderosa pine ecosystem in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, water fluxes were continually measured from June 2000 to May 2001 using a combination of sap flow and eddy covariance techniques (above- and below-canopy). Water fluxes were modeled at our study site using a biophysical model, FORFLUX. During summer and fall water fluxes were equally partitioned between transpiration and soil evaporation while transpiration dominated the water fluxes in winter and spring. The trees had high rates of canopy conductance and transpiration in the early morning and mid-late afternoon and a mid-day depression during the dry season. We used a diurnal centroid analysis to show that the timing of high canopy conductance and transpiration relative to high vapor pressure deficit (D) shifted with soil moisture: during periods of low soil moisture canopy conductance and transpiration peaked early in the day when D was low. Conversely, during periods of high soil moisture canopy conductance and transpiration peaked at the same time or later in the day than D. Our observations suggest a general strategy by the pine trees in which they maximize stomatal conductance, and therefore carbon fixation, throughout the day on warm sunny days with high soil moisture (i.e. warm periods in winter and late spring) and maximize stomatal conductance and carbon fixation in the morning through the dry periods. FORFLUX model estimates of evaporation and transpiration were close to measured/calculated values during the dry period, including the drought, but underestimated transpiration and overestimated evaporation during the wet period. ?? 2003

  3. Cattle Grazing and Conservation of a Meadow-Dependent Amphibian Species in the Sierra Nevada

    PubMed Central

    Roche, Leslie M.; Latimer, Andrew M.; Eastburn, Danny J.; Tate, Kenneth W.

    2012-01-01

    World-wide population declines have sharpened concern for amphibian conservation on working landscapes. Across the Sierra Nevada's national forest lands, where almost half of native amphibian species are considered at risk, permitted livestock grazing is a notably controversial agricultural activity. Cattle (Bos taurus) grazing is thought to degrade the quality, and thus reduce occupancy, of meadow breeding habitat for amphibian species of concern such as the endemic Yosemite toad (Anaxyrus [ = Bufo] canorus). However, there is currently little quantitative information correlating cattle grazing intensity, meadow breeding habitat quality, and toad use of meadow habitat. We surveyed biotic and abiotic factors influencing cattle utilization and toad occupancy across 24 Sierra Nevada meadows to establish these correlations and inform conservation planning efforts. We utilized both traditional regression models and Bayesian structural equation modeling to investigate potential drivers of meadow habitat use by cattle and Yosemite toads. Cattle use was negatively related to meadow wetness, while toad occupancy was positively related. In mid and late season (mid July–mid September) grazing periods, cattle selected for higher forage quality diets associated with vegetation in relatively drier meadows, whereas toads were more prevalent in wetter meadows. Because cattle and toads largely occupied divergent zones along the moisture gradient, the potential for indirect or direct negative effects is likely minimized via a partitioning of the meadow habitat. During the early season, when habitat use overlap was highest, overall low grazing levels resulted in no detectable impacts on toad occupancy. Bayesian structural equation analyses supported the hypothesis that meadow hydrology influenced toad meadow occupancy, while cattle grazing intensity did not. These findings suggest cattle production and amphibian conservation can be compatible goals within this working

  4. A Quantitative Evaluation of the Conservation Umbrella of Spotted Owl Management Areas in the Sierra Nevada

    PubMed Central

    Burnett, Ryan D.; Roberts, L. Jay

    2015-01-01

    Whether by design or default, single species management often serves as an umbrella for species with similar habitat requirements. In recent decades the focus of National Forest management in the Sierra Nevada of California has shifted towards increasing closed canopy mature forest conditions through the protection of areas occupied by the California Spotted Owl (Strix occidentalis occidentalis). To evaluate the implications of these habitat changes and the potential umbrella resulting from a system of owl reserves on the broader avian community, we estimated occupancy of birds inside and outside of Spotted Owl Home Range Core Areas in northeastern California. We used point count data in a multi-species hierarchical Bayesian model incorporating the detection history of 81 species over a two-year time period (2005-2006). A small set of vegetation cover and topography covariates were included in the model to account for broad differences in habitat conditions, as well as a term identifying whether or not a site was within a Core Area. Seventeen species had a negative Core Area effect, seven had a positive effect, and the rest were not significant. Estimated species richness was significantly different with 23.1 species per 100 m radius circle outside Core Areas and 21.7 inside Core Areas. The majority of the species negatively associated with Core Areas are tied to early successional and other disturbance-dependent habitats. Conservation and climate vulnerability rankings were mixed. On average we found higher scores (greater risk) for the species positively associated with Core Areas, but a larger number of species with the highest scores were negatively associated with Core Areas. We discuss the implications for managing the Sierra Nevada ecosystem and illustrate the role of monitoring broader suites of species in guiding management of large complex ecosystems. PMID:25905920

  5. Cattle grazing and conservation of a meadow-dependent amphibian species in the Sierra Nevada.

    PubMed

    Roche, Leslie M; Latimer, Andrew M; Eastburn, Danny J; Tate, Kenneth W

    2012-01-01

    World-wide population declines have sharpened concern for amphibian conservation on working landscapes. Across the Sierra Nevada's national forest lands, where almost half of native amphibian species are considered at risk, permitted livestock grazing is a notably controversial agricultural activity. Cattle (Bos taurus) grazing is thought to degrade the quality, and thus reduce occupancy, of meadow breeding habitat for amphibian species of concern such as the endemic Yosemite toad (Anaxyrus [ = Bufo] canorus). However, there is currently little quantitative information correlating cattle grazing intensity, meadow breeding habitat quality, and toad use of meadow habitat. We surveyed biotic and abiotic factors influencing cattle utilization and toad occupancy across 24 Sierra Nevada meadows to establish these correlations and inform conservation planning efforts. We utilized both traditional regression models and Bayesian structural equation modeling to investigate potential drivers of meadow habitat use by cattle and Yosemite toads. Cattle use was negatively related to meadow wetness, while toad occupancy was positively related. In mid and late season (mid July-mid September) grazing periods, cattle selected for higher forage quality diets associated with vegetation in relatively drier meadows, whereas toads were more prevalent in wetter meadows. Because cattle and toads largely occupied divergent zones along the moisture gradient, the potential for indirect or direct negative effects is likely minimized via a partitioning of the meadow habitat. During the early season, when habitat use overlap was highest, overall low grazing levels resulted in no detectable impacts on toad occupancy. Bayesian structural equation analyses supported the hypothesis that meadow hydrology influenced toad meadow occupancy, while cattle grazing intensity did not. These findings suggest cattle production and amphibian conservation can be compatible goals within this working landscape

  6. Evolution of the northern Sierra Nevada metamorphic belt: Petrological, structural, and Ar/Ar constraints

    SciTech Connect

    Hacker, B.R.

    1993-05-01

    The Sierra Nevada metamorphic belt constitutes an important record of the growth of continental crust from essentially oceanic materials. In the northern Sierra, the central part of the belt is made up of volcanoplutonic arcs and sediment-dominated units inferred to be accretionary wedges or closed ocean basins. The latter are broken formation and melange composed of radiolarian chert, lava, and volcanogenic and continental turbidites. Sedimentary detritus in the largest of these units can be plausibly linked to sources farther east in the Sierra, suggesting that deposition occurred near the eastern Sierran arc. Isoclinal folds, steeply dipping foliations, and steeply plunging down-dip lineations are characteristics structures. The westernmost unit is only feebly recrystallized, and deformation was accomplished principally by stress solution and local redeposition in veins. More easterly, inboard units are compositionally similar, but they recrystallized at pumpellyite-actinolite-and blueschist-facies conditions and deformed via solution-transfer and dislocation creep. Phengite silica contents, the degree of quartz veining, and the locations of pseudo-isograds support an eastward increase in metamorphic pressure and temperature. Metamorphic conditions during the growth of pumpellyite and actinolite ranged from {approximately}150-350 {degrees}C and 200-400 MPa, compatible with recrystallization and deformation in subduction zones or the deeper levels of magmatic arcs. Ar/Ar ages of volcanisclastic rocks and crosscutting plutons constrain the age of deformation and metamorphism in the western part of the region to 174-165 Ma. Deformation and recrystallization in more easterly units may have been coeval or begun as early as Triassic time. 58 refs., 14 figs., 4 tabs.

  7. Measured Black Carbon Deposition on the Sierra Nevada Snow Pack and Implication for Snow Pack Retreat

    SciTech Connect

    Hadley, O.L.; Corrigan, C.E.; Kirchstetter, T.W.; Cliff, S.S.; Ramanathan, V.

    2010-01-12

    Modeling studies show that the darkening of snow and ice by black carbon deposition is a major factor for the rapid disappearance of arctic sea ice, mountain glaciers and snow packs. This study provides one of the first direct measurements for the efficient removal of black carbon from the atmosphere by snow and its subsequent deposition to the snow packs of California. The early melting of the snow packs in the Sierras is one of the contributing factors to the severe water problems in California. BC concentrations in falling snow were measured at two mountain locations and in rain at a coastal site. All three stations reveal large BC concentrations in precipitation, ranging from 1.7 ng/g to 12.9 ng/g. The BC concentrations in the air after the snow fall were negligible suggesting an extremely efficient removal of BC by snow. The data suggest that below cloud scavenging, rather than ice nuclei, was the dominant source of BC in the snow. A five-year comparison of BC, dust, and total fine aerosol mass concentrations at multiple sites reveals that the measurements made at the sampling sites were representative of large scale deposition in the Sierra Nevada. The relative concentration of iron and calcium in the mountain aerosol indicates that one-quarter to one-third of the BC may have been transported from Asia.

  8. Modeling Multi-Reservoir Hydropower Systems in the Sierra Nevada with Environmental Requirements and Climate Warming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rheinheimer, David Emmanuel

    Hydropower systems and other river regulation often harm instream ecosystems, partly by altering the natural flow and temperature regimes that ecosystems have historically depended on. These effects are compounded at regional scales. As hydropower and ecosystems are increasingly valued globally due to growing values for clean energy and native species as well as and new threats from climate warming, it is important to understand how climate warming might affect these systems, to identify tradeoffs between different water uses for different climate conditions, and to identify promising water management solutions. This research uses traditional simulation and optimization to explore these issues in California's upper west slope Sierra Nevada mountains. The Sierra Nevada provides most of the water for California's vast water supply system, supporting high-elevation hydropower generation, ecosystems, recreation, and some local municipal and agricultural water supply along the way. However, regional climate warming is expected to reduce snowmelt and shift runoff to earlier in the year, affecting all water uses. This dissertation begins by reviewing important literature related to the broader motivations of this study, including river regulation, freshwater conservation, and climate change. It then describes three substantial studies. First, a weekly time step water resources management model spanning the Feather River watershed in the north to the Kern River watershed in the south is developed. The model, which uses the Water Evaluation And Planning System (WEAP), includes reservoirs, run-of-river hydropower, variable head hydropower, water supply demand, and instream flow requirements. The model is applied with a runoff dataset that considers regional air temperature increases of 0, 2, 4 and 6 °C to represent historical, near-term, mid-term and far-term (end-of-century) warming. Most major hydropower turbine flows are simulated well. Reservoir storage is also

  9. Effects of Climate and Fuels Management on Wildfire Occurrence, Size, Severity and Emissions in the Sierra Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Westerling, A. L.; Fites, J. A.; Keyser, A.

    2015-12-01

    Annual wildfire burned area in federally managed Sierra Nevada forests has increased by more than 10,000 ha per decade since the early 1970s. At the same time, recent years have seen some extremely large fires compared to the historical record, with significant areas of moderate to high severity fire (e.g., McNally 2002, Rim 2013, King 2014 fires). Changes to fuels and fire regimes due to fire suppression and land use, as well as warming temperatures and the occurrence of drought, are thought to be significant factors contributing to increased risks of large, severe fires in Sierra Nevada forests. Over 70% of the vegetated area in federally managed forests in the Sierra Nevada is classified as having altered fuels and fire regimes, while average annual temperature in the Sierra Nevada has been above the long term mean for all but four years in the past two decades. As climate is expected to continue warming for decades to come, we explored fuels management scenarios as the primary tools available to modify risks of large, severe wildfires. We developed experimental statistical models of fire occurrence, fire size, and high severity burned area, to explore the interaction between climate and altered fuels conditions. These models were applied to historical climate conditions, a sample of future climate projections, and to both current fuels conditions and a range of scenarios for fuels treatments. Emissions from wildfires were estimated using the Fire Inventory from the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Our models project that average annual burned area in the Sierra Nevada will more than double by mid-century. Similarly, particulate and other pollution emissions from Sierra Nevada wildfires are projected to more than double, even if future fire severity does not change. Fuels treatment scenarios significantly reduced simulated future burned area and emissions below untreated projections. High severity burned area responded to both climate and fuels

  10. Potential effects of climate change on streamflow, eastern and western slopes of the Sierra Nevada, California and Nevada

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jeton, A.E.; Dettinger, M.D.; Smith, Jody L.

    1996-01-01

    Precipitation-runoff models of the East Fork Carson and North Fork American Rivers were developed and calibrated for use in evaluating the sensitivity of streamflow in the north-central Sierra Nevada to climate change. The East Fork Carson River drains part of the rain-shadowed, eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada and is generally higher than the North Fork American River, which drains the wetter, western slope. First, a geographic information system was developed to describe the spatial variability of basin characteristics and to help estimate model parameters. The result was a partitioning of each basin into noncontiguous, but hydrologically uniform, land units. Hydrologic descriptions of these units were developed and the Precipitation- Runoff Modeling System (PRMS) was used to simulate water and energy balances for each unit in response to daily weather conditions. The models were calibrated and verified using historical streamflows over 22-year (Carson River) and 42-year (American River) periods. Simulated annual streamflow errors average plus 10 percent of the observed flow for the East Fork Carson River basin and plus 15 percent for the North Fork American River basin. Interannual variability is well simulated overall, but, at daily scales, wet periods are simulated more accurately than drier periods. The simulated water budgets for the two basins are significantly different in seasonality of streamflow, sublimation, evapotranspiration, and snowmelt. The simulations indicate that differences in snowpack and snowmelt timing can play pervasive roles in determining the sensitivity of water resources to climate change, in terms of both resource availability and amount. The calibrated models were driven by more than 25 hypothetical climate-change scenarios, each 100 years long. The scenarios were synthesized and spatially disaggregated by methods designed to preserve realistic daily, monthly, annual, and spatial statistics. Simulated streamflow timing was not very

  11. Exposure of a late cretaceous layered mafic-felsic magma system in the central Sierra Nevada batholith, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Coleman, D.S.; Glazner, A.F.; Miller, J.S.; Bradford, K.J.; Frost, T.P.; Joye, J.L.; Bachl, C.A.

    1995-01-01

    New U-Pb zircon ages for the Lamarck Granodiorite, associated synplutonic gabbro and diorite plutons, and two large mafic intrusive complexes that underlie them in the Sierra Nevada batholith are 92??1 Ma. These ages establish the Late Cretaceous as a period of extensive mafic-felsic magmatism in the central part of the batholith, and confirm the significance of mafic magmatism in the evolution of the voluminous silicic plutions in the Sierran arc. The lack of significant zircon inheritance in any of the units analyzed supports isotopic evidence that the Lamarck and other Late Cretaceous Sierran plutons were derived predominantly from young crust. Recognition of an extensive mafic-felsic magma system in the Sierra Nevada batholith emphasizes the importance of basaltic liquids in the evolution of continental crust in arc settings. ?? 1995 Springer-Verlag.

  12. High-Resolution Climate Change Projections Capture the Elevation Dependence of Warming and Snow Cover Loss in California's Sierra Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walton, D.; Hall, A. D.; Berg, N.; Schwartz, M. A.; Sun, F.

    2015-12-01

    High-resolution projections of warming and snow cover change are made for California's Sierra Nevada mountain range for the period 2081-2100 using hybrid dynamical-statistical downscaling. First, future climate change projections from five global climate models (GCMs) are downscaled dynamically. The warming signal exhibits a strong elevation dependence that is not captured by common statistical downscaling methods. Variations in the warming are attributed to snow albedo feedback and the blocking effect of the Sierra Nevada, which creates a sharp warming gradient between marine and continental air masses. These two physical processes are incorporated into a simple statistical model that mimics the dynamical model's warming patterns given GCM input. This statistical model is used to produce warming and snow cover loss projections for an ensemble of 35 GCMs. Capturing the elevation dependence is important for many applications of climate change, including surface hydrology, water resources, and ecosystems.

  13. Implementing a Web-Based Decision Support System to Spatially and Statistically Analyze Ecological Conditions of the Sierra Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nguyen, A.; Mueller, C.; Brooks, A. N.; Kislik, E. A.; Baney, O. N.; Ramirez, C.; Schmidt, C.; Torres-Perez, J. L.

    2014-12-01

    The Sierra Nevada is experiencing changes in hydrologic regimes, such as decreases in snowmelt and peak runoff, which affect forest health and the availability of water resources. Currently, the USDA Forest Service Region 5 is undergoing Forest Plan revisions to include climate change impacts into mitigation and adaptation strategies. However, there are few processes in place to conduct quantitative assessments of forest conditions in relation to mountain hydrology, while easily and effectively delivering that information to forest managers. To assist the USDA Forest Service, this study is the final phase of a three-term project to create a Decision Support System (DSS) to allow ease of access to historical and forecasted hydrologic, climatic, and terrestrial conditions for the entire Sierra Nevada. This data is featured within three components of the DSS: the Mapping Viewer, Statistical Analysis Portal, and Geospatial Data Gateway. Utilizing ArcGIS Online, the Sierra DSS Mapping Viewer enables users to visually analyze and locate areas of interest. Once the areas of interest are targeted, the Statistical Analysis Portal provides subbasin level statistics for each variable over time by utilizing a recently developed web-based data analysis and visualization tool called Plotly. This tool allows users to generate graphs and conduct statistical analyses for the Sierra Nevada without the need to download the dataset of interest. For more comprehensive analysis, users are also able to download datasets via the Geospatial Data Gateway. The third phase of this project focused on Python-based data processing, the adaptation of the multiple capabilities of ArcGIS Online and Plotly, and the integration of the three Sierra DSS components within a website designed specifically for the USDA Forest Service.

  14. Evaluating the Spatial Distribution of Toxic Air Contaminants in Multiple Ecosystem Indicators in the Sierra Nevada-Southern Cascades

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nanus, L.; Simonich, S. L.; Rocchio, J.; Flanagan, C.

    2013-12-01

    Toxic air contaminants originating from agricultural areas of the Central Valley in California threaten vulnerable sensitive receptors including surface water, vegetation, snow, sediments, fish, and amphibians in the Sierra Nevada-Southern Cascades region. The spatial distribution of toxic air contaminants in different ecosystem indicators depends on variation in atmospheric concentrations and deposition, and variation in air toxics accumulation in ecosystems. The spatial distribution of organic air toxics and mercury at over 330 unique sampling locations and sample types over two decades (1990-2009) in the Sierra Nevada-Southern Cascades region were compiled and maps were developed to further understand spatial patterns and linkages between air toxics deposition and ecological effects. Potential ecosystem impacts in the Sierra Nevada-Southern Cascades region include bioaccumulation of air toxics in both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, reproductive disruption, and immune suppression. The most sensitive ecological end points in the region that are affected by bioaccumulation of toxic air contaminants are fish. Mercury was detected in all fish and approximately 6% exceeded human consumption thresholds. Organic air toxics were also detected in fish yielding variable spatial patterns. For amphibians, which are sensitive to pesticide exposure and potential immune suppression, increasing trends in current and historic use pesticides are observed from north to south across the region. In other indicators, such as vegetation, pesticide concentrations in lichen increase with increasing elevation. Current and historic use pesticides and mercury were also observed in snowpack at high elevations in the study area. This study shows spatial patterns in toxic air contaminants, evaluates associated risks to sensitive receptors, and identifies data gaps. Future research on atmospheric modeling and information on sources is needed in order to predict which ecosystems are the

  15. Reducing the impact of summer cattle grazing on water quality in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California: a proposal.

    PubMed

    Derlet, Robert W; Goldman, Charles R; Connor, Michael J

    2010-06-01

    The Sierra Nevada Mountain range serves as an important source of drinking water for the State of California. However, summer cattle grazing on federal lands affects the overall water quality yield from this essential watershed as cattle manure is washed into the lakes and streams or directly deposited into these bodies of water. This organic pollution introduces harmful microorganisms and also provides nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus which increase algae growth causing eutrophication of otherwise naturally oligotrophic mountain lakes and streams. Disinfection and filtration of this water by municipal water districts after it flows downstream will become increasingly costly. This will be compounded by increasing surface water temperatures and the potential for toxins release by cyanobacteria blooms. With increasing demands for clean water for a state population approaching 40 million, steps need to be implemented to mitigate the impact of cattle on the Sierra Nevada watershed. Compared to lower elevations, high elevation grazing has the greatest impact on the watershed because of fragile unforgiving ecosystems. The societal costs from non-point pollution exceed the benefit achieved through grazing of relatively few cattle at the higher elevations. We propose limiting summer cattle grazing on public lands to lower elevations, with a final goal of allowing summer grazing on public lands only below 1,500 m elevation in the Central and Northern Sierra and 2,000 m elevation in the Southern Sierra.

  16. Polychlorinated biphenyls and toxaphene in Pacific tree frog tadpoles (Hyla regilla) from the California Sierra Nevada, USA.

    PubMed

    Angermann, Jeffrey E; Fellers, Gary M; Matsumura, Fumio

    2002-10-01

    Pacific tree frog (Hyla regilla) tadpoles were collected throughout the Sierra Nevada mountain range, California, USA, in 1996 and 1997 and analyzed for the presence of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and toxaphene. Whole-tadpole sigma PCB levels ranged from 244 ng/g (wet wt) at lower elevations on the western slope to 1.6 ng/g high on the eastern slope, whereas sigma toxaphene levels ranged from 15.6 to 1.5 ng/g. Linear regression of PCB and toxaphene residue levels versus elevation indicated a significant relationship, with an r2 value of 0.33 for PCB and 0.45 for toxaphene indicating a significant elevation effect on PCB and toxaphene bioaccumulation in Sierra Nevada H. regilla. Tadpole samples from sites in east-facing versus west-facing drainage basins showed significant differences in PCB and toxaphene residue levels, suggesting the possibility of a rain-shadow effect in the long-range atmospheric transport of these contaminants to the Sierra Nevada Mountains. PMID:12371500

  17. Lineage divergence and speciation in the Web-toed Salamanders (Plethodontidae: Hydromantes) of the Sierra Nevada, California.

    PubMed

    Rovito, Sean M

    2010-10-01

    Peripatric speciation and the importance of founder effects have long been controversial, and multilocus sequence data and coalescent methods now allow hypotheses of peripatric speciation to be tested in a rigorous manner. Using a multilocus phylogeographical data set for two species of salamanders (genus Hydromantes) from the Sierra Nevada of California, hypotheses of recent divergence by peripatric speciation and older, allopatric divergence were tested. Phylogeographical analysis revealed two divergent lineages within Hydromantes platycephalus, which were estimated to have diverged in the Pliocene. By contrast, a low-elevation species, Hydromantes brunus, diverged from within the northern lineage of H. platycephalus much more recently (mid-Pleistocene), during a time of major climatic change in the Sierra Nevada. Multilocus species tree estimation and coalescent estimates of divergence time, migration rate, and growth rate reject a scenario of ancient speciation of H. brunus with subsequent gene flow and introgression from H. platycephalus, instead supporting a more recent divergence with population expansion. Although the small, peripheral distribution of H. brunus suggests the possibility of peripatric speciation, the estimated founding population size of the species was too large to have allowed founder effects to be important in its divergence. These results provide evidence for both recent speciation, most likely tied to the climatic changes of the Pleistocene, and older lineage divergence, possibly due to geological events, and add to evidence that Pleistocene glacial cycles were an important driver of diversification in the Sierra Nevada.

  18. Inferring ecological relationships from occupancy patterns for California Black Rails in the Sierra Nevada foothills

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richmond, Orien Manu Wright

    The secretive California Black Rail (Laterallus jamaicensis coturniculus ) has a disjunct and poorly understood distribution. After a new population was discovered in Yuba County in 1994, we conducted call playback surveys from 1994--2006 in the Sierra foothills and Sacramento Valley region to determine the distribution and residency of Black Rails, estimate densities, and obtain estimates of site occupancy and detection probability. We found Black Rails at 164 small, widely scattered marshes distributed along the lower western slopes of the Sierra Nevada foothills, from just northeast of Chico (Butte County) to Rocklin (Placer County). Marshes were surrounded by a matrix of unsuitable habitat, creating a patchy or metapopulation structure. We observed Black Rails nesting and present evidence that they are year-round residents. Assuming perfect detectability we estimated a lower-bound mean Black Rail density of 1.78 rails ha-1, and assuming a detection probability of 0.5 we estimated a mean density of 3.55 rails ha-1. We test if the presence of the larger Virginia Rail (Laterallus limicola) affects probabilities of detection or occupancy of the smaller California Black Rail in small freshwater marshes that range in size from 0.013-13.99 ha. We hypothesized that Black Rail occupancy should be lower in small marshes when Virginia Rails are present than when they are absent, because resources are presumably more limited and interference competition should increase. We found that Black Rail detection probability was unaffected by the detection of Virginia Rails, while, surprisingly, Black and Virginia Rail occupancy were positively associated even in small marshes. The average probability of Black Rail occupancy was higher when Virginia Rails were present (0.74 +/- 0.053) than when they were absent (0.36 +/- 0.069), and for both species occupancy increased with marsh size. We assessed the impact of winter (November-May) cattle grazing on occupancy of California Black

  19. Annually resolved late Holocene paleohydrology of the southern Sierra Nevada and Tulare Lake, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adams, Kenneth D.; Negrini, Robert M.; Cook, Edward R.; Rajagopal, Seshadri

    2015-12-01

    Here we present 2000 year long, annually resolved records of streamflow for the Kings, Kaweah, Tule, and Kern Rivers in the southwestern Sierra Nevada of California and consequent lake-level fluctuations at Tulare Lake in the southern San Joaquin Valley. The integrated approach of using moisture-sensitive tree ring records from the Living Blended Drought Atlas to reconstruct annual discharge and then routing this discharge to an annual Tulare Lake water balance model highlights the differences between these two types of paleoclimate records, even when subject to the same forcing factors. The reconstructed streamflow in the southern Sierra responded to yearly changes in precipitation and expressed a strong periodicity in the 2-8 year range over most of the reconstruction. The storage capacity of Tulare Lake caused it to fluctuate more slowly, masking the 2-8 year streamflow periodicity and instead expressing a strong periodicity in the 32-64 year range over much of the record. Although there have been longer droughts, the 2015 water year represents the driest in the last 2015 years and the 2012-2015 drought represents the driest 4 year period in the record. Under natural conditions, simulated Tulare Lake levels would now be at about 60 m, which is not as low as what occurred multiple times over the last 2000 years. This long-term perspective of fluctuations in climate and water supply suggests that different drought scenarios that vary in terms of severity and duration can produce similar lake-level responses in closed lake basins.

  20. Exploration of long-term reanalysis of Sierra Nevada snowpack inferred from snow covered area information

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Girotto, M.; Margulis, S. A.; Durand, M.

    2012-04-01

    The spatial heterogeneity of the mountain snowpack and a continuously changing climate affects a variety of processes including surface water discharge. An apparent shift in ablation time and loss of snow water equivalent (SWE) in the Sierra Nevada range in California (CA), U.S.A. has been reported from several past studies based on downstream flow and/or point scale in-situ observations records. Understanding the geophysical controls and interannual variability of the spatial patterns of snow accumulation and ablation are critical for predicting the effects of climate variability on the snowpack water storage. Therefore, a continuous space-time characterization of snow distribution that uses spatially and temporally extensive remotely sensed information is necessary to improve our ability to predict and monitor this vital resource in complex mountainous terrain. Toward this end, this research generates spatial and temporal SWE estimates over a snow-dominated watershed located in the Southern Sierra Nevada, CA. We use a reanalysis data assimilation approach that is capable of merging remotely sensed Snow Covered Area (SCA) data into snow prediction models, while at the same time accounting for the limitations of each. SCA information derived from the long-term record of Landsat-5 Thematic Mapper measurements are used. The assimilation of SCA into the land surface model, coupled together with a snow depletion model, predicts continuous (in space and time) SWE at a high spatial resolution. The resulting SWE dataset from the reanalysis framework, and its relation to physiographic properties, is studied to explore specific information related to how snow accumulation and snow melt has evolved and been effected by climate variability and change. In particular, the analysis focuses on highlighting how patterns related to different physiographic components respond to observed climate signals (e.g. Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and the Oceanic El Niño Index (ONI)) and

  1. Timber harvest effect on soil moisture in the southern Sierra Nevada: Is there a measurable impact?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meadows, M. W.; Bales, R. C.; Conklin, M. H.; Goulden, M.; Hartsough, P. C.; Hopmans, J. W.; Hunsaker, C. T.; Lucas, R. G.; Malazian, A. I.

    2013-12-01

    We monitored soil-moisture storage, evapotranspiration and streamflow in a Sierra Nevada mixed-conifer forest for three post-snowmelt spring/summer seasons during water years 2010-2013. We measured volumetric water content using a COsmic-ray Soil Moisture Observing Systems (COSMOS) to estimate shallow soil-moisture storage and an eddy-covariance flux tower to measure evapotranspiration, covering an area of about 20 ha. Soil-moisture sensors were also strategically placed at depths of 10, 30, 60 and 90 cm at 30 locations in and around the COSMOS and tower footprints. Timber harvest occurred during the summer of 2012, involving uneven-age thinning limited to trees less than 76.2 cm diameter at breast height (DBH). Timber harvest intensity varied by tree size class: approximately 39% of the trees 0 to 25.5 cm DBH, 21% of the trees 25.5 to 50.8 cm DBH, and 4% of trees 50.8-76.2 cm DBH. Merchantable timber removed from the site was about 81-100 cubic m per ha. Annual evapotranspiration was similar for all four years, averaging about 80 cm each year, despite large variability in annual precipitation amounts. Annual evapotranspiration was about 10% lower following harvest. However, 2012 and 2013 were both dry years. Water year 2011 was one of the wettest years on record - approximately 200 cm of precipitation - while 2012 was one of the driest with 70 cm of precipitation. Each year soil desiccation immediately followed snow-cover depletion, dropping from field capacity by about 20% volumetric water content over a 3-month period. The rate of soil-water loss was about the same for all years. In 2012 and 2013 the dates of snow disappearance were 2-3 months earlier than in 2011. About half of the annual total evapotranspiration for 2010-2012 occurred during the 3-month period following snowmelt. Each year, total summer precipitation was only 4-6 cm. Thus soil-water storage derived from snowmelt and rainfall provides much of the moisture for evapotranspiration in the mixed

  2. Assessing modern climatic controls on southern Sierra Nevada precipitation and speleothem δ18O

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCabe-Glynn, S. E.; Johnson, K. R.; Berkelhammer, M. B.

    2012-12-01

    Precipitation in the southwestern United States (SW US) is highly seasonal and exhibits inter-annual to inter-decadal variability. A 1154-year δ18O time series obtained from a southwestern Sierra Nevada Mountain stalagmite from Crystal Cave, CRC-3, (36.58°N; 118.56°W; 1540 m) reveals substantial decadal to multi-decadal variability closely linked to the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), and more specifically, to sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in the Kuroshio Extension region, which impact the atmospheric trajectory and isotopic composition of moisture reaching the study site. The instrumental portion of the CRC-3 δ18O time series suggests that more negative precipitation δ18O values are delivered from higher latitudes during positive phases of the PDO and/or when SSTs in the Kuroshio Extension region are anomalously cool, such as during La Niña events. In order to improve our understanding of the controls on speleothem δ18O in this region, we have conducted a detailed modern study of the climate, hydrology, and stable isotopic composition of meteoric waters (precipitation and drip water) at the cave. Here we present Crystal Cave drip logger results from 2010 to 2012, the isotopic composition of North American Deposition Program precipitation samples collected from 2001 to 2012 from several locations near our site including Ash Mountain (ASM), Sequoia National Park-Giant Forest (Ca75), and Yosemite National Park (Ca99), and isotopic composition of cave drip water and glass plate calcite. We also compare the δ18O values in the precipitation to satellite imagery, NCAR/NCEP data, and NOAA Hysplit Model backward trajectories between the sites. Results indicate that this site is particularly sensitive to "Pineapple Express" type storms, a persistent flow of atmospheric moisture and heavy rainfall extending from near the Hawaiian Islands to the coast of North America, which average about twice as much precipitation as other storms in the Sierra Nevada during

  3. Igneous phenocrystic origin of K-feldspar megacrysts in granitic rocks from the Sierra Nevada batholith

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Moore, J.G.; Sisson, T.W.

    2008-01-01

    Study of four K-feldspar megacrystic granitic plutons and related dikes in the Sierra Nevada composite batholith indicates that the megacrysts are phenocrysts that grew in contact with granitic melt. Growth to megacrystic sizes was due to repeated replenishment of the magma bodies by fresh granitic melt that maintained temperatures above the solidus for extended time periods and that provided components necessary for K-feldspar growth. These intrusions cooled 89-83 Ma, are the youngest in the range, and represent the culminating magmatic phase of the Sierra Nevada batholith. They are the granodiorite of Topaz Lake, the Cathedral Peak Granodiorite, the Mono Creek Granite, the Whitney Granodiorite, the Johnson Granite Porphyry, and the Golden Bear Dike. Megacrysts in these igneous bodies attain 4-10 cm in length. All have sawtooth oscillatory zoning marked by varying concentration of BaO ranging generally from 3.5 to 0.5 wt%. Some of the more pronounced zones begin with resorption and channeling of the underlying zone. Layers of mineral inclusions, principally plagioclase, but also biotite, quartz, hornblende, titanite, and accessory minerals, are parallel to the BaO-delineated zones, are sorted by size along the boundaries, and have their long axes preferentially aligned parallel to the boundaries. These features indicate that the K-feldspar megacrysts grew while surrounded by melt, allowing the inclusion minerals to periodically attach themselves to the faces of the growing crystals. The temperature of growth of titanite included within the K-feldspar megacrysts is estimated by use of a Zr-in-titanite geothermometer. Megacryst-hosted titanite grains all yield temperatures typical of felsic magmas, mainly 735-760 ??C. Titanite grains in the granodiorite hosts marginal to the megacrysts range to lower growth temperatures, in some instances into the subsolidus. The limited range and igneous values of growth temperatures for megacryst-hosted titanite grains support the

  4. Fuel deposition rates of montane and subalpine conifers in the central Sierra Nevada, California, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    van Wagtendonk, J.W.; Moore, P.E.

    2010-01-01

    Fire managers and researchers need information on fuel deposition rates to estimate future changes in fuel bed characteristics, determine when forests transition to another fire behavior fuel model, estimate future changes in fuel bed characteristics, and parameterize and validate ecosystem process models. This information is lacking for many ecosystems including the Sierra Nevada in California, USA. We investigated fuel deposition rates and stand characteristics of seven montane and four subalpine conifers in the Sierra Nevada. We collected foliage, miscellaneous bark and crown fragments, cones, and woody fuel classes from four replicate plots each in four stem diameter size classes for each species, for a total of 176 sampling sites. We used these data to develop predictive equations for each fuel class and diameter size class of each species based on stem and crown characteristics. There were consistent species and diameter class differences in the annual amount of foliage and fragments deposited. Foliage deposition rates ranged from just over 50 g m-2 year-1 in small diameter mountain hemlock stands to ???300 g m-2 year-1 for the three largest diameter classes of giant sequoia. The deposition rate for most woody fuel classes increased from the smallest diameter class stands to the largest diameter class stands. Woody fuel deposition rates varied among species as well. The rates for the smallest woody fuels ranged from 0.8 g m-2 year-1 for small diameter stands of Jeffrey pine to 126.9 g m-2 year-1 for very large diameter stands of mountain hemlock. Crown height and live crown ratio were the best predictors of fuel deposition rates for most fuel classes and species. Both characteristics reflect the amount of crown biomass including foliage and woody fuels. Relationships established in this study allow predictions of fuel loads to be made on a stand basis for each of these species under current and possible future conditions. These predictions can be used to

  5. Impacts of the 2014 Drought on Vegetation Processes in the Sierra Nevada of California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loik, M. E.; Wade, C. E.; Reed, C. C.

    2014-12-01

    Sierra Nevada snowpack provides over 60 percent of California's freshwater supplies. The drought of 2014 has been unprecedented in the state's history, and followed below-average precipitation for the hydrologic years 2012 and 2013. Record-low precipitation has resulted in minimal Sierra Nevada snow pack and runoff, and massive reductions in reservoir storage, which has triggered widespread drought adaptation measures for one of the world's largest economies. We assessed the impacts of the 2014 drought on vegetation processes in the headwaters of the Owens River, which is one of the main watersheds for the city of Los Angeles. We monitored water relations, photosynthesis, growth and Leaf Area Index of tree, shrub, herb, and grass species. In order to better understand the effects of drought, we examined responses to watering manipulations, long-term snow fences, elevation gradient analysis, and comparisons to previous wetter years. 1 April 2014 snow pack depth was 330 mm (average for 1928 - 2012 = 1344 mm, CV = 49%). Despite widespread mortality of Pinus jeffreyi saplings (mean 1.5 m tall) at 2300 m, older trees as well as saplings of Pinus contorta showed new growth. There were no significant differences in water potential (Ψ) for the two conifer species in a wet year (2006, 1 April snow depth = 2240 mm) vs. 2014. Water potential for P. contorta in 2014 was higher at 2900 m than at 2300 m but photosynthetic CO2 assimilation (A) and stomatal conductance (gs), were not different. By contrast, Ψ, A, gs, Vcmax and Jmax for the widespread shrub Artemisia tridentata increased along a gradient from 2100 m to 2900 m in 2014. Watering only significantly increased these photosynthetic parameters at the lowest, driest elevation. At the middle elevation, Leaf Area Index in 2014 was about 20% of the 2006 value for the N-fixing shrub Purshia tridentata. Results show reductions in photosynthesis and growth for some species but not others in response to the severe drought

  6. Observations of the diurnal and seasonal trends in nitrogen oxides in the western Sierra Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murphy, J. G.; Day, D. A.; Cleary, P. A.; Wooldridge, P. J.; Cohen, R. C.

    2006-11-01

    Observations of speciated nitrogen oxides, namely NO2, total peroxy nitrates (ΣPNs), total alkyl nitrates (ΣANs), and HNO3 by thermal dissociation laser induced fluorescence (TD-LIF), and supporting chemical and meteorological measurements at Big Hill (1860 m), a high elevation site in California's Sierra Nevada Mountains, are described. From May through October, terrain-driven winds in the region routinely bring air from Sacramento, 100 km southwest of the site, upslope over oak and pine forests to Big Hill during the day, while at night, the site often samples clean, dry air characteristic of the free troposphere. Winter differs mainly in that the meteorology does not favour the buildup of Sacramento's pollution over the Sierra Nevada range, and the urban-influenced air that is seen has been less affected by biogenic VOC emissions, resulting in longer lifetime for NO2 and a predominance of the inorganic forms of nitrogen oxides. Summertime observations at Big Hill can be compared with those from Granite Bay, a Sacramento suburb, and from the University of California's Blodgett Forest Research Station to examine the evolution of nitrogen oxides and ozone within the urban plume. Nitrogen oxide radicals (NO and NO2), which dominate total nitrogen oxides (NOy) at Granite Bay, are rapidly converted into HNO3, ΣPNs, and ΣANs, such that these compounds contribute 29, 30, and 21% respectively to the NOy budget in the plume at Big Hill. Nevertheless, the decreasing concentrations of NO2 as the plume is advected to Big Hill lead to decreases in the production rate of HNO3 and ozone. The data also demonstrate the role that temperature plays in sequestering NO2 into peroxy nitrates, effectively decreasing the rate of ozone production. The important contribution of ΣANs to NOy in the region suggests that they should be considered with regards to export of NOy from the boundary layer. Nocturnal observations of airmasses characteristic of the free troposphere showed lower

  7. Observations of the diurnal and seasonal trends in nitrogen oxides in the western Sierra Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murphy, J. G.; Day, D. A.; Cleary, P. A.; Wooldridge, P. J.; Cohen, R. C.

    2006-06-01

    Observations of speciated nitrogen oxides, namely NO2, total peroxy nitrates (ΣPNs), total alkyl nitrates (ΣANs), and HNO3 by thermal dissociation laser induced fluorescence (TD-LIF), and supporting chemical and meteorological measurements at Big Hill (1860 m), a high elevation site in California's Sierra Nevada Mountains, are described. From May through October, terrain-driven winds in the region routinely bring air from Sacramento, 100 km southwest of the site, upslope over oak and pine forests to Big Hill during the day, while at night, the site often samples clean, dry air characteristic of the free troposphere. Winter differs mainly in that the meteorology does not favour the buildup of Sacramento's pollution over the Sierra Nevada range, and the urban-influenced air that is seen has been less affected by biogenic VOC emissions, resulting in longer lifetime for NO2 and a predominance of the inorganic forms of nitrogen oxides. Summertime observations at Big Hill can be compared with those from Granite Bay, a Sacramento suburb, and from the University of California's Blodgett Forest Research Station to examine the evolution of nitrogen oxides and ozone within the urban plume. Nitrogen oxide radicals (NO and NO2), which dominate total nitrogen oxides (NOy) at Granite Bay, are rapidly converted into HNO3, ΣPNs, and ΣANs, such that these compounds contribute 29, 30, and 21% respectively to the NOy budget in the plume at Big Hill. Nevertheless, the decreasing concentrations of NO2 as the plume is advected to Big Hill lead to decreases in the production rate of HNO3 and ozone. The data also demonstrate the role that temperature plays in sequestering NO2 into peroxy nitrates, effectively decreasing the rate of ozone production. The important contribution of ΣANs to NOy in the region suggests that they should be considered with regards to export of NOy from the boundary layer. Nocturnal observations of airmasses characteristic of the free troposphere showed lower

  8. Changes in High Elevation Lake Ecosystems of the Sierra Nevada during the 20th Century: Combining Long-term Monitoring with Paleolimnology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sickman, J. O.; Heard, A. M.; Rose, N. L.; Bennett, D. M.; Lucero, D. M.; Melack, J. M.; Curtis, J. H.

    2014-12-01

    High mountain lakes of the Sierra Nevada are excellent indicators of anthropogenic global change due to their limited capacity to buffer acid deposition, their sensitivity to changes in snowpack dynamics and their oligotrophic nutrient status. In this presentation, we examine long-term records of hydrochemistry and biological monitoring at the Emerald Lake watershed to assess whether high elevation lakes of the Sierra Nevada are changing in response to climate change or changes in atmospheric deposition of nutrients and acid. To provide a broader context for these changes, we augment these long-term records with results from paleolimnological analysis that examines changes in nutrient status and acid buffering capacity of Sierra Nevada lakes over the past two millennia. Our research suggests that, although atmospheric deposition is the dominant driver of twentieth century ANC trends, aquatic communities in the Sierra Nevada are responding to combined effects from acidification, climate change, and eutrophication. Early in the twentieth century the primary stressor effecting Sierra Nevada lakes was acid deposition driven by SO2 emissions. As the century and industrialization progressed, NOx levels increased adding a eutrophication stressor while simultaneously contributing to acidification. Effects were further complicated by a warming climate in the late twentieth century, as warmer temperatures may have contributed to the recovery of ANC in lakes via increased weathering rates, while simultaneously enhancing eutrophication effects.

  9. Tree species classification in the Southern Sierra Nevada Mountains based on MASTER and LIDAR imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gibbons, S.; Grigsby, S.; Ustin, S.

    2013-12-01

    NASA recently collected MASTER (MODIS/ASTER) imagery over the Southern Sierra Nevada Mountains as part of the HyspIRI (Hyperspectral Infrared Imager) preparatory campaign, a location that was chosen for its distinct changes in vegetative species with elevation. Differentiation between functional types based on spectral data has been successful, however, classification between individual species is more difficult to accomplish with only the visible and near infrared portions of the spectrum. I used MASTER imagery in combination with Critical Zone Observatory LIDAR data to map species across both a low and high elevation site in the San Joaquin Experimental Range. While the visible and thermal bands of MASTER images provided an improved classification over shortwave bands, the physical characteristics from the LIDAR data showed the most contrast between the land covers, including tree species. The National Ecological Observation Network (NEON) plans to use LIDAR and spectral data to monitor 20 domains, including the San Joaquin Experimental Range, for the next thirty years. Understanding the current species distributions not only provides insight on the available resources of the area but will also act as a baseline to determine the effects of environmental changes on vegetation using future NEON data.

  10. Characterizing the Networks of Digital Information that Support Collaborative Adaptive Forest Management in Sierra Nevada Forests.

    PubMed

    Lei, Shufei; Iles, Alastair; Kelly, Maggi

    2015-07-01

    Some of the factors that can contribute to the success of collaborative adaptive management--such as social learning, open communication, and trust--are built upon a foundation of the open exchange of information about science and management between participants and the public. Despite the importance of information transparency, the use and flow of information in collaborative adaptive management has not been characterized in detail in the literature, and currently there exist opportunities to develop strategies for increasing the exchange of information, as well as to track information flow in such contexts. As digital information channels and networks have been increased over the last decade, powerful new information monitoring tools have also been evolved allowing for the complete characterization of information products through their production, transport, use, and monitoring. This study uses these tools to investigate the use of various science and management information products in a case study--the Sierra Nevada Adaptive Management Project--using a mixed method (citation analysis, web analytics, and content analysis) research approach borrowed from the information processing and management field. The results from our case study show that information technologies greatly facilitate the flow and use of digital information, leading to multiparty collaborations such as knowledge transfer and public participation in science research. We conclude with recommendations for expanding information exchange in collaborative adaptive management by taking advantage of available information technologies and networks. PMID:25877459

  11. 20th century atmospheric deposition and acidification trends in lakes of the Sierra Nevada, California, USA.

    PubMed

    Heard, Andrea M; Sickman, James O; Rose, Neil L; Bennett, Danuta M; Lucero, Delores M; Melack, John M; Curtis, Jason H

    2014-09-01

    We investigated multiple lines of evidence to determine if observed and paleo-reconstructed changes in acid neutralizing capacity (ANC) in Sierra Nevada lakes were the result of changes in 20th century atmospheric deposition. Spheroidal carbonaceous particles (SCPs) (indicator of anthropogenic atmospheric deposition) and biogenic silica and δ(13)C (productivity proxies) in lake sediments, nitrogen and sulfur emission inventories, climate variables, and long-term hydrochemistry records were compared to reconstructed ANC trends in Moat Lake. The initial decline in ANC at Moat Lake occurred between 1920 and 1930, when hydrogen ion deposition was approximately 74 eq ha(-1) yr(-1), and ANC recovered between 1970 and 2005. Reconstructed ANC in Moat Lake was negatively correlated with SCPs and sulfur dioxide emissions (p = 0.031 and p = 0.009). Reconstructed ANC patterns were not correlated with climate, productivity, or nitrogen oxide emissions. Late 20th century recovery of ANC at Moat Lake is supported by increasing ANC and decreasing sulfate in Emerald Lake between 1983 and 2011 (p < 0.0001). We conclude that ANC depletion at Moat and Emerald lakes was principally caused by acid deposition, and recovery in ANC after 1970 can be attributed to the United States Clean Air Act. PMID:25078969

  12. Nutrient fluxes in forests of the eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains, United States of America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, Dale W.; Susfalk, Richard B.; Dahlgren, Randy A.

    1997-12-01

    Soil nutrient contents and fluxes in semiarid lodgepole (Pinus contorta [Dougl.]) and Jeffrey pine (P. jeffreyi [Grev. and Balf.]) stands of the eastern Sierra Nevada mountains are described and compared to those in the Integrated Forest Study sites [Johnson and Lindberg, 1992]. These Sierran forests, like others in the southwestern United States, have very low N, S, and H+ fluxes compared to more humid forests. Base cation fluxes in these Sierran forests are high relative to more humid forests, however, reflecting the high base status of the soils, inputs from nearby desert systems, and high rates of soil weathering. Soil C and N contents in these Sierran forests are low compared to those in more humid forests, probably because of lower primary productivity and more frequent fire. Soil extractable P pools in these Sierran forests vary by 2 orders of magnitude and are strongly influenced by parent material. As in most snow-dominated systems, pulses of NO3- are released from the melting snowpack each spring in the Sierran forests. Nitrogen released from melting snowpack is retained in the soil in most cases, but there are substantial springtime pulses of NO3- in stream waters during dry years. Budget calculations indicated that N losses during fire (both wildfire and prescribed fire) and N gains associated with postfire N-fixing vegetation are an order of magnitude greater than N inputs and outputs via solution phase.

  13. Characterizing the Networks of Digital Information that Support Collaborative Adaptive Forest Management in Sierra Nevada Forests.

    PubMed

    Lei, Shufei; Iles, Alastair; Kelly, Maggi

    2015-07-01

    Some of the factors that can contribute to the success of collaborative adaptive management--such as social learning, open communication, and trust--are built upon a foundation of the open exchange of information about science and management between participants and the public. Despite the importance of information transparency, the use and flow of information in collaborative adaptive management has not been characterized in detail in the literature, and currently there exist opportunities to develop strategies for increasing the exchange of information, as well as to track information flow in such contexts. As digital information channels and networks have been increased over the last decade, powerful new information monitoring tools have also been evolved allowing for the complete characterization of information products through their production, transport, use, and monitoring. This study uses these tools to investigate the use of various science and management information products in a case study--the Sierra Nevada Adaptive Management Project--using a mixed method (citation analysis, web analytics, and content analysis) research approach borrowed from the information processing and management field. The results from our case study show that information technologies greatly facilitate the flow and use of digital information, leading to multiparty collaborations such as knowledge transfer and public participation in science research. We conclude with recommendations for expanding information exchange in collaborative adaptive management by taking advantage of available information technologies and networks.

  14. Calibrating Late Quaternary terrestrial climate signals: radiometrically dated pollen evidence from the southern Sierra Nevada, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Litwin, Ronald J.; Smoot, Joseph P.; Durika, Nancy J.; Smith, George I.

    1999-01-01

    We constructed a radiometrically calibrated proxy record of Late Pleistocene and Holocene climate change exceeding 230,000 yr duration, using pollen profiles from two cores taken through age-equivalent dry lakes - one core having greater age control (via 230Th alpha mass-spectrometry) and the other having greater stratigraphic completeness. The better dated of these two serial pollen records (Searles Lake) served as a reference section for improving the effective radiometric age control in a nearby and more complete pollen record (Owens Lake) because they: (1) are situated ~90 km apart in the same drainage system (on, and immediately leeward of, the eastern flank of the Sierra Nevada), and (2) preserved strikingly similar pollen profiles and concordant sequences of sedimentological changes. Pollen assemblages from both lakes are well preserved and diverse, and document serial changes in Late Pleistocene and Holocene plant zone distribution and composition in the westernmost Great Basin; they consist of taxa now inhabiting montane forest, woodland, steppe, and desert-scrub environments. The studied core intervals are interpreted here to be the terrestrial equivalent of marine δ18O stages 1 through 9; these pollen profiles now appear to be among the best radiometrically dated Late Pleistocene records of terrestrial climate change known.

  15. Bronchopulmonary nematode infection of Capra pyrenaica in the Sierra Nevada massif, Spain.

    PubMed

    Alasaad, S; Morrondo, P; Dacal-Rivas, V; Soriguer, R C; Granados, J E; Serrano, E; Zhu, X Q; Rossi, L; Pérez, J M

    2009-10-14

    The present investigation examined the prevalence and abundance of bronchopulmonary nematodes in 213 randomly hunted Iberian ibexes (Capra pyrenaica) (87 females and 126 males) in the Sierra Nevada mountain range in Spain between 2003 and 2006. Post mortem examination revealed an overall prevalence of 72% for adult nematodes (Cystocaulus ocreatus 44%, Muellerius capillaris 44%, Protostrongylus sp. 40%, and Dictyocaulus filaria 4%). The abundances were 13.45+/-3.97, 5.18+/-2.49, 6.36+/-2.16, and 2.27+/-0.46, respectively. Protostrongylid adults showed similar infection rates, which were statistically different from that of D. filaria. 20% of the examined Iberian ibexes were infected by three protostrongylid nematodes species, 24% of C. pyrenaica were affected by two protostrongylid species, while infestations with only one protostrongylid species were detected in 20% of the examined animals. The overall prevalence of larvae nematodes in the examined animals was 100%, and the overall abundance (number of the first stage larvae per gram) was 86.45+/-20.63. There was a high correlation between the two sets of data (adults and larvae). Results of the present investigation provided foundation for the effective control of bronchopulmonary nematode infection in Iberian ibex. PMID:19596519

  16. Vegetation and climate history from Laguna de Río Seco, Sierra Nevada, southern Spain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, R. S.; Jimenez-Moreno, G.

    2010-12-01

    The largest mountain range in southern Spain - the Sierra Nevada - is an immense landscape with a rich biological and cultural heritage. Rising to 3,479 m at the summit of Mulhacén, the range was extensively glaciated during the late Pleistocene. Subsequent melting of cirque glaciers allowed formation of numerous small lakes and wetlands. One south-facing basin contains Laguna de Río Seco, a small lake at ca. 3020 m elevation, presently above potential treeline. Pollen analysis of sediment cores documents over 11,000 calendar years of vegetation change there. The early record, to ca. 5,700 cal yr BP, is dominated by pine pollen, with birch, deciduous oak, and grass, with an understory of shrubs types. Pine trees probably never grew at the elevation of the lake, but aquatic microfossils indicate lake levels were highest prior to ca. 7,800 cal yr BP, perhaps as a result of heavy winter precipitation, and early Holocene expansion of the ITCZ. Drier conditions commenced by 5,700 cal yr BP, shown by declines in wetland pollen, and increases in high elevation steppe shrubs more common today (juniper, sage, and others). The local and regional impact of humans increased substantially after ca. 2700 years ago, with the regional loss of pine forest or woodland, increases in pollen and spore types associated with pasturing, and olive cultivation at lower elevations.

  17. Ten Years of Forest Cover Change in the Sierra Nevada Detected Using Landsat Satellite Image Analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Potter, Christopher S.

    2014-01-01

    The Landsat Ecosystem Disturbance Adaptive Processing System (LEDAPS) methodology was applied to detected changes in forest vegetation cover for areas burned by wildfires in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California between the periods of 1975- 79 and 1995-1999. Results for areas burned by wildfire between 1995 and 1999 confirmed the importance of regrowing forest vegetation over 17% of the combined burned areas. A notable fraction (12%) of the entire 5-km (unburned) buffer area outside the 1995-199 fires perimeters showed decline in forest cover, and not nearly as many regrowing forest areas, covering only 3% of all the 1995-1999 buffer areas combined. Areas burned by wildfire between 1975 and 1979 confirmed the importance of disturbed (or declining evergreen) vegetation covering 13% of the combined 1975- 1979 burned areas. Based on comparison of these results to ground-based survey data, the LEDAPS methodology should be capable of fulfilling much of the need for consistent, low-cost monitoring of changes due to climate and biological factors in western forest regrowth following stand-replacing disturbances.

  18. Timing and new geomorphologic evidence of the last deglaciation stages in Sierra Nevada (southern Spain)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Palacios, David; Gómez-Ortiz, Antonio; Andrés, Nuria; Salvador, Ferrán; Oliva, Marc

    2016-10-01

    The main objective of this research is to improve knowledge of the deglaciation stages in Sierra Nevada (southern Spain) by applying 36Cl cosmogenic exposure dating to 28 samples from moraine and fossil rock glacier boulders and glacial polished surfaces, in 5 glaciated valleys around Veleta Peak (3396 m asl; 37°03‧02″N 3°20‧54″W). The results show that shortly before the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and during the LGM, the heads of the glacial valleys were occupied by ice tongues, with possible glacial transfluence between the valleys. After 19 ka, a major glacial regression started, but glaciers during the Oldest Dryas (OD) expanded again and refilled the valley bottoms. The glacial advances of the pre-LGM, LGM and OD formed polygenic moraine systems. During the Bølling-Allerød the glaciers receded and probably disappeared. Thereafter, the valley bottoms remained ice-free. During the Younger Dryas (YD) small glaciers developed again, but only in cirques shaped on east-facing slopes. Subsequently, these glaciers started retreating towards their valley heads and finally disappeared completely. With the onset of the Holocene, rock glaciers developed inside the deglaciated cirques on the eastern slopes of some valleys, but only under the most active and protected headwalls did large complex rock glaciers develop and remained active until the mid-Holocene.

  19. Spring onset in the Sierra Nevada: When is snowmelt independent of elevation?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lundquist, J.D.; Cayan, D.R.; Dettinger, M.D.

    2004-01-01

    Short-term climate and weather systems can have a strong influence on mountain snowmelt, sometimes overwhelming the effects of elevation and aspect. Although most years exhibit a spring onset that starts first at lowest and moves to highest elevations, in spring 2002, flow in a variety of streams within the Tuolumne and Merced River basins of the southern Sierra Nevada all rose synchronously on 29 March. Flow in streams draining small high-altitude glacial subcatchments rose at the same time as that draining much larger basins gauged at lower altitudes, and streams from north- and south-facing cirques rose and fell together. Historical analysis demonstrates that 2002 was one among only 8 yr with such synchronous flow onsets during the past 87 yr, recognized by having simultaneous onsets of snowmelt at over 70% of snow pillow sites, having discharge in over 70% of monitored streams increase simultaneously, and having temperatures increase over 12??C within a 5-day period. Synchronous springs tend to begin with a low pressure trough over California during late winter, followed by the onset of a strong ridge and unusually warm temperatures. Synchronous springs are characterized by warmer than average winters and cooler than average March temperatures in California. In the most elevation-dependent, nonsynchronous years, periods of little or no storm activity, with warmer than average March temperatures, precede the onset of spring snowmelt, allowing elevation and aspect to influence snowmelt as spring arrives gradually. ?? 2004 American Meteorological Society.

  20. Forest reproduction along a climatic gradient in the Sierra Nevada, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    van Mantgem, P.J.; Stephenson, N.L.; Keeley, J.E.

    2006-01-01

    To elucidate broad-scale environmental controls of coniferous forest reproduction in the Sierra Nevada, California, we monitored reproduction for 5 years in 47 plots arrayed across a steep elevational (climatic) gradient. We found that both absolute seedling densities (stems < 1.37 m) and seedling densities relative to overstory parent tree basal area declined sharply with elevation. Rates of seedling turnover (the average of birth and death rates) also declined with elevation. In contrast, seed production was not predicted by elevation and was highly variable from year to year. During a mast year of seed production, the intensity of masting was uneven among plots. Seedling densities were elevated only during the single year immediately following the mast year, suggesting reproduction in our forests may be primarily limited by abiotic factors such as the availability of suitable sites and weather. Disturbance also clearly affected reproduction; plots that had recently burned had significantly higher seedling to parent tree ratios for Abies species, suggesting that even though established Abies concolor may be relatively susceptible to fire, the species can recover rapidly through prolific reproduction. Since reproductive failures may be our earliest signal of changing forest conditions, seedling dynamics could provide a sensitive, if variable, indicator of environmental changes. ?? 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. [Dung beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeinae) of the northwestern slope of the Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta, Colombia].

    PubMed

    Martínez, Neis J; García, Héctor; Pulido, Luz A; Ospino, Deibi; Harváez, Juan C

    2009-01-01

    The community structure of dung beetles in the middle and lower river basin of the Gaira river, Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia, is described. Four sites were selected along an altitudinal gradient of 50-940 m for sampling from June to October, 2004. Dung beetles were captured using modified pitfall traps and manual recollections. We captured 7,872 individuals belonging to 29 species, distributed in 15 genera and five tribes of Scarabaeinae. Canthon and Onthophagus were the most diverse genera, each represented by six species. The sampled sites shared the following species: Onthophagus acuminatus Harold, O. clypeatus Blanchard, O. marginicollis Harold. Bocatoma was the most diverse site with 23 species; whereas Port Mosquito presented the highest abundance, with 3,262 individuals. Seven species represented 89% of all captures: Canthidium sp., Dichotomius sp., Uroxys sp. 1, Uroxys sp. 2, O. marginicollis, O. clypeatus and O. acuminatus. Of the 29 captured species, 17 belonged to the functional group of diggers and 10 were ball-rollers. We did not observe significant among-site differences in community structure. Abiotic factors such as altitude, temperature and humidity cannot explain observed variation in community structure across sites, indicating other variables such as vegetation cover, density of the vegetation and soil type may play a role in the community structure of these insects.

  2. Entrophospora nevadensis, a new arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus from Sierra Nevada National Park (southeastern Spain).

    PubMed

    Palenzuela, Javier; Barea, José Miguel; Ferrol, Nuria; Azcón-Aguilar, Concepción; Oehl, Fritz

    2010-01-01

    A new fungal species in the arbuscular mycorrhiza-forming Glomeromycetes, Entrophospora nevadensis, was isolated from soil near the roots of several endemic and endangered plant species (e.g. Plantago nivalis and Alchemilla fontqueri) growing in Sierra Nevada National Park (Granada, Andalucia, Spain). The fungus was propagated in trap cultures on Plantago nivalis and Sorbus hybrida and in pure cultures on Trifolium pratense and Sorghum vulgare. Spores are yellow brown to brown, 90-115 .m diam and form singly in soil, in the neck of adherent sporiferous saccules that form either terminally or intercalary on mycelial hyphae. Spores have two three-layered walls and conspicuous, 6-12 microm long, spiny, thorn-like projections on the outer wall consisting of hyaline to subhyaline, evanescent tips and yellow brown to brown, persistent bases. In aging spores these projections are usually shorter (1-2.8 microm) and dome-shaped or rounded, sometimes with a central pit on top where the evanescent tip has sloughed off. Molecular analysis with partial sequences of the 18S ribosomal gene places the fungus within the Diversisporales. The new fungus was found in soil near plants with different living strategies but growing in high altitude soils with acidic pH, high soil moisture and organic carbon content, and close to streams. PMID:20524595

  3. Characterizing the Networks of Digital Information that Support Collaborative Adaptive Forest Management in Sierra Nevada Forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lei, Shufei; Iles, Alastair; Kelly, Maggi

    2015-07-01

    Some of the factors that can contribute to the success of collaborative adaptive management—such as social learning, open communication, and trust—are built upon a foundation of the open exchange of information about science and management between participants and the public. Despite the importance of information transparency, the use and flow of information in collaborative adaptive management has not been characterized in detail in the literature, and currently there exist opportunities to develop strategies for increasing the exchange of information, as well as to track information flow in such contexts. As digital information channels and networks have been increased over the last decade, powerful new information monitoring tools have also been evolved allowing for the complete characterization of information products through their production, transport, use, and monitoring. This study uses these tools to investigate the use of various science and management information products in a case study—the Sierra Nevada Adaptive Management Project—using a mixed method (citation analysis, web analytics, and content analysis) research approach borrowed from the information processing and management field. The results from our case study show that information technologies greatly facilitate the flow and use of digital information, leading to multiparty collaborations such as knowledge transfer and public participation in science research. We conclude with recommendations for expanding information exchange in collaborative adaptive management by taking advantage of available information technologies and networks.

  4. 20th century atmospheric deposition and acidification trends in lakes of the Sierra Nevada, California, USA.

    PubMed

    Heard, Andrea M; Sickman, James O; Rose, Neil L; Bennett, Danuta M; Lucero, Delores M; Melack, John M; Curtis, Jason H

    2014-09-01

    We investigated multiple lines of evidence to determine if observed and paleo-reconstructed changes in acid neutralizing capacity (ANC) in Sierra Nevada lakes were the result of changes in 20th century atmospheric deposition. Spheroidal carbonaceous particles (SCPs) (indicator of anthropogenic atmospheric deposition) and biogenic silica and δ(13)C (productivity proxies) in lake sediments, nitrogen and sulfur emission inventories, climate variables, and long-term hydrochemistry records were compared to reconstructed ANC trends in Moat Lake. The initial decline in ANC at Moat Lake occurred between 1920 and 1930, when hydrogen ion deposition was approximately 74 eq ha(-1) yr(-1), and ANC recovered between 1970 and 2005. Reconstructed ANC in Moat Lake was negatively correlated with SCPs and sulfur dioxide emissions (p = 0.031 and p = 0.009). Reconstructed ANC patterns were not correlated with climate, productivity, or nitrogen oxide emissions. Late 20th century recovery of ANC at Moat Lake is supported by increasing ANC and decreasing sulfate in Emerald Lake between 1983 and 2011 (p < 0.0001). We conclude that ANC depletion at Moat and Emerald lakes was principally caused by acid deposition, and recovery in ANC after 1970 can be attributed to the United States Clean Air Act.

  5. Bronchopulmonary nematode infection of Capra pyrenaica in the Sierra Nevada massif, Spain.

    PubMed

    Alasaad, S; Morrondo, P; Dacal-Rivas, V; Soriguer, R C; Granados, J E; Serrano, E; Zhu, X Q; Rossi, L; Pérez, J M

    2009-10-14

    The present investigation examined the prevalence and abundance of bronchopulmonary nematodes in 213 randomly hunted Iberian ibexes (Capra pyrenaica) (87 females and 126 males) in the Sierra Nevada mountain range in Spain between 2003 and 2006. Post mortem examination revealed an overall prevalence of 72% for adult nematodes (Cystocaulus ocreatus 44%, Muellerius capillaris 44%, Protostrongylus sp. 40%, and Dictyocaulus filaria 4%). The abundances were 13.45+/-3.97, 5.18+/-2.49, 6.36+/-2.16, and 2.27+/-0.46, respectively. Protostrongylid adults showed similar infection rates, which were statistically different from that of D. filaria. 20% of the examined Iberian ibexes were infected by three protostrongylid nematodes species, 24% of C. pyrenaica were affected by two protostrongylid species, while infestations with only one protostrongylid species were detected in 20% of the examined animals. The overall prevalence of larvae nematodes in the examined animals was 100%, and the overall abundance (number of the first stage larvae per gram) was 86.45+/-20.63. There was a high correlation between the two sets of data (adults and larvae). Results of the present investigation provided foundation for the effective control of bronchopulmonary nematode infection in Iberian ibex.

  6. Paleomagnetic constraints on rotation within Mount Abbot quadrangle, central Sierra Nevada, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ross, S.L.

    1988-01-01

    The regional photolineament pattern in Mount Abbot quadrangle in the central Sierra Nevada is sigmoidal in plan view. A paleomagnetic investigation was undertaken to determine if this sigmoidal pattern was formed by kinking of originally straight photolineaments after the rock mass cooled below the blocking temperature. If the inner limb of the kink rotated 40??-60?? clockwise with respect to the outer limbs, then there should be a similar difference in the paleomagnetic declinations between the Florence Lake and Bear Creek areas. The paleomagnetic results indicate a clockwise difference in declination of 13.4????7?? of the Bear Creek area with respect to Florence Lake. Thus the sigmoidal pattern could not have formed entirely by rotation afer cooling below the blocking temperature. It is also possible that the observed declination discrepancy is due to tilting, apparent polar wander, or paleomagnetic dispersion instead of rotation. Data from these sites indicate that although no difference in declination is evident, a reheating event may have occurred which could have removed any rotation from the paleomagnetic record, and that there may have been continuous deformation of the rock mass during the formation of the kinks. -from Author

  7. Air pollution and watershed research in the central Sierra Nevada of California: nitrogen and ozone.

    PubMed

    Hunsaker, Carolyn; Bytnerowicz, Andrzej; Auman, Jessica; Cisneros, Ricardo

    2007-01-01

    Maintaining healthy forests is the major objective for the Forest Service scientists and managers working for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Air pollution, specifically ozone (O3) and nitrogenous (N) air pollutants, may severely affect the health of forest ecosystems in the western U.S. Thus, the monitoring of air pollution concentration and deposition levels, as well as studies focused on understanding effects mechanisms, are essential for evaluation of risks associated with their presence. Such information is essential for development of proper management strategies for maintaining clean air, clean water, and healthy ecosystems on land managed by the Forest Service. We report on two years of research in the central Sierra Nevada of California, a semi-arid forest at elevations of 1100-2700 m. Information on O3 and N air pollutants is obtained from a network of 18 passive samplers. We relate the atmospheric N concentration to N concentrations in streams, shallow soil water, and bulk deposition collectors within the Kings River Experimental Watershed. This watershed also contains an intensive site that is part of a recent Forest Service effort to calculate critical loads for N, sulfur, and acidity to forest ecosystems. The passive sampler design allows for extensive spatial measurements while the watershed experiment provides intensive spatial data for future analysis of ecosystem processes. PMID:17450299

  8. Origin of Meter-Size Granite Basins in the Southern Sierra Nevada, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Moore, James G.; Gorden, Mary A.; Robinson, Joel E.; Moring, Barry C.

    2008-01-01

    Meter-size granite basins are found in a 180-km belt extending south from the South Fork of the Kings River to Lake Isabella on the west slope of the southern Sierra Nevada, California. Their origin has long been debated. A total of 1,033 basins have been inventoried at 221 sites. The basins occur on bedrock granitic outcrops at a median elevation of 1,950 m. Median basin diameter among 30 of the basin sites varies from 89 to 170 cm, median depth is 12 to 63 cm. Eighty percent of the basin sites also contain smaller bedrock mortars (~1-2 liters in capacity) of the type used by Native Americans (American Indians) to grind acorns. Features that suggest a manmade origin for the basins are: restricted size, shape, and elevation range; common association with Indian middens and grinding mortars; a south- and west-facing aspect; presence of differing shapes in distinct localities; and location in a food-rich belt with pleasant summer weather. Volcanic ash (erupted A.D. 1240+-60) in the bottom of several of the basins indicates that they were used shortly before ~760 years ago but not thereafter. Experiments suggest that campfires built on the granite will weaken the bedrock and expedite excavation of the basins. The primary use of the basins was apparently in preparing food, including acorns and pine nuts. The basins are among the largest and most permanent artifacts remaining from the California Indian civilization.

  9. Long Valley caldera and the UCERF depiction of Sierra Nevada range-front faults

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hill, David P.; Montgomery-Brown, Emily K.

    2015-01-01

    Long Valley caldera lies within a left-stepping offset in the north-northwest-striking Sierra Nevada range-front normal faults with the Hilton Creek fault to the south and Hartley Springs fault to the north. Both Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast (UCERF) 2 and its update, UCERF3, depict slip on these major range-front normal faults as extending well into the caldera, with significant normal slip on overlapping, subparallel segments separated by ∼10  km. This depiction is countered by (1) geologic evidence that normal faulting within the caldera consists of a series of graben structures associated with postcaldera magmatism (intrusion and tumescence) and not systematic down-to-the-east displacements consistent with distributed range-front faulting and (2) the lack of kinematic evidence for an evolving, postcaldera relay ramp structure between overlapping strands of the two range-front normal faults. The modifications to the UCERF depiction described here reduce the predicted shaking intensity within the caldera, and they are in accord with the tectonic influence that underlapped offset range-front faults have on seismicity patterns within the caldera associated with ongoing volcanic unrest.

  10. Jurassic tectonic wedging and crustal block rotation, northern Sierra Nevada California

    SciTech Connect

    Harwood, D.S.; Griscom, A. )

    1993-04-01

    Rocks in the northern Sierra Nevada east of the Feather River peridotite belt (FRPB) and south of 39[degree]45 minutes N. strike NNW, dip steeply E and form an east-facing homoclinal section as much as 35km thick. The lower Paleozoic Shoo Fly Complex (SFC), the oldest and western-most unit in the homoclinal section, is faulted against the FRPB. Middle Jurassic volcanic rocks (Jv) at the top of the homoclinal section are down-faulted against Paleozoic rocks to the east along the Talbot fault (TF). A positive aeromagnetic anomaly and east-sloping gradient south of 39[degree]45 minutes N. indicate that the east contact of the FRPB dips about 45[degree]E. beneath the homoclinal section and extends to a depth of at least 10km. The contact between the buried FRPB and the homoclinal section is interpreted to be the roof thrust of an east-tapering wedge of serpentinized oceanic crust and upper mantle, probably emplaced in the Early and Middle Jurassic. Normal, west-down displacement on the Talbot fault, contemporaneous with east-vergent edging, resulted in eastward block rotation of the rocks above the wedge, syndepositional thickening of the Early and Middle Jurassic Sailor Canyon Formation (Jsc) relative to the coeval rocks east of the Talbot fault, and structural control for Middle Jurassic magmatism.

  11. Air pollution and watershed research in the central Sierra Nevada of California: nitrogen and ozone.

    PubMed

    Hunsaker, Carolyn; Bytnerowicz, Andrzej; Auman, Jessica; Cisneros, Ricardo

    2007-01-01

    Maintaining healthy forests is the major objective for the Forest Service scientists and managers working for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Air pollution, specifically ozone (O3) and nitrogenous (N) air pollutants, may severely affect the health of forest ecosystems in the western U.S. Thus, the monitoring of air pollution concentration and deposition levels, as well as studies focused on understanding effects mechanisms, are essential for evaluation of risks associated with their presence. Such information is essential for development of proper management strategies for maintaining clean air, clean water, and healthy ecosystems on land managed by the Forest Service. We report on two years of research in the central Sierra Nevada of California, a semi-arid forest at elevations of 1100-2700 m. Information on O3 and N air pollutants is obtained from a network of 18 passive samplers. We relate the atmospheric N concentration to N concentrations in streams, shallow soil water, and bulk deposition collectors within the Kings River Experimental Watershed. This watershed also contains an intensive site that is part of a recent Forest Service effort to calculate critical loads for N, sulfur, and acidity to forest ecosystems. The passive sampler design allows for extensive spatial measurements while the watershed experiment provides intensive spatial data for future analysis of ecosystem processes.

  12. Simulating 3-D radiative transfer effects over the Sierra Nevada Mountains using WRF

    SciTech Connect

    Gu, Y.; Liou, K. N.; Lee, W. -L.; Leung, L. R.

    2012-01-01

    A surface solar radiation parameterization based on deviations between 3-D and conventional plane-parallel radiative transfer models has been incorporated into the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model to understand the solar insolation over mountain/snow areas and to investigate the impact of the spatial and temporal distribution and variation of surface solar fluxes on land-surface processes. Using the Sierra-Nevada in the western United States as a testbed, we show that mountain effect could produce up to -50 to + 50 W m-2 deviations in the surface solar fluxes over the mountain areas, resulting in a temperature increase of up to 1 °C on the sunny side. Upward surface sensible and latent heat fluxes are modulated accordingly to compensate for the change in surface solar fluxes. Snow water equivalent and surface albedo both show decreases on the sunny side of the mountains, indicating more snowmelt and hence reduced snow albedo associated with more solar insolation due to mountain effect. Soil moisture increases on the sunny side of the mountains due to enhanced snowmelt, while decreases on the shaded side. Substantial differences are found in the morning hours from 8–10 a.m. and in the afternoon around 3–5 p.m., while differences around noon and in the early morning and late afternoon are comparatively smaller. Variation in the surface energy balance can also affect atmospheric processes, such as cloud fields, through the modulation of vertical thermal structure. Negative changes of up to -40 g m-2 are found in the cloud water path, associated with reductions in the surface insolation over the cloud region. The day-averaged deviations in the surface solar flux are positive over the mountain areas and negative in the valleys, with a range between -12~12 W m-2. Changes in sensible and latent heat fluxes and surface skin temperature follow the solar insolation pattern. Differences in the domain-averaged diurnal variation

  13. Age, geochemical composition, and distribution of Oligocene ignimbrites in the northern Sierra Nevada, California: Implications for landscape morphology, elevation, and drainage divide geography of the Nevadaplano

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cassel, E.J.; Calvert, A.T.; Graham, S.A.

    2009-01-01

    To gain a better understanding of the topographic and landscape evolution of the Cenozoic Sierra Nevada and Basin and Range, we combine geochemical and isotopic age correlations with palaeoaltimetry data from widely distributed ignimbrites in the northern Sierra Nevada, California. A sequence of Oligocene rhyolitic ignimbrites is preserved across the modern crest of the range and into the western foothills. Using trace and rare earth element geochemical analyses of volcanic glass, these deposits have been correlated to ignimbrites described and isotopically dated in the Walker Lane fault zone and in central Nevada (Henry et al., 2004, Geologic map of the Dogskin mountain quadrangle; Washoe County, Nevada; Faulds et al., 2005, Geology, v. 33, p. 505-508). Ignimbrite deposits were sampled within the northern Sierra Nevada and western Nevada, and four distinct geochemical compositions were identified. The majority of samples from within the northern Sierra Nevada have compositions similar to the tuffs of Axehandle Canyon or Rattlesnake Canyon, both likely sourced from the same caldera complex in either the Clan Alpine Mountains or the Stillwater Range, or to the tuff of Campbell Creek, sourced from the Desatoya Mountains caldera. New 40Ar/39Ar age determinations from these samples of 31.2, 30.9, and 28.7Ma, respectively, support these correlations. Based on an Oligocene palinspastic reconstruction of the region, our results show that ignimbrites travelled over 200km from their source calderas across what is now the crest of the Sierra Nevada, and that during that time, no drainage divide existed between the ignimbrite source calderas in central Nevada and sample locations 200km to the west. Palaeoaltimetry data from Sierra Nevada ignimbrites, based on the hydrogen isotopic composition of hydration water in glass, reflect the effect of a steep western slope on precipitation and indicate that the area had elevations similar to the present-day range. These combined

  14. MINARETS WILDERNESS AND ADJACENT AREAS, CALIFORNIA.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Huber, N. King; Thurber, Horace K.

    1984-01-01

    A mineral survey of the Minarets Wilderness and adjacent areas in the central Sierra Nevada, California was conducted. The results of the survey indicate that the study area has a substantiated resource potential for small deposits of copper, silver, zinc, lead, and iron, and a probable mineral-resource potential for molybdenum. No energy-resource potential was identified in the study.

  15. Pisolithus tinctorius, a gasteromycete, associated with Jeffrey and Sierra lodgepole pine on acid mine spoils in the Sierra Nevada

    SciTech Connect

    Walker, R.F. )

    1989-01-31

    Basidiocarps of Pisolithus tinctorius, a gasteromycetous fungus adapted to harsh sites, were observed in association with Jeffrey and Sierra lodgepole pine on acid mine spoils in northeastern California. Subterranean mycelial strands were traced from these basidiocarps to the root systems of the two pine species, which had ectomycorrhizae characteristic of those formed by this fungus in symbiotic relationships with conifer hosts.

  16. Spring Database for the Basin and Range Carbonate-Rock Aquifer System, White Pine County, Nevada, and Adjacent Areas in Nevada and Utah

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pavelko, Michael T.

    2007-01-01

    A database containing nearly 3,400 springs was developed for the Basin and Range carbonate-rock aquifer system study area in White Pine County, Nevada, and adjacent areas in Nevada and Utah. The spring database provides a foundation for field verification of springs in the study area. Attributes in the database include location, geographic and general geologic settings, and available discharge and temperature data for each spring.

  17. Do High-elevation Lakes Record Variations in Snowfall and Atmospheric Rivers in the Sierra Nevada of California?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ashford, J.; Sickman, J. O.; Lucero, D. M.

    2014-12-01

    Understanding the underlying causes of interannual variation in snowfall and extreme hydrologic events in the Sierra Nevada is hampered by short instrumental records and the difficulties in reconstructing climate using a traditional paleo-record such as tree-rings. New paleo proxies are needed to provide a record of snowpack water content and extreme precipitation events over millennial timescales which can be used to test hypotheses regarding teleconnections between Pacific climate variability and water supply and flood risk in California. In October 2013 we collected sediment cores from Pear Lake (z = 27 m), an alpine lake in Sequoia National Park. The cores were split and characterized by P-wave velocity, magnetic susceptibility and density scanning. Radiocarbon dates indicate that the Pear Lake cores contain a 13.5K yr record of lake sediment. In contrast to other Sierra Nevada lakes previously cored by our group, high-resolution scanning revealed alternating light-dark bands (~1 mm to 5 mm thick) for most of the Pear Lake core length. This pattern was interrupted at intervals by homogenous clasts (up to 75 mm thick) ranging in grain size from sand to gravel up to 1 cm diameter. We hypothesize that the light-dark banding results from the breakdown of persistent hypolimnetic anoxia during spring snowmelt and autumn overturn. We speculate that the thicknesses of the dark bands are controlled by the duration of anoxia which in turn is controlled by the volume and duration of snowmelt. The sand to gravel sized clasts are most likely associated with extreme precipitation events resulting from atmospheric rivers intersecting the southern Sierra Nevada. We hypothesize that centimeter-sized clasts are deposited in large avalanches and that the sands are deposited in large rain events outside of the snow-cover period.

  18. Distrubution of the Endocrine Disruptor Nonylphenol and the Effects of Topographical Sheilding in an Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountain Drainage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lyons, R. A.; Van de Bittner, K.; Morgan Jones, S.

    2013-12-01

    Nonylphenol is a biodegradation product of nonylphenol polyethoxylates, a pervasive compound used in many industrial processes and notably in pesticides as a surfactant. Nonylphenol has been shown to act as an endocrine disruptor at low concentrations. It causes hermaphrodism, birth defects, and high mortality in fish, frogs and other amphibians. The Sierra Nevada Mountains separate the Central Valley in the west from the high desert of Mono Country on the east side of the state of California. The Central Valley represents some of the most heavily cultivated agricultural land in the United States. San Joaquin County alone had an annual pesticide use of over 8 million pounds in 2009 according to the Pesticide Action Network, compared with 4800 pounds in Mono County the same year. Fragile alpine ecosystems in the Sierra Nevadas may be highly susceptible to the effects of endocrine disruptors like nonylphenol. The distribution of nonylphenol is affected by localized topography in a steep walled montane canyon in the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains, Convict Creek canyon. The concentration of nonylphenol in snow and surface water increases as the elevation in Convict Creek canyon decreases in an easterly direction from not detectable at the highest elevations to as much as .01mg/L in water and 1.8 mg/L in snow at the lowest elevations. The steep head wall of Convict Creek canyon, facing southeast, provides shielding to the higher elevation lakes from deposition of compounds and particulate matter. As a canyon becomes less steep and broader, more nonylphenol is deposited. Identifying these deposition patterns may assist in determining amphibian and fish populations that are at higher risk of negative impact from these compounds.

  19. Effects of climate change on stream temperature, dissolved oxygen, and sediment concentration in the Sierra Nevada in California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ficklin, Darren L.; Stewart, Iris T.; Maurer, Edwin P.

    2013-05-01

    Warmer temperatures are expected to raise mountain stream temperatures, affecting water quality and ecosystem health. We demonstrate the importance of climate-driven changes in hydrology as fundamental to understanding changes in the local water quality. In particular, we focus on changes in stream temperature, dissolved oxygen (DO) concentrations, and sediment transport in mountainous, snowmelt-dominated, and water-limited systems, using the Sierra Nevada as our case study. Downscaled output from an ensemble of general circulation model projections for the A2 (higher greenhouse gas) emission scenario was used to drive the Soil and Water Assessment Tool with a new integrated stream temperature model on the subbasin scale. Spring and summer stream temperature increase by 1°C-5.5°C, with varying increases among subbasins. The highest projected stream temperatures are in the low-elevation subbasins of the southern Sierra Nevada, while the northern Sierra Nevada, with distinct impacts on snowmelt and subsurface flow contributions to streamflow, shows moderated increases. The spatial pattern of stream temperature changes was the result of differences in surface and subsurface hydrologic, snowmelt, and air temperature changes. Concurrent with stream temperature increases and decreases in spring and summer flows, simulations indicated decreases in DO (10%) and sediment (50%) concentrations by 2100. Stream temperature and DO concentrations for several major streams decline below survival thresholds for several native indicator species. These results highlight that climatic changes in water-limited mountain systems may drive changes in water quality that have to be understood on the reach scale for developing adaptive management options.

  20. Effect of Tree-to-Shrub Type Conversion in Lower Montane Forests of the Sierra Nevada (USA) on Streamflow.

    PubMed

    Bart, Ryan R; Tague, Christina L; Moritz, Max A

    2016-01-01

    Higher global temperatures and increased levels of disturbance are contributing to greater tree mortality in many forest ecosystems. These same drivers can also limit forest regeneration, leading to vegetation type conversion. For the Sierra Nevada of California, little is known about how type conversion may affect streamflow, a critical source of water supply for urban, agriculture and environmental purposes. In this paper, we examined the effects of tree-to-shrub type conversion, in combination with climate change, on streamflow in two lower montane forest watersheds in the Sierra Nevada. A spatially distributed ecohydrologic model was used to simulate changes in streamflow, evaporation, and transpiration following type conversion, with an explicit focus on the role of vegetation size and aspect. Model results indicated that streamflow may show negligible change or small decreases following type conversion when the difference between tree and shrub leaf areas is small, partly due to the higher stomatal conductivity and the deep rooting depth of shrubs. In contrast, streamflow may increase when post-conversion shrubs have a small leaf area relative to trees. Model estimates also suggested that vegetation change could have a greater impact on streamflow magnitude than the direct hydrologic impacts of increased temperatures. Temperature increases, however, may have a greater impact on streamflow timing. Tree-to-shrub type conversion increased streamflow only marginally during dry years (annual precipitation < 800 mm), with most streamflow change observed during wetter years. These modeling results underscore the importance of accounting for changes in vegetation communities to accurately characterize future hydrologic regimes for the Sierra Nevada. PMID:27575592

  1. Effect of Tree-to-Shrub Type Conversion in Lower Montane Forests of the Sierra Nevada (USA) on Streamflow

    PubMed Central

    Tague, Christina L.; Moritz, Max A.

    2016-01-01

    Higher global temperatures and increased levels of disturbance are contributing to greater tree mortality in many forest ecosystems. These same drivers can also limit forest regeneration, leading to vegetation type conversion. For the Sierra Nevada of California, little is known about how type conversion may affect streamflow, a critical source of water supply for urban, agriculture and environmental purposes. In this paper, we examined the effects of tree-to-shrub type conversion, in combination with climate change, on streamflow in two lower montane forest watersheds in the Sierra Nevada. A spatially distributed ecohydrologic model was used to simulate changes in streamflow, evaporation, and transpiration following type conversion, with an explicit focus on the role of vegetation size and aspect. Model results indicated that streamflow may show negligible change or small decreases following type conversion when the difference between tree and shrub leaf areas is small, partly due to the higher stomatal conductivity and the deep rooting depth of shrubs. In contrast, streamflow may increase when post-conversion shrubs have a small leaf area relative to trees. Model estimates also suggested that vegetation change could have a greater impact on streamflow magnitude than the direct hydrologic impacts of increased temperatures. Temperature increases, however, may have a greater impact on streamflow timing. Tree-to-shrub type conversion increased streamflow only marginally during dry years (annual precipitation < 800 mm), with most streamflow change observed during wetter years. These modeling results underscore the importance of accounting for changes in vegetation communities to accurately characterize future hydrologic regimes for the Sierra Nevada. PMID:27575592

  2. Under-canopy snow accumulation and ablation measured with airborne scanning LiDAR altimetry and in-situ instrumental measurements, southern Sierra Nevada, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kirchner, P. B.; Bales, R. C.; Musselman, K. N.; Molotch, N. P.

    2012-12-01

    We investigated the influence of canopy on snow accumulation and melt in a mountain forest using paired snow on and snow off scanning LiDAR altimetry, synoptic measurement campaigns and in-situ time series data of snow depth, SWE, and radiation collected from the Kaweah River watershed, Sierra Nevada, California. Our analysis of forest cover classified by dominant species and 1 m2 grided mean under canopy snow accumulation calculated from airborne scanning LiDAR, demonstrate distinct relationships between forest class and under-canopy snow depth. The five forest types were selected from carefully prepared 1 m vegetation classifications and named for their dominant tree species, Giant Sequoia, Jeffrey Pine, White Fir, Red Fir, Sierra Lodgepole, Western White Pine, and Foxtail Pine. Sufficient LiDAR returns for calculating mean snow depth per m2 were available for 31 - 44% of the canopy covered area and demonstrate a reduction in snow depth of 12 - 24% from adjacent open areas. The coefficient of variation in snow depth under canopies ranged from 0.2 - 0.42 and generally decreased as elevation increased. Our analysis of snow density snows no statistical significance between snow under canopies and in the open at higher elevations with a weak significance for snow under canopies at lower elevations. Incident radiation measurements made at 15 minute intervals under forest canopies show an input of up to 150 w/m2 of thermal radiation from vegetation to the snow surface on forest plots. Snow accumulated on the mid to high elevation forested slopes of the Sierra Nevada represents the majority of winter snow storage. However snow estimates in forested environments demonstrate a high level of uncertainty due to the limited number of in-situ observations and the inability of most remote sensing platforms to retrieve reflectance under dense vegetation. Snow under forest canopies is strongly mediated by forest cover and decoupled from the processes that dictate accumulation

  3. Underwater Dendrochronology of the Sierra Nevada: Testing the Medieval Mega-Drought Hypothesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biondi, F.; Kleppe, J. A.; Brothers, D.; Kent, G.

    2006-12-01

    As stated in the NAS STR Report, "regional and large-scale reconstructions of changes in other climatic variables, such as precipitation, over the last 2,000 years would provide a valuable complement to those made for temperature." In this context, we focus on the 'Medieval Mega-drought Hypothesis', which is based on radiocarbon dating of dead trees and stumps found underwater in Sierra Nevada lakes and streambeds, and states that century-long dry periods caused lakes to retreat and streams to dry up, with the most recent mega-droughts happening during medieval times. While several paleoclimatic records support this hypothesis, some do not, and the possibility exists that geomorphic processes, such as landslides caused by seismic events, were responsible for the presence of trees and stumps under current bodies of water. Given the relevance of this hypothesis, not only for sustainable water management but also for social stability and security, it is necessary to test it beyond reasonable doubt. One way to do so is by measuring the location, orientation, and time of origin of underwater trees, to determine if they were transported or grew in situ. For example, during 2005 wood samples were retrieved from submerged trees at Fallen Leaf Lake, California. The trees had been previously located and documented using an ROV that can obtain high resolution color video, and collect small surface samples using a gripper, down to a water depth of about 150 m. For tree-ring dating, a reference chronology from AD 543 to 2003 was developed using live and dead western juniper trees located near the lake. One underwater sample, i.e. a branch cross section that included 69 rings, was then dated to AD 1085-1153. This shows that it is feasible to obtain calendar dates and continuous ring-width series from underwater trees in the Sierra Nevada. Submerged trees in Fallen Leaf Lake were mapped in summer 2006 using an EdgeTech 4200 side-scan system capable of decimeter resolution. The 5

  4. Challenges to Sierra Nevada forests and their local communities: An observational and modeling perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmidt, Cynthia L.

    Global forests are experiencing dramatic changes due to changes in climate as well as anthropogenic activities. Increased warming is causing the advancement of some species upslope and northward, while it is also causing widespread mortality due to increased drought conditions. In addition, increasing human population in mountain regions is resulting in elevated risk of human life and property loss due to larger and more severe wildfires. My research focuses on assessing the current vulnerability of forests and their communities in the Sierra Nevada, and how forests are projected to change in the future based on different climate change scenarios. In the first chapter I use Landsat satellite imagery to identify and attribute cause of forest disturbance between 1985 and 2011, primarily focusing on disturbances due to insect, diseases and drought. The change-detection algorithm, Landtrendr, was successfully used to identify forest disturbance, but identifying cause of disturbance was challenging due to the spectral similarities between disturbance types. Landtrendr was most successful in identifying disturbance due to insect, disease and drought in the San Bernardino National Forest, where there is little forest management activity. In the second chapter, I assess whether state or local land use policies in high-fire prone regions exist to reduce the vulnerability of residential developments to wildfire. Three specific land-use tools associated with reducing wildfire vulnerability are identified: (1) buffers around developments; (2) clustered developments; (3) restricting construction on slopes greater than 25%. The study also determines whether demographic and physical characteristics of selected California counties were related to implementing land use policies related to reducing wildfire vulnerability. Results indicate that land use policies related to preventing wildfire-related losses focus on building materials, road access, water availability and vegetation

  5. CONTROLS OF EXTENSION ON MIOCENE ARC MAGMATISM IN THE CENTRAL SIERRA NEVADA (CA)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Busby, C.; Putirka, K. D.; Hagan, J. C.; Koerner, A.; Melosh, B. L.

    2009-12-01

    Ancestral Cascades arc volcanism in the central Sierra Nevada occurred in three Miocene pulses, at about 16-13 Ma, 11-9 Ma, and 7-6 Ma. Our work in the Carson Pass to Sonora Pass areas shows that range-front faults clearly controlled the positions of volcanic centers during the second and third magmatic pulses. Voluminous high-K volcanic rocks of the 11-9 Ma Stanislaus Group record the onset of transtensional calving of the Sierra Nevada microplate off the western edge of the Nevadaplano. The Little Walker Caldera or Center formed at a releasing stepover in range-front faults at Sonora Pass, and erupted widesperad trachydacite ignimbrite in three distinct phases (Eureka Valley Tuff). Interstratified with these ignimbrites are widespread trachyandesite (latite), basaltic-trachyandesite (shoshonite) and trachydacite lava flows, in sections up to 500 m thick, whose vents have never been discovered (e.g. Table Mountain Latite). Although some of these lavas may have erupted from vents buried beneath the Little Walker Center, we recognize intrusions and vent facies for them along Sierran range-front and range-crest faults that emanate northwestward from the Little Walker Center between Sonora Pass and Ebbetts Pass. The biggest volcanic centers of the third magmatic pulse also include silicic volcanic rocks, and are sited along normal faults; they include the Markleeville Center southeast of Carson Pass, and the Ebbetts Pass Center. The 8 km diameter Markleeville Center consists of andesites and dacites that formed within the Hope Valley graben. The next fault to the east of the Hope Valley graben, which we name the Grover Hot Springs fault, extends southward to Ebbetts Pass, where it forms an overlapping right (releasing) step with the Noble Canyon fault to the west. The Ebbetts Pass Center lies above this releasing step along the Sierran crest. The base of the Ebbetts Pass Center is 10 km in diameter and is formed of radially-dipping basaltic andesite lava flows and

  6. A fan dam for Tulare Lake, California, and implications for the Wisconsin glacial history of the Sierra Nevada.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Atwater, B.F.

    1986-01-01

    Four stratigraphically consistent 14C dates on peat and wood give an age of 26 000 yr BP for the start of Tulare Lake's late Wisconsin transgression. An earlier enlargement of Tulare Lake probably resulted from a fan dam produced by the penultimate major (Tahoe) glaciation of the Sierra Nevada. Average sedimentation rates inferred from depths to a 600 000-yr-old clay and from radiocarbon dates indicate that this earlier lake originated no later than 100 000 yr BP. The Tahoe glaciation therefore is probably pre- Wisconsin. -from Authors

  7. Hydrogeologic conditions and water management modeling for a Sierra Nevada fen wetland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ronayne, M. J.; Cooper, D.; Wolf, E. C.

    2012-12-01

    Small fens occur throughout the Sierra Nevada, providing carbon storage and critical habitat for plant and animal species. The accumulated peat within fens, which has distinct physical and hydraulic properties, plays an important role in the hydrologic function of these wetland systems. In this study, we investigated the hydrogeology of a 0.5-ha fen in Yosemite National Park using hydraulic head data, stable isotope analysis, and numerical modeling. Peat thickness within the fen ranges from less than 10 cm to 1.4 m. Saturated conditions are produced by convergent groundwater flow originating from two distinct source areas. Water levels throughout the fen and surrounding meadow vary seasonally and interannually in response to natural variability in precipitation. The water table position is also influenced by pumping from a deep water supply well, which extracts groundwater from a weathered bedrock zone that is hydraulically connected to the surficial sediments. A spatially distributed 3D numerical groundwater model was developed to assess the relative importance of precipitation and groundwater pumping in controlling the water table position. The model results indicate that groundwater pumping has a significant impact on shallow water levels during a year with below-average precipitation. In a representative dry year, existing groundwater pumping accounts for approximately two-thirds of the water table decline (> 1 m) that is observed during June through September. During a wet year characterized by high winter/spring precipitation, there is sufficient water in storage to maintain saturated conditions throughout the summer. Predictive modeling was performed to evaluate alternative groundwater-use scenarios. These results will be used to develop water management strategies that support wetland stability.

  8. Phosphorous in the Sierra Nevada: Forms, mechanisms, and timing of release in high-elevation soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Homyak, P. M.; Sickman, J. O.; Melack, J. M.

    2009-12-01

    In high-elevation lakes of the Sierra Nevada (California) a change in nutrient loading has resulted in mild eutrophication with concomitant shifts from P to N limitation, but the source of P is currently unknown. Temperature, runoff patterns, and the timing of snowmelt influence N and P biogeochemistry in high-elevation ecosystems, which can modify cycling of P in soils and result in altered P availability. To determine whether changes in P cycling, in response to climatic changes, can lead to the mild eutrophication documented in Sierran lakes, we analyzed P pools in entisols and inceptisols in the Emerald Lake Watershed, a representative high-elevation catchment, in Sequoia National Park. Our objective is to address how P is mobilized and transformed in soils and how these processes are modified by variations in climate and hydrology. Results from sequential P fractionation extractions indicate that on average 692 µg P g-1 of soil are available in organic soils and 547 µg P g-1 of soil are available in mineral soils. In organic soils, 71 % of the total P is freely exchangeable or associated with Fe and Al, 19 % is Ca-associated P, and 10 % exists in recalcitrant pools. In mineral soils, 58 % of the total P is freely exchangeable or associated with Fe and Al, 32 % is associated with Ca, and 10 % exists in recalcitrant pools. Our results suggest that the majority of the total P in high-elevation soils is found in pools that can be affected by climatic and hydrologic changes. Future research will incorporate lake sediment P chemistry as well as freeze-thawing and drying-rewetting experiments on soils to assess microbial P turnover and the potential effect of climate change on P availability in Sierran soils.

  9. Forest thinning and soil respiration in a ponderosa pine plantation in the Sierra Nevada.

    PubMed

    Tang, Jianwu; Qi, Ye; Xu, Ming; Misson, Laurent; Goldstein, Allen H

    2005-01-01

    Soil respiration is controlled by soil temperature, soil water, fine roots, microbial activity, and soil physical and chemical properties. Forest thinning changes soil temperature, soil water content, and root density and activity, and thus changes soil respiration. We measured soil respiration monthly and soil temperature and volumetric soil water continuously in a young ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Dougl. ex P. Laws. & C. Laws.) plantation in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California from June 1998 to May 2000 (before a thinning that removed 30% of the biomass), and from May to December 2001 (after thinning). Thinning increased the spatial homogeneity of soil temperature and respiration. We conducted a multivariate analysis with two independent variables of soil temperature and water and a categorical variable representing the thinning event to simulate soil respiration and assess the effect of thinning. Thinning did not change the sensitivity of soil respiration to temperature or to water, but decreased total soil respiration by 13% at a given temperature and water content. This decrease in soil respiration was likely associated with the decrease in root density after thinning. With a model driven by continuous soil temperature and water time series, we estimated that total soil respiration was 948, 949 and 831 g C m(-2) year(-1) in the years 1999, 2000 and 2001, respectively. Although thinning reduced soil respiration at a given temperature and water content, because of natural climate variability and the thinning effect on soil temperature and water, actual cumulative soil respiration showed no clear trend following thinning. We conclude that the effect of forest thinning on soil respiration is the combined result of a decrease in root respiration, an increase in soil organic matter, and changes in soil temperature and water due to both thinning and interannual climate variability.

  10. Management Impacts on Carbon Dynamics in a Sierra Nevada Mixed Conifer Forest.

    PubMed

    Dore, Sabina; Fry, Danny L; Collins, Brandon M; Vargas, Rodrigo; York, Robert A; Stephens, Scott L

    2016-01-01

    Forest ecosystems can act as sinks of carbon and thus mitigate anthropogenic carbon emissions. When forests are actively managed, treatments can alter forests carbon dynamics, reducing their sink strength and switching them from sinks to sources of carbon. These effects are generally characterized by fast temporal dynamics. Hence this study monitored for over a decade the impacts of management practices commonly used to reduce fire hazards on the carbon dynamics of mixed-conifer forests in the Sierra Nevada, California, USA. Soil CO2 efflux, carbon pools (i.e. soil carbon, litter, fine roots, tree biomass), and radial tree growth were compared among un-manipulated controls, prescribed fire, thinning, thinning followed by fire, and two clear-cut harvested sites. Soil CO2 efflux was reduced by both fire and harvesting (ca. 15%). Soil carbon content (upper 15 cm) was not significantly changed by harvest or fire treatments. Fine root biomass was reduced by clear-cut harvest (60-70%) but not by fire, and the litter layer was reduced 80% by clear-cut harvest and 40% by fire. Thinning effects on tree growth and biomass were concentrated in the first year after treatments, whereas fire effects persisted over the seven-year post-treatment period. Over this period, tree radial growth was increased (25%) by thinning and reduced (12%) by fire. After seven years, tree biomass returned to pre-treatment levels in both fire and thinning treatments; however, biomass and productivity decreased 30%-40% compared to controls when thinning was combined with fire. The clear-cut treatment had the strongest impact, reducing ecosystem carbon stocks and delaying the capacity for carbon uptake. We conclude that post-treatment carbon dynamics and ecosystem recovery time varied with intensity and type of treatments. Consequently, management practices can be selected to minimize ecosystem carbon losses while increasing future carbon uptake, resilience to high severity fire, and climate related

  11. Origin of Paleozoic volcanics, northern Sierra Nevada, California: trace element and isotopic evidence

    SciTech Connect

    Hannah, J.L.; Crock, J.G.; Goldberg, S.A.

    1985-01-01

    Oceanic arc settings for Devonian and Permian volcanic sequences in the northern Sierra Nevada are suggested by: 1) abundant andesites and dacites; 2) the overwhelming predominance of submarine pyroclastic and epiclastic rocks; 3) localized vent facies; 4) absence of phenocrystic K-feldspar, hornblende, or biotite. Abundances of relatively immobile rare earth elements (REE), Ti, Y, Zr, and Nb, are typical of island arc tholeiites. Whole rock delta/sup 18/O values of 9.2 to 13.1 per thousand reflect low-temperature alteration. Relict quartz and augite phenocrysts, however, have retained original igneous isotopic signatures, yielding average delta/sup 18/O values of 8.2 and 6.0 per thousand, respectively. These low values preclude significant crustal contamination during magma ascent. Initial /sup 87/Sr//sup 86/Sr ratios for unaltered relict augite from Devonian andesite average 0.7082; initial ratios for augite from the Permian volcanics average 0.7045, suggesting a more primitive (back-arc.) magma source. Relatively high initial ratios from the Devonian volcanics require contamination of the magma by older, high Rb/Sr material. The contaminant is most likely a slab-derived component, as crustal assimilation or alteration processes would also increase oxygen isotope ratios. Whole rock initial /sup 87/Sr//sup 86/Sr and La/Yb ratios increase systematically through the Devonian sequence. These variations, which are not readily attributed to alteration, may reflect increasing contribution of subducted sedimentary material during arc maturation and accretionary prism growth.

  12. Fungal role in post-fire ecosystem recovery in Sierra Nevada National Park (Spain)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bárcenas-Moreno, Gema; Jiménez-Morillo, Nicasio T.; Mataix-Beneyto, Jorge; Martín Sánchez, Ines

    2016-04-01

    Fire effect on soil microorganisms has been studies for decades in several ecosystems and different microbial response can be found in the bibliography depending on numerous intrinsic and extrinsic soil factors. These factors will determine preliminary soil microbial community composition, subsequent pos-fire initial colonizers and even post-fire growth media characteristics that microbial community will find to start recolonisation. Fire-induced soil bacterial proliferation is a common pattern found after fire, usually related to pH and C availability increased. But when original soil pH is not altered by fire in acid soils, microbial response can be different and fungal response can be crucial to ecosystem recovery. In this study we have compile data related to high mountain soil from Sierra Nevada National park which was affected by a wildfire in 2006 and data obtained by laboratory heating experiment, trying to elucidate the ecological role of fungi in this fragile ecosystem. On the one hand we can observe fire-induced fungal abundance proliferation estimated by plate count method 8 and 32 months after wildfire and even in a short-term (21 d) after laboratory heating at 300 °C. Six years after fire, fungal abundance was similar between samples collected in burnt and unburnt-control area but we found higher proportion of species capable to degrade PAHs (lacase activity) in burnt soil than I the unburnt one. This finding evidences the crucial role of fungal enzymatic capacities to detoxify burnt soils when fire-induced recalcitrant and even toxic carbon compounds could be partially limiting total ecosystem recovery.

  13. Land-Cover Trends of the Sierra Nevada Ecoregion, 1973-2000

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Raumann, Christian G.; Soulard, Christopher E.

    2007-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey has developed and is implementing the Land Cover Trends project to estimate and describe the temporal and spatial distribution and variability of contemporary land-use and land-cover change in the United States. As part of the Land Cover Trends project, the purpose of this study was to assess land-use/land-cover change in the Sierra Nevada ecoregion for the period 1973 to 2000 using a probability sampling technique and satellite imagery. We randomly selected 36 100-km2 sample blocks to derive thematic images of land-use/land-cover for five dates of Landsat imagery (1973, 1980, 1986, 1992, 2000). We visually interpreted as many as 11 land-use/land-cover classes using a 60-meter minimum mapping unit from the five dates of imagery yielding four periods for analysis. Change-detection results from post-classification comparison of our mapped data showed that landscape disturbance from fire was the dominant change from 1973-2000. The second most-common change was forest disturbance resulting from harvest of timber resources by way of clear-cutting. The rates of forest regeneration from temporary fire and harvest disturbances coincided with the rates of disturbance from the previous period. Relatively minor landscape changes were caused by new development and reservoir drawdown. Multiple linear regression analysis suggests that land ownership and the proportion of forest and developed cover types were significant determinants of the likelihood of direct human-induced change occurring in sampling units. Driving forces of change include land ownership, land management such as fire suppression policy, and demand for natural resources.

  14. A Three Dimensional View of Nutrient Hotspots in a Sierra Nevada Forest Soil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, D. W.; Meadows, M. W.; Woodward, C.

    2012-12-01

    In a previous paper, we explored the variability in O horizons and surface soils in two 6 x 6 m plots in the King's River Experimental Watershed (KREW) in the western Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, one of the Critical Zone Observatory sites. Using both traditional soil coring and resin-based methods, we found that hotspots were common for all measured nutrients, especially in water-extractable fractions. We hypothesized that some of these hotspots were due to preferential infiltration of O horizon interflow. In this study, we expand the sampling space vertically by installing resin capsules at the O horizon/mineral soil interface (as in the past), and at 20, 40, and 60 cm in the soil in 16 gridpoints within a 6 x 6 m grid using the WECSA® Access system. Resins were collected after the first precipitation event in the autumn of 2011 and after snowmelt in the spring of 2012, thus providing a three-dimensional view of soil nutrient availability at two different times in exactly the same locations. The data showed considerable spatial variability at all depths, but also suggested vertical connections of hotspots for certain nutrients in that high values were co-located in the same vertical location at different depths. The data also showed clustering of high nutrient values in the deeper depths after the first precipitation event, suggesting the influence of preferential flow with the first fall wetting front. Schematic of resin collector array in soil Na and NH4 concentrations in capsules after first precipitation event.

  15. Conservation of avian diversity in the Sierra Nevada: moving beyond a single-species management focus

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    White, Angela M.; Zipkin, Elise F.; Manley, Patricia N.; Schlesinger, Matthew D.

    2013-01-01

    Background: As a result of past practices, many of the dry coniferous forests of the western United States contain dense, even-aged stands with uncharacteristically high levels of litter and downed woody debris. These changes to the forest have received considerable attention as they elevate concerns regarding the outcome of wildland fire. However, attempts to reduce biomass through fuel reduction (i.e., thinning of trees) are often opposed by public interest groups whose objectives include maintaining habitat for species of concern such as the spotted owl, Strix occidentalis, the northern goshawk, Accipiter gentilis, and the Pacific fisher, Martes pennanti. Whether protection of these upper-trophic level species confers adequate conservation of avian forest diversity is unknown. Methodology and Principal Findings: We use a multi-species occurrence model to estimate the habitat associations of 47 avian species detected at 742 sampling locations within an 880-km2 area in the Sierra Nevada. Our approach, which accounts for variations in detectability of species, estimates occurrence probabilities of all species in a community by linking species occurrence models into one hierarchical community model, thus improving inferences on all species, especially those that are rare or observed infrequently. We address how the avian community is influenced by covariates related to canopy cover, tree size and shrub cover while accounting for the impacts of abiotic variables known to affect species distributions. Conclusions and Significance: Environmental parameters estimated through our approach emphasize the importance of within and between stand-level heterogeneity in meeting biodiversity objectives and suggests that many avian species would increase under more open canopy habitat conditions than those favored by umbrella species of high conservation concern. Our results suggest that a more integrated approach that emphasizes maintaining a diversity of habitats across

  16. Interannual Variations in Aerosol Sources and Their Impact on Orographic Precipitation over California's Central Sierra Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Creamean, J.; Ault, A. P.; White, A. B.; Neiman, P. J.; Minnis, P.; Prather, K. A.

    2014-12-01

    Aerosols that serve as cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) and ice nuclei (IN) have the potential to profoundly influence precipitation processes. Furthermore, changes in orographic precipitation have broad implications for reservoir storage and flood risks. As part of the CalWater I field campaign (2009-2011), the impacts of aerosol sources on precipitation were investigated in the California Sierra Nevada Mountains. In 2009, the precipitation collected on the ground was influenced by both local biomass burning and long-range transported dust and biological particles, while in 2010, by mostly local sources of biomass burning and pollution, and in 2011 by mostly long-range transport of dust and biological particles from distant sources. Although vast differences in the sources of residues were observed from year-to-year, dust and biological residues were omnipresent (on average, 55% of the total residues combined) and were associated with storms consisting of deep convective cloud systems and larger quantities of precipitation initiated in the ice phase. Further, biological residues were dominant during storms with relatively warm cloud temperatures (up to -15°C), suggesting biological components were more efficient IN than mineral dust. On the other hand, when precipitation quantities were lower, local biomass burning and pollution residues were observed (on average 31% and 9%, respectively), suggesting these residues potentially served as CCN at the base of shallow cloud systems and that lower level polluted clouds of storm systems produced less precipitation than non-polluted (i.e., marine) clouds. The direct connection of the sources of aerosols within clouds and precipitation type and quantity can be used in models to better assess how local emissions versus long-range transported dust and biological aerosols play a role in impacting regional weather and climate, ultimately with the goal of more accurate predictive weather forecast models and water resource

  17. Interannual Variations in Aerosol Sources and Their Impact on Orographic Precipitation Over California's Central Sierra Nevada

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Creamean, J. M.; Ault, A. P.; White, A. B.; Neiman, P. J.; Ralph, F. M.; Minnis, Patrick; Prather, K. A.

    2014-01-01

    Aerosols that serve as cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) and ice nuclei (IN) have the potential to profoundly influence precipitation processes. Furthermore, changes in orographic precipitation have broad implications for reservoir storage and flood risks. As part of the CalWater I field campaign (2009-2011), the impacts of aerosol sources on precipitation were investigated in the California Sierra Nevada. In 2009, the precipitation collected on the ground was influenced by both local biomass burning (up to 79% of the insoluble residues found in precipitation) and long-range transported dust and biological particles (up to 80% combined), while in 2010, by mostly local sources of biomass burning and pollution (30-79% combined), and in 2011 by mostly long-range transport from distant sources (up to 100% dust and biological). Although vast differences in the source of residues was observed from year-to-year, dust and biological residues were omnipresent (on average, 55% of the total residues combined) and were associated with storms consisting of deep convective cloud systems and larger quantities of precipitation initiated in the ice phase. Further, biological residues were dominant during storms with relatively warm cloud temperatures (up to -15 C), suggesting these particles were more efficient IN compared to mineral dust. On the other hand, lower percentages of residues from local biomass burning and pollution were observed (on average 31% and 9%, respectively), yet these residues potentially served as CCN at the base of shallow cloud systems when precipitation quantities were low. The direct connection of the source of aerosols within clouds and precipitation type and quantity can be used in models to better assess how local emissions versus long-range transported dust and biological aerosols play a role in impacting regional weather and climate, ultimately with the goal of more accurate predictive weather forecast models and water resource management.

  18. Management Impacts on Carbon Dynamics in a Sierra Nevada Mixed Conifer Forest

    PubMed Central

    Dore, Sabina; Fry, Danny L.; Collins, Brandon M.; Vargas, Rodrigo; York, Robert A.; Stephens, Scott L.

    2016-01-01

    Forest ecosystems can act as sinks of carbon and thus mitigate anthropogenic carbon emissions. When forests are actively managed, treatments can alter forests carbon dynamics, reducing their sink strength and switching them from sinks to sources of carbon. These effects are generally characterized by fast temporal dynamics. Hence this study monitored for over a decade the impacts of management practices commonly used to reduce fire hazards on the carbon dynamics of mixed-conifer forests in the Sierra Nevada, California, USA. Soil CO2 efflux, carbon pools (i.e. soil carbon, litter, fine roots, tree biomass), and radial tree growth were compared among un-manipulated controls, prescribed fire, thinning, thinning followed by fire, and two clear-cut harvested sites. Soil CO2 efflux was reduced by both fire and harvesting (ca. 15%). Soil carbon content (upper 15 cm) was not significantly changed by harvest or fire treatments. Fine root biomass was reduced by clear-cut harvest (60–70%) but not by fire, and the litter layer was reduced 80% by clear-cut harvest and 40% by fire. Thinning effects on tree growth and biomass were concentrated in the first year after treatments, whereas fire effects persisted over the seven-year post-treatment period. Over this period, tree radial growth was increased (25%) by thinning and reduced (12%) by fire. After seven years, tree biomass returned to pre-treatment levels in both fire and thinning treatments; however, biomass and productivity decreased 30%-40% compared to controls when thinning was combined with fire. The clear-cut treatment had the strongest impact, reducing ecosystem carbon stocks and delaying the capacity for carbon uptake. We conclude that post-treatment carbon dynamics and ecosystem recovery time varied with intensity and type of treatments. Consequently, management practices can be selected to minimize ecosystem carbon losses while increasing future carbon uptake, resilience to high severity fire, and climate related

  19. The accuracy of matrix population model projections for coniferous trees in the Sierra Nevada, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    van Mantgem, P.J.; Stephenson, N.L.

    2005-01-01

    1 We assess the use of simple, size-based matrix population models for projecting population trends for six coniferous tree species in the Sierra Nevada, California. We used demographic data from 16 673 trees in 15 permanent plots to create 17 separate time-invariant, density-independent population projection models, and determined differences between trends projected from initial surveys with a 5-year interval and observed data during two subsequent 5-year time steps. 2 We detected departures from the assumptions of the matrix modelling approach in terms of strong growth autocorrelations. We also found evidence of observation errors for measurements of tree growth and, to a more limited degree, recruitment. Loglinear analysis provided evidence of significant temporal variation in demographic rates for only two of the 17 populations. 3 Total population sizes were strongly predicted by model projections, although population dynamics were dominated by carryover from the previous 5-year time step (i.e. there were few cases of recruitment or death). Fractional changes to overall population sizes were less well predicted. Compared with a null model and a simple demographic model lacking size structure, matrix model projections were better able to predict total population sizes, although the differences were not statistically significant. Matrix model projections were also able to predict short-term rates of survival, growth and recruitment. Mortality frequencies were not well predicted. 4 Our results suggest that simple size-structured models can accurately project future short-term changes for some tree populations. However, not all populations were well predicted and these simple models would probably become more inaccurate over longer projection intervals. The predictive ability of these models would also be limited by disturbance or other events that destabilize demographic rates. ?? 2005 British Ecological Society.

  20. Detection, attribution, and sensitivity of trends toward earlier streamflow in the Sierra Nevada

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Maurer, E.P.; Stewart, I.T.; Bonfils, Celine; Duffy, P.B.; Cayan, D.

    2007-01-01

    Observed changes in the timing of snowmelt dominated streamflow in the western United States are often linked to anthropogenic or other external causes. We assess whether observed streamflow timing changes can be statistically attributed to external forcing, or whether they still lie within the bounds of natural (internal) variability for four large Sierra Nevada (CA) basins, at inflow points to major reservoirs. Streamflow timing is measured by "center timing" (CT), the day when half the annual flow has passed a given point. We use a physically based hydrology model driven by meteorological input from a global climate model to quantify the natural variability in CT trends. Estimated 50-year trends in CT due to natural climate variability often exceed estimated actual CT trends from 1950 to 1999. Thus, although observed trends in CT to date may be statistically significant, they cannot yet be statistically attributed to external influences on climate. We estimate that projected CT changes at the four major reservoir inflows will, with 90% confidence, exceed those from natural variability within 1-4 decades or 4-8 decades, depending on rates of future greenhouse gas emissions. To identify areas most likely to exhibit CT changes in response to rising temperatures, we calculate changes in CT under temperature increases from 1 to 5??. We find that areas with average winter temperatures between -2??C and -4??C are most likely to respond with significant CT shifts. Correspondingly, elevations from 2000 to 2800 in are most sensitive to temperature increases, with CT changes exceeding 45 days (earlier) relative to 1961-1990. Copyright 2007 by the American Geophysical Union.

  1. The geology of the Inconsolable Range, east-central Sierra Nevada, California

    SciTech Connect

    Hathaway, G.M; Reed, W.E. . Dept. of Earth and Space Sciences)

    1993-04-01

    Detailed mapping of the Inconsolable Range in the east-central Sierra Nevada reveals a structurally and lithologically complex region of multi-phase intrusions. Some plutons are compositionally-zoned [e.g., Inconsolable (100 Ma) and Lamarck (90 Ma)]; others may be the result of magma mixing. Intrusive borders vary from brittle to ductile and sharp to gradational, and are bounded by contact aureoles of varying metamorphic grade. A shear zone (Long Lake shear zone -- LLSZ) bounds the western margin of the Inconsolable Range for 8 km; this is truncated in the south by the Cretaceous Lamarck intrusive suite, and is tectonically overlain in the north by the Bishop Creek Pendant (Ordovician ). The LLSZ is a complex zone of interleaved septa of biotite schists, orthogneisses, aplitic screens, and calc-silicate gneisses approximately 500 to 800 m wide. Preliminary interpretation suggests that the LLSZ is the sheared remnant of a Triassic-Jurassic igneous terrane complete with metasedimentary pendants. Juxtaposition of greenschist facies meta-sedimentary rocks of the Chocolate Peak klippe over highly deformed amphibolite grade meta-igneous rocks of the LLSZ postdates movement along the LLSZ. Metamorphic grades suggest that deeper structural levels are exposed within the LLSZ near its southern terminus. Twenty plutonic lithologies have been mapped and informally named (e.g., Spotted biotite quartz diorite), including 3 compositionally-zoned plutons. Zonation within the Lamarck, Inconsolable, and Spotted intrusions are the result of multiple emplacement events into partially crystallized host plutons. Along the eastern border of the Lamarck intrusive suite field evidence indicates four separate intrusive events. The Inconsolable body is a compositionally-zoned biotite, clinopyroxene, quartz diorite with irregular granodiorite margins. The base of the Spotted intrusion appears to have been magmatically eroded by a pulse of the younger Lamarck intrusion.

  2. The Hurd Peak gneiss of the Long Lake shear zone, eastern Sierra Nevada, California

    SciTech Connect

    Holland, K.S.; Reed, W.E. . Dept. of Earth and Space Sciences)

    1993-04-01

    The Hurd Peak gneiss is located within the Long Lake valley of the east-central Sierra Nevada, California. This unit is the principle orthogneiss in Hathaway's (1993) Long Lake shear zone. The rock shows porphyroclasts of plagioclase and quartz, abundant mafic enclaves, and cross-cutting field associations which suggest that the gneiss had a plutonic protolith. The gneiss varies from biotite-poor nearest the contact with the Lamarck to biotite-rich nearest Long Lake. The contact zone between the gneiss and the Lamarck pluton ranges from sharp to gradational and from migmatitic to mixed, i.e., the mixed zone being greater than 50% intermingled dikes of 10 cm or greater thickness. In places this contact is marked by a quartz-free biotite hornfels approximately 5 m thick. Based on their relative deformation, at least 3 suites of aplite dikes cross-cut the gneiss, and 5 other lithologies, including basaltic, mixed, composite, andesitic, and quartz dioritic compositions, also cross-cut the gneiss. The Rb-Sr whole rock isochron age of the Hurd Peak gneiss has been determined to be 90.2 Ma. The authors interpret this isochron to be the result of mobilization of the Rb-Sr isotopic system during intrusion of the Lamarck Granodiorite (90 Ma); this may represent a regional cooling age. The initial [sup 87]/Sr[sup 86]Sr ratio of the gneiss is 0.7098, i.e., much more evolved than the surrounding plutons which have [sup 87]Sr/[sup 86]Sr ratios near 0.706. Sr model ages indicate that the protolith of the gneiss is considerably older than 90 Ma, one such calculation suggests an age of approximately 250 Ma. Single crystals of zircon have been isolated from the gneiss for U-Pb dating, and analytical work on the zircons is presently on-going.

  3. The Breccia of Frog Lakes: Record of Mafic Arc Magmatism in the Mesozoic Sierra Nevada, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Douglas, S.; Riggs, N.; Barth, A. P.; Economos, R. C.

    2011-12-01

    The evolution of the Mesozoic western margin of North America in California is characterized by a change in tectonic regimes. After the emplacement of the Golconda thrust during the Sonoma orogeny in early Triassic time, the passive western margin changed to a convergent margin with subducting oceanic crust. Onset of arc magmatism is recorded by the volcanic section of Saddlebag Lake pendant in the east-central Sierra Nevada and includes welded tuffs, mafic flows, and volcanic breccias. The welded tuffs and mafic breccias provide insight into the diversity of volcanic processes during early evolution of the Sierran arc. The Mesozoic volcanic section of the Saddlebag Lake pendant (SLP) overlies foreland basin sediments derived from the eroding Golconda allochthon. The initial volcanic unit, the tuff of Black Mountain, is overlain by the conglomerate of Cooney Lake, which contains continental-derived sediment similar to the Candelaria Fm, and no volcanic clasts. Stratigraphically above the conglomerate is the 224 Ma tuff of Saddlebag Lake, which underlies the breccia of Frog Lakes. The breccia of Frog Lakes thus represents the earliest stratigraphic record of mafic volcanism in the Mesozoic Sierran arc. Basaltic to andesitic clasts found within the breccia of Frog Lakes are geochemically similar to modern arc-derived andesites, enriched in fluid-mobile LILEs, indicating that water had been introduced into the mantle wedge by the subducting plate and consequently depleted in less-mobile HFSEs, especially niobium. A subaqueous setting is indicated by the presence of a fine-grained, laminated sedimentary succession between the tuff of Saddlebag Lake and the breccia of Frog Lakes, together with jigsaw fragmentation of Frog Lakes breccia clasts, fluidal margins of some of these clasts, and localized fine-grained laminated sedimentary zones within clast-rich horizons. Although the arc setting remained subaqueous throughout deposition of at least the basal SLP Mesozoic

  4. On the relative contributions of wind vs. animals to seed dispersal of four Sierra Nevada pines.

    PubMed

    Vander Wall, Stephen B

    2008-07-01

    Selective pressures that influence the form of seed dispersal syndromes are poorly understood. Morphology of plant propagules is often used to infer the means of dispersal, but morphology can be misleading. Several species of pines, for example, have winged seeds adapted for wind dispersal but owe much of their establishment to scatter-hoarding animals. Here the relative importance of wind vs. animal dispersal is assessed for four species of pines of the eastern Sierra Nevada that have winged seeds but differed in seed size: lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta murrayana, 8 mg); ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa ponderosa, 56 mg); Jeffrey pine (Pinus jeffreyi, 160 mg); and sugar pine (Pinus lambertiana, 231 mg). Pre-dispersal seed mortality eliminated much of the ponderosa pine seed crop (66%), but had much less effect on Jeffrey pine (32% of seeds destroyed), lodgepole pine (29%), and sugar pine (7%). When cones opened most filled seeds were dispersed by wind. Animals removed > 99% of wind-dispersed Jeffrey and sugar pine seeds from the ground within 60 days, but animals gathered only 93% of lodgepole pine seeds and 38% of ponderosa pine seeds during the same period. Animals gathered and scatter hoarded radioactively labeled ponderosa, Jeffrey, and sugar pine seeds, making a total of 2103 caches over three years of study. Only three lodgepole pine caches were found. Caches typically contained 1-4 seeds buried 5-20 mm deep, depths suitable for seedling emergence. Although Jeffrey and sugar pine seeds are initially wind dispersed, nearly all seedlings arise from animal caches. Lodgepole pine is almost exclusively wind dispersed, with animals acting as seed predators. Animals treated ponderosa pine in an intermediate fashion. Two-phased dispersal of large, winged pine seeds appears adaptive; initial wind dispersal helps to minimize pre-dispersal seed mortality whereas scatter hoarding by animals places seeds in sites with a higher probability of seedling establishment.

  5. Management Impacts on Carbon Dynamics in a Sierra Nevada Mixed Conifer Forest.

    PubMed

    Dore, Sabina; Fry, Danny L; Collins, Brandon M; Vargas, Rodrigo; York, Robert A; Stephens, Scott L

    2016-01-01

    Forest ecosystems can act as sinks of carbon and thus mitigate anthropogenic carbon emissions. When forests are actively managed, treatments can alter forests carbon dynamics, reducing their sink strength and switching them from sinks to sources of carbon. These effects are generally characterized by fast temporal dynamics. Hence this study monitored for over a decade the impacts of management practices commonly used to reduce fire hazards on the carbon dynamics of mixed-conifer forests in the Sierra Nevada, California, USA. Soil CO2 efflux, carbon pools (i.e. soil carbon, litter, fine roots, tree biomass), and radial tree growth were compared among un-manipulated controls, prescribed fire, thinning, thinning followed by fire, and two clear-cut harvested sites. Soil CO2 efflux was reduced by both fire and harvesting (ca. 15%). Soil carbon content (upper 15 cm) was not significantly changed by harvest or fire treatments. Fine root biomass was reduced by clear-cut harvest (60-70%) but not by fire, and the litter layer was reduced 80% by clear-cut harvest and 40% by fire. Thinning effects on tree growth and biomass were concentrated in the first year after treatments, whereas fire effects persisted over the seven-year post-treatment period. Over this period, tree radial growth was increased (25%) by thinning and reduced (12%) by fire. After seven years, tree biomass returned to pre-treatment levels in both fire and thinning treatments; however, biomass and productivity decreased 30%-40% compared to controls when thinning was combined with fire. The clear-cut treatment had the strongest impact, reducing ecosystem carbon stocks and delaying the capacity for carbon uptake. We conclude that post-treatment carbon dynamics and ecosystem recovery time varied with intensity and type of treatments. Consequently, management practices can be selected to minimize ecosystem carbon losses while increasing future carbon uptake, resilience to high severity fire, and climate related

  6. Fire suppression impacts on postfire recovery of Sierra Nevada chaparral shrublands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Keeley, J.E.; Pfaff, A.H.; Safford, H.D.

    2005-01-01

    A substantial portion of chaparral shrublands in the southern part of California's Sierra Nevada Mountain Range has never had a recorded fire since record keeping began in 1910. We hypothesised that such long periods without fire are outside the historical range of variability and that when such areas burn, postfire recovery is weaker than in younger stands. We predicted that long fire-free periods will result in loss of shrub species and deterioration of soil seed banks, which, coupled with higher fire intensities from the greater accumulation of dead biomass, will lead to poorer postfire regeneration. The 2002 McNally Fire burned ancient stands that were as much as 150 years old, as well as much younger (mature) stands. Based on shrub skeletons in the burned area as a surrogate for prefire density, we found that ancient stands change in structure, owing primarily to the loss of obligate seeding Ceanothus cuneatus; other species appear to have great longevity. Despite the reduction in C. cuneatus, postfire shrub-seedling recruitment remained strong in these ancient stands, although some seed bank deterioration is suggested by the three-quarters lower seedling recruitment than recorded from mature stands. Total diversity and the abundance of postfire endemic annuals are two other response variables that suggest that these ancient stands are recovering as well as mature stands. The one area of some concern is that non-native species richness and abundance increased in the ancient stands, suggesting that these are more open to alien colonisers. It is concluded that chaparral more than a century old is resilient to such long fire-free periods and fire severity impacts are indistinguishable from those in younger chaparral stands.

  7. Bulk arc strain, crustal thickening, magma emplacement, and mass balances in the Mesozoic Sierra Nevada arc

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cao, Wenrong; Paterson, Scott; Saleeby, Jason; Zalunardo, Sean

    2016-03-01

    Quantifying crustal deformation is important for evaluating mass balance, material transfer, and the interplay between tectonism and magmatism in continental arcs. We present a dataset of >650 finite strain analyses compiled from published works and our own studies with associated structural, geochronologic, and geobarometric information in central and southern Sierra Nevada, California, to quantify the arc crust deformation. Our results show that Mesozoic tectonism results in 65% arc-perpendicular bulk crust shortening under a more or less plane strain condition. Mesozoic arc magmatism replaced ∼80% of this actively deforming arc crust with plutons requiring significantly greater crustal thickening. We suggest that by ∼85 Ma, the arc crust thickness was ∼80 km with a 30-km-thick arc root, resulting in a ∼5 km elevation. Most tectonic shortening and magma emplacement must be accommodated by downward displacements of crustal materials into growing crustal roots at the estimated downward transfer rate of 2-13 km/Myr. The downward transfer of crustal materials must occur in active magma channels, or in "escape channels" in between solidified plutons that decrease in size with time and depth resulting in an increase in the intensity of constrictional strain with depth. We argue that both tectonism and magmatism control the thickness of the crust and surface elevation with slight modification by surface erosion. The downward transported crustal materials initially fertilize the MASH zone thus enhancing to the generation of additional magmas. As the crustal root grows it may potentially pinch out and cool the mantle wedge and thus cause reduction of arc magmatism.

  8. Isotopic variation in the Tuolumne Intrusive Suite, central Sierra Nevada, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kistler, R.W.; Chappell, B.W.; Peck, D.L.; Bateman, P.C.

    1986-01-01

    Granitoid rocks of the compositionally zoned Late Cretaceous Toulumne Intrusive Suite in the central Sierra Nevada, California, have initial87Sr/86Sr values (Sri) and143Nd/144Nd values (Ndi) that vary from 0.7057 to 0.7067 and from 0.51239 to 0.51211 respectively. The observed variation of both Sri and Ndi and of chemical composition in rocks of the suite cannot be due to crystal fractionation of magma solely under closed system conditons. The largest variation in chemistry, Ndi, and Sri is present in the outer-most equigranular units of the Tuolumne Intrusive Suite. Sri varies positively with SiO2, Na2O, K2O, and Rb concentrations, and negatively with Ndi, Al2O3, Fe2O3, MgO, FeO, CaO, MnO, P2O5, TiO2, and Sr concentrations. This covariation of Sri, Ndi and chemistry can be modeled by a process of simple mixing of basaltic and granitic magmas having weight percent SiO2 of 48.0 and 73.3 respectively. Isotopic characteristic of the mafic magma are Sri=0.7047, Ndi=0.51269 and ??18O=6.0, and of the felsic magma are Sri=0.7068, Ndi=0.51212 and ??18O=8.9. The rocks sampled contain from 50 to 80% of the felsic component. An aplite in the outer equigranular unit of the Tuolumne Intrusive Suite apparently was derived by fractional crystallization of plagioclase and hornblende from magma with granudiorite composition that was a product of mixing of the magmas described above. Siliceous magmas derived from the lower crust, having a maximum of 15 percent mantle-derived mafic component, are represented by the inner prophyritic units of the Tuolumne Intrusive Suite. ?? 1986 Springer-Verlag.

  9. Inferring ecological relationships from occupancy patterns for California Black Rails in the Sierra Nevada foothills

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richmond, Orien Manu Wright

    The secretive California Black Rail (Laterallus jamaicensis coturniculus ) has a disjunct and poorly understood distribution. After a new population was discovered in Yuba County in 1994, we conducted call playback surveys from 1994--2006 in the Sierra foothills and Sacramento Valley region to determine the distribution and residency of Black Rails, estimate densities, and obtain estimates of site occupancy and detection probability. We found Black Rails at 164 small, widely scattered marshes distributed along the lower western slopes of the Sierra Nevada foothills, from just northeast of Chico (Butte County) to Rocklin (Placer County). Marshes were surrounded by a matrix of unsuitable habitat, creating a patchy or metapopulation structure. We observed Black Rails nesting and present evidence that they are year-round residents. Assuming perfect detectability we estimated a lower-bound mean Black Rail density of 1.78 rails ha-1, and assuming a detection probability of 0.5 we estimated a mean density of 3.55 rails ha-1. We test if the presence of the larger Virginia Rail (Laterallus limicola) affects probabilities of detection or occupancy of the smaller California Black Rail in small freshwater marshes that range in size from 0.013-13.99 ha. We hypothesized that Black Rail occupancy should be lower in small marshes when Virginia Rails are present than when they are absent, because resources are presumably more limited and interference competition should increase. We found that Black Rail detection probability was unaffected by the detection of Virginia Rails, while, surprisingly, Black and Virginia Rail occupancy were positively associated even in small marshes. The average probability of Black Rail occupancy was higher when Virginia Rails were present (0.74 +/- 0.053) than when they were absent (0.36 +/- 0.069), and for both species occupancy increased with marsh size. We assessed the impact of winter (November-May) cattle grazing on occupancy of California Black

  10. Tectonic evolution of the Oak Creek Volcanic Roof Pendant, eastern Sierra Nevada, California

    SciTech Connect

    Longiaru, S.

    1987-01-01

    Detailed mapping, newly obtained U/Pb age analyses, and finite strain studies completed on a deformed volcanic roof pendant within the eastern Sierra indicate that: (1) little or no penetrative deformation affected the area during the Late Jurassic, and (2) the penetrative structure postdates the Nevadan orogeny by approximately 50 million years. The pendant consists of two volcanic sequences: a steeply dipping, homoclinal series of felsic ash flows and intermediate flows of Mid- to Late Jurassic age and an unconformably overlying series of felsic ash flows and mafic tuffs of Late Cretaceous age. Both sequences possess a single, well-developed, subvertical foliation that trends NNW. Quantitative strain analyses indicate that both the Jurassic and Cretaceous volcanic sequences underwent identical compressional strains of 30-40% shortening. This observation precludes the possibility that significant ductile deformation accompanied the rotation of the Jurassic volcanic rocks and suggests that the penetrative fabric developed within both units is Late Cretaceous in age. Isotopic age determinations on adjacent undeformed or only weakly deformed granitic plutons further indicate that the peak of deformation occurred prior to 102 Ma. Structural considerations and arguments based on the orientation of dikes of the Independence suite suggest that rotation of the Jurassic volcanic sequence took place prior to 148 Ma. in an extensional regime rather than during a Nevadan compressional event as generally interpreted.

  11. The Fluid Evolution of a Ductile-To Dextral Shear Zone in the Central Sierra Nevada, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holk, G. J.; Lojasiewicz, I.; Hartman, S. M.; Compton, K.; Paterson, S. R.; Kirkpatrick, J. D.

    2015-12-01

    The application of stable isotopes in conjunction with detailed mapping of the dextral Steelhead Lake shear zone (SLSZ) in the central Sierra Nevada reveals a complex fluid history as the system transitioned from ductile-to-brittle behavior at shallow crustal depth in response to cooling of the adjacent Tuolumne Batholith (TB) at ~85 Ma. This system has a multi-stage alteration history that includes: (1) ductiley deformed tourmaline-bearing leucogranite dikes, (2) ductile-to-brittle quartz+tourmaline veins, (3) brittle calc-silicate-rich leach zones, and (4) 1-10-m-thick quartz veins with crack-seal textures. High and variable quartz δ18O values (> +13‰) from metasedimentary rocks belonging to the Saddlebag pendant outside the SLSZ indicate metamorphic fluids at low water/rock ratio. Leucogranite dikes associated with the TB have δ18O (plagioclase = +9.5±0.3‰) and δD (~ -80‰) values consistent with magmatic fluids. Quartz+tourmaline veins that record the ductile-to-brittle transition display a range of δ18O values (quartz: +3.4 to +16.4‰; tourmaline: +8.0‰) that indicate a complex fluid system involving magmatic, metamorphic, and meteoric-hydrothermal fluids. Variable mineral δ18O (-1.5 to +11.3‰) and δD (-140 to -77‰) values from the Sawmill Sequence calc-silicates and Koip Sequence metavolcanics are the product of a fluid system with magmatic (TB) and meteoric-hydrothermal end-member sources, with lowest values found within a pull-apart zone and the highest values are outside this zone. Quartz δ18O (-3.2 to +14.5‰) and fluid inclusion δD values (-137 to -79‰) define a mixing line with magmatic (TB) and meteoric-hydrothermal water end members for the crack-seal veins. Detailed studies of one 10-m-thick vein reveal a trend of decreasing isotope values from the margin to the median plane. Most mineral pairs failed to reach isotopic equilibrium, indicating a very complex and short-lived fluid evolution for this system. This study documents

  12. Variability of climate, atmospheric deposition and solute fluxes in high elevation catchments and lakes of the Sierra Nevada (California)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Melack, J. M.; Sickman, J. O.

    2009-12-01

    Regional climate change, including warmer mean temperatures, shifts in runoff patterns and the timing of snowmelt are increasingly altering high-elevation systems in the Sierra Nevada (California). Twenty five years of investigation of Emerald Lake and its catchment, a representative high-elevation system in the southern Sierra Nevada, and comparative studies of lakes and catchments throughout the region indicate how changes in snowmelt in response to variations in precipitation have modified the timing and magnitude of hydrological and chemical fluxes. Peak summer temperatures in Emerald Lake ranged from a low of 11°C in 1983 to a high of 20°C in 1990 and were related to the quantity of snowmelt runoff: higher runoff resulted in lower maximum temperatures. Three trends in aquatic ecosystem status are evident: 1) declines in summer and autumn nitrate concentrations, 2) a shift from predominantly P-limited phytoplankton populations to N-limitation and 3) a 2- to 3-fold increase in phytoplankton biomass. Annual export of N varied by a factor of 8 and was a linear function of runoff for dissolved inorganic nitrogen and dissolved organic nitrogen. Nitrogen yield increased faster than increases in runoff indicating ecosystem processes enhanced N losses during years with high runoff and retarded losses during years with low runoff.

  13. Patterns of orographic uplift in the Sierra Nevada and their relationship to upper-level atmospheric circulation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Aguado, Edward; Cayan, Daniel R.; Reece, Brian D.; Riddle, Larry

    1993-01-01

    We examine monthly and seasonal patterns of precipitation across various elevations of the eastern Central Valley of California and the Sierra Nevada. A measure of the strength of the orographic effect called the “precipitation ratio” is calculated, and we separate months into four groups based on being wet or dry and having low or high precipitation ratios. Using monthly maps of mean 700-mb height anomalies, we describe the northern hemisphere mid-tropospheric circulation patterns associated with each of the four groups. Wet months are associated with negative height anomalies over the eastern Pacific, as expected. However, the orientation of the trough is different for years with high and low precipitation ratios. Wet months with high ratios typically have circulation patterns factoring a west-southwest to east-northeast storm track from around the Hawaiian Islands to the Pacific Northwest of the United States. Wet months with low precipitation ratios are associated with a trough centered near the Aleutians and a northwest to southeast storm track. Dry months are marked by anticyclones in the Pacific, but this feature is more localized to the eastern Pacific for months with low precipitation ratios than for those with high ratios. Using precipitation gauge and snow course data from the American River and Truckee-Tahoe basins, we determined that the strength of the orographic effect on a seasonal basis is spatially coherent at low and high elevations and on opposite sides of the Sierra Nevada crestline.

  14. Holocene vegetation and climate change recorded in alpine bog sediments from the Borreguiles de la Virgen, Sierra Nevada, southern Spain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiménez-Moreno, Gonzalo; Anderson, R. Scott

    2012-01-01

    High-resolution pollen and magnetic susceptibility (MS) analyses have been carried out on a sediment core taken from a high-elevation alpine bog area located in Sierra Nevada, southern Spain. The earliest part of the record, from 8200 to about 7000 cal yr BP, is characterized by the highest abundance of arboreal pollen and Pediastrum, indicating the warmest and wettest conditions in the area at that time. The pollen record shows a progressive aridification since 7000 cal yr BP that occurred in two steps, first shown by a decrease in Pinus, replaced by Poaceae from 7000 to 4600 cal yr BP and then by Cyperaceae, Artemisia and Amaranthaceae from 4600 to 1200 cal yr BP. Pediastrum also decreased progressively and totally disappeared at ca. 3000 yr ago. The progressive aridification is punctuated by periodically enhanced drought at ca. 6500, 5200 and 4000 cal yr BP that coincide in timing and duration with well-known dry events in the Mediterranean and other areas. Since 1200 cal yr BP, several changes are observed in the vegetation that probably indicate the high-impact of humans in the Sierra Nevada, with pasturing leading to nutrient enrichment and eutrophication of the bog, Pinus reforestation and Olea cultivation at lower elevations.

  15. Intra-arc strike-slip fault exposed at batholithic levels in the southern Sierra Nevada, California

    SciTech Connect

    Busby-Spera, C.J. ); Saleeby, J.B. )

    1990-03-01

    The Kern Canyon fault is a major north-trending fault that is continuous for a distance of 140 km in the southern Sierra Nevada, California. Previous geologic mapping and geochronological work along the northern third of the fault indicate that dextral offset occurred sometime after 80 Ma and before 3.5 Ma; this offset was interpreted to be the result of Cenozoic basin-and-range extension. Our new results from the central third of the fault (Kernville-Lake Isabella region) indicate an earlier right-lateral movement history, contemporaneous with emplacement of the largest plutons in the Sierra Nevada. The older structure is termed the proto-Kern Canyon fault zone. The Cenozoic fault trace is a narrow zone of brittle deformation, whereas the Cretaceous fault zone is a broad zone of ductile deformation. U-Pb zircon geochronology on plutonic and metavolcanic rocks involved int he ductile deformation, as well as a pluton that postdates ductile deformation, demonstrate that the proto-Kern Canyon fault zone was active at 85 Ma, and may have begun to move as early as 105 Ma. Longitudinal strike-slip faults are common in modern magmatic arcs where convergence is oblique. The proto-Kern Canyon fault zone may have originated in response to a moderate northward component in subduction of the Farallon plate or perhaps a strong northward component for the Kula plate.

  16. Winter sowings produce 1-0 sugar pine planting stock in the Sierra Nevada. Forest Service research paper

    SciTech Connect

    Jenkinson, J.L.; McCain, A.H.

    1993-09-01

    Seed source and sowing date effects on first-year seedling growth and Fusarium root and collar rot of sugar pine were analyzed in two consecutive nursery tests at the Pacific Southwest Research Station's Institute of Forest Genetics, near Placerville in the western Sierra Nevada. The experimental design in both tests consisted of four replications of a randomized complete block of split-split plots, with sowing date split for disease treatment and seed source. Seed sources were natural stands at low, middle, and high elevations on the western slope of the northern Sierra Nevada. Seeds were soaked 36 hours in aerated water at 25 deg (77 deg F), chilled 90 days at 1 deg C (34 deg F), and sown in fumigated soil in February, March, April, and May. Treatment plots were drenched with fungicides just before sowing in the first test, and were inoculated with Fusarium oxysporum at time of sowing in the second test. Seedling emergence averaged 96 to 99 percent, regardless of sowing date.

  17. Development of a statistical model for estimating spatial and temporal ambient ozone patterns in the Sierra Nevada, California.

    PubMed

    Preisler, Haiganoush K; Arbaugh, Michael J; Bytnerowicz, Andrzej; Schilling, Susan L

    2002-01-17

    Statistical approaches for modeling spatially and temporally explicit data are discussed for 79 passive sampler sites and 9 active monitors distributed across the Sierra Nevada, California. A generalized additive regression model was used to estimate spatial patterns and relationships between predicted ozone exposure and explanatory variables, and to predict exposure at nonmonitored sites. The fitted model was also used to estimate probability maps for season average ozone levels exceeding critical (or subcritical) levels in the Sierra Nevada region. The explanatory variables--elevation, maximum daily temperature, and precipitation and ozone level at closest active monitor--were significant in the model. There was also a significant mostly east-west spatial trend. The between-site variability had the same magnitude as the error variability. This seems to indicate that there still exist important site features not captured by the variables used in the analysis and that may improve the accuracy of the predictive model in future studies. The fitted model using robust techniques had an overall R2 value of 0.58. The mean standard deviation for a predicted value was 6.68 ppb. PMID:12806049

  18. Structure and regional significance of the Late Permian(?) Sierra Nevada - Death Valley thrust system, east-central California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stevens, C.H.; Stone, P.

    2005-01-01

    An imbricate system of north-trending, east-directed thrust faults of late Early Permian to middle Early Triassic (most likely Late Permian) age forms a belt in east-central California extending from the Mount Morrison roof pendant in the eastern Sierra Nevada to Death Valley. Six major thrust faults typically with a spacing of 15-20 km, original dips probably of 25-35??, and stratigraphic throws of 2-5 km compose this structural belt, which we call the Sierra Nevada-Death Valley thrust system. These thrusts presumably merge into a de??collement at depth, perhaps at the contact with crystalline basement, the position of which is unknown. We interpret the deformation that produced these thrusts to have been related to the initiation of convergent plate motion along a southeast-trending continental margin segment probably formed by Pennsylvanian transform truncation. This deformation apparently represents a period of tectonic transition to full-scale convergence and arc magmatism along the continental margin beginning in the Late Triassic in central California. ?? 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Valuing year-to-go hydrologic forecast improvements for a peaking hydropower system in the Sierra Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rheinheimer, David E.; Bales, Roger C.; Oroza, Carlos A.; Lund, Jay R.; Viers, Joshua H.

    2016-05-01

    We assessed the potential value of hydrologic forecasting improvements for a snow-dominated high-elevation hydropower system in the Sierra Nevada of California, using a hydropower optimization model. To mimic different forecasting skill levels for inflow time series, rest-of-year inflows from regression-based forecasts were blended in different proportions with representative inflows from a spatially distributed hydrologic model. The statistical approach mimics the simpler, historical forecasting approach that is still widely used. Revenue was calculated using historical electricity prices, with perfect price foresight assumed. With current infrastructure and operations, perfect hydrologic forecasts increased annual hydropower revenue by 0.14 to 1.6 million, with lower values in dry years and higher values in wet years, or about $0.8 million (1.2%) on average, representing overall willingness-to-pay for perfect information. A second sensitivity analysis found a wider range of annual revenue gain or loss using different skill levels in snow measurement in the regression-based forecast, mimicking expected declines in skill as the climate warms and historical snow measurements no longer represent current conditions. The value of perfect forecasts was insensitive to storage capacity for small and large reservoirs, relative to average inflow, and modestly sensitive to storage capacity with medium (current) reservoir storage. The value of forecasts was highly sensitive to powerhouse capacity, particularly for the range of capacities in the northern Sierra Nevada. The approach can be extended to multireservoir, multipurpose systems to help guide investments in forecasting.

  20. Global to local scale simulations of streamflow in the Merced, American, and Carson Rivers, Sierra Nevada, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dettinger, M.D.; Cayan, D.R.; Mo, K.; Jeton, A.E.

    1999-01-01

    Atmospheric moisture transport and moisture budgets during winter (December-April) simulated by the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) regional spectral model (RSM) are examined and used to simulate streamflow variations in the Sierra Nevada. The RSM was nested in 2"-latitude x 2"-longitude NCEPreanalyzed atmospheric-data fields (as a surrogate for a perfect forecast system operating at the global scale). Precipitation, temperature, and solar insolation simulated by the RSM on a 50-km grid were inputted directly to precipitation-runoff models of the Merced, American, and Carson Rivers in an evaluation of the potential for end-to-end forecasting of streamflow and snowmelt runoff from the Sierra Nevada, near 39"N 120"W. Over the western United States, the RSM captures both patterns and magnitudes of precipitation (e.g., Fig. I illustrates observed and simulated precipitation for winter 1982-83). The RSM has dry biases in the Southeast and over the Gulf of Mexico, but it captures interannual and intraseasonal variations well. During most El Nifios, it simulates a precipitation dipole over the western states with wetter-than-normal conditions in California and drier-than-normal in the Pacific Northwest. The Northeast is relatively dry and the southern states are wet, as in observations. The RSM did equally well during La Niiia winters.

  1. Inevitable end-of-21st-century trends toward earlier surface runoff timing in California's Sierra Nevada Mountains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwartz, M. A.; Hall, A. D.; Sun, F.; Walton, D.; Berg, N.

    2015-12-01

    Hybrid dynamical-statistical downscaling is used to produce surface runoff timing projections for California's Sierra Nevada, a high-elevation mountain range with significant seasonal snow cover. First, future climate change projections (RCP8.5 forcing scenario, 2081-2100 period) from five CMIP5 global climate models (GCMs) are dynamically downscaled. These projections reveal that future warming leads to a shift toward earlier snowmelt and surface runoff timing throughout the Sierra Nevada region. Relationships between warming and surface runoff timing from the dynamical simulations are used to build a simple statistical model that mimics the dynamical model's projected surface runoff timing changes given GCM input or other statistically-downscaled input. This statistical model can be used to produce surface runoff timing projections for other GCMs, periods, and forcing scenarios to quantify ensemble-mean changes, uncertainty due to intermodel variability and consequences stemming from choice of forcing scenario. For all CMIP5 GCMs and forcing scenarios, significant trends toward earlier surface runoff timing occur at elevations below 2500m. Thus, we conclude that trends toward earlier surface runoff timing by the end-of-the-21st century are inevitable. The changes to surface runoff timing diagnosed in this study have implications for many dimensions of climate change, including impacts on surface hydrology, water resources, and ecosystems.

  2. Groundwater-quality data for the Sierra Nevada study unit, 2008: Results from the California GAMA program

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Shelton, Jennifer L.; Fram, Miranda S.; Munday, Cathy M.; Belitz, Kenneth

    2010-01-01

    Groundwater quality in the approximately 25,500-square-mile Sierra Nevada study unit was investigated in June through October 2008, as part of the Priority Basin Project of the Groundwater Ambient Monitoring and Assessment (GAMA) Program. The GAMA Priority Basin Project is being conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in cooperation with the California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB). The Sierra Nevada study was designed to provide statistically robust assessments of untreated groundwater quality within the primary aquifer systems in the study unit, and to facilitate statistically consistent comparisons of groundwater quality throughout California. The primary aquifer systems (hereinafter, primary aquifers) are defined by the depth of the screened or open intervals of the wells listed in the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) database of wells used for public and community drinking-water supplies. The quality of groundwater in shallower or deeper water-bearing zones may differ from that in the primary aquifers; shallow groundwater may be more vulnerable to contamination from the surface. In the Sierra Nevada study unit, groundwater samples were collected from 84 wells (and springs) in Lassen, Plumas, Butte, Sierra, Yuba, Nevada, Placer, El Dorado, Amador, Alpine, Calaveras, Tuolumne, Madera, Mariposa, Fresno, Inyo, Tulare, and Kern Counties. The wells were selected on two overlapping networks by using a spatially-distributed, randomized, grid-based approach. The primary grid-well network consisted of 30 wells, one well per grid cell in the study unit, and was designed to provide statistical representation of groundwater quality throughout the entire study unit. The lithologic grid-well network is a secondary grid that consisted of the wells in the primary grid-well network plus 53 additional wells and was designed to provide statistical representation of groundwater quality in each of the four major lithologic units in the Sierra

  3. Multiyear Evidence from Ground-based Observations and Modeling of the Impact of Dust on Snowfall in the Sierra Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Creamean, J.; Ault, A. P.; Collins, D. B.; Cahill, J. F.; Fitzgerald, E.; White, A. B.; Neiman, P. J.; Wick, G. A.; Fan, J.; Leung, L.; Ralph, F. M.; Prather, K. A.

    2011-12-01

    Aerosols that have the ability to act as ice nuclei (IN) can impact cloud formation and alter the type, amount, and location of precipitation. IN such as dust and biological aerosols can lead to early initiation of the ice phase that enhances riming and thus precipitation. Depending on temperature conditions, this can lead to increased snowfall at the surface. Potential snowfall enhancement in mountainous regions such as California's Sierra Nevada has large implications on regional water supply, which in turn can affect agricultural and ecosystem productivity, the amount of renewable energy from hydropower, and many other water uses. However, the magnitude of the effect of IN on precipitation intensity, form, and patterns during intense winter storms in the Sierra Nevada is poorly understood. During three consecutive winters (2009-2011) of the CalWater field campaign, the chemical composition of precipitation residues were measured at Sugar Pine Dam, a remote rural site in the Sierra Nevada. Some precipitation events occurred during storms that were characterized by atmospheric river (AR) conditions, which are ideal for generating copious amounts of orographic precipitation. Large fractions of dust and biological aerosols were measured as residues in precipitation samples collected during storms with increased snowfall and lower surface temperatures. In most cases, higher fractions of dust were measured in samples during stronger ARs, while higher fractions of biological or water-insoluble organic residues were measured during weaker ARs throughout all three winters. During the winter storms of CalWater, we observed an increase over time in the fraction of dust and biological residues combined, from 20% in 2009 to 82% in 2011 of the total residues in all precipitation samples, in addition to a decrease in average surface temperature (from 4.8 to 2.3 °C), an increase in the total amount of precipitation (from 253 to 374 mm), and an increase in the frequency of

  4. Field guide to geologic excursions in southwestern Utah and adjacent areas of Arizona and Nevada

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lund, William R.; Lund, William R.

    2002-01-01

    This field guide contains road logs for field trips planned in conjunction with the 2002 Rocky Mountain Section meeting of the Geological Society of America held at Southern Utah University in Cedar City, Utah. There are a total of eight field trips, covering various locations and topics in southwestern Utah and adjacent areas of Arizona and Nevada. In addition, the field guide contains a road log for a set of Geological Engineering Field Camp Exercises run annually by the University of Missouri at Rolla in and around Cedar City. Two of the field trips address structural aspects of the geology in southwestern Utah and northwestern Arizona; two trips deal with ground water in the region; and along with the Field Camp Exercises, one trip, to the Grand Staircase, is designed specifically for educators. The remaining trips examine the volcanology and mineral resources of a large area in and around the Tusher Mountains in Utah; marine and brackish water strata in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument; and the Pine Valley Mountains, which are cored by what may be the largest known laccolith in the world. The "Three Corners" area of Utah, Arizona, and Nevada is home to truly world-class geology, and I am confident that all of the 2002 Rocky Mountain Section meeting attendees will find a field trip suited to their interests.

  5. Observational constraints on the contribution of isoprene oxidation to ozone production on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dreyfus, Gabrielle B.; Schade, Gunnar W.; Goldstein, Allen H.

    2002-10-01

    Observations of isoprene and its oxidation products methacrolein (MACR) and methyl vinyl ketone (MVK) are used to quantify the impact of isoprene oxidation on ozone production along the western slope of the Sierra Nevada mountains. Regular daytime up-slope wind flow patterns transport anthropogenic volatile organic compounds (VOC) and NOx emissions from the Central Valley toward the Sierra Nevada. A north-south band of oak forests stretching along the foothills and located approximately halfway between Sacramento and our measurement site (Blodgett Forest Research Station; elevation 1315 m) injects isoprene into this mixture. Subsequently, high ozone levels are encountered in these air masses. At Blodgett, daytime mixing ratios of isoprene's oxidation products and ozone were highly correlated. The observed daytime MVK/MACR ratio was used to estimate a mean [OH] of 9 (±4) × 106 molec. cm-3 between the measurement site and the Sierra foothills. The slope of the correlation between ozone and MVK was analyzed and compared to theoretical yield ratios for the photooxidation of isoprene to estimate the fraction of total ozone production due to isoprene oxidation. On average, over 40% of the observed midday ozone formation in this region was attributable to isoprene oxidation. On ozone episode days (maximum [O3] > 90 ppb), the mean isoprene contribution was over 70%. The calculated isoprene contribution to ozone production was variable from day to day but tended to increase exponentially with both isoprene input and air temperature. NOx conditions in the up-slope air masses were very important in determining the ozone formation potential of isoprene, and the general dominance of isoprene as an ozone precursor suggests that summertime ozone abatement strategies for the region must focus on anthropogenic NOx rather than VOC reductions.

  6. EFFECTS OF CLIMATE VARIABILITY ON THE CARBON DIOXIDE, WATER, AND SENSIBLE HEAT FLUXES ABOVE A PONDEROSA PINE PLANTATION IN THE SIERRA NEVADA, CA. (R826601)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Abstract

    Fluxes of CO2, water vapor, and sensible heat were measured by the eddy covariance method above a young ponderosa pine plantation in the Sierra Nevada Mountains (CA) over two growing seasons (1 June¯10 September 1997 and 1 May&#...

  7. Application of ERTS-1 imagery and underflight photography in the detection and monitoring of forest insect infestations in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hall, R. C.

    1973-01-01

    The analysis of ERTS-1 imagery of areas in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California is discussed. The data is used to detect two types of insect infestational and to determine the extent of timber resources. Addition applications are the mapping of stream courses, mountain meadows, lakes, rock outcrops, and grazing land. The ERTS-1 data and underflight photography are used for this purpose.

  8. Atmospheric deposition and solute export in giant sequoia: mixed conifer watersheds in the Sierra Nevada, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stohlgren, Thomas J.; Melack, John M.; Esperanza, Anne M.; Parsons, David J.

    1991-01-01

    Atmospheric depostion and stream discharge and solutes were measured for three years (September 1984 - August 1987) in two mixed conifer watersheds in Sequoia National Park, in the southern Sierra Nevada of California. The Log Creek watershed (50 ha, 2067-2397 m elev.) is drained by a perennial stream, while Tharp's Creek watershed (13 ha, 2067-2255 m elev.) contains an intermittent stream. Dominant trees in the area include Abies concolor (white fir), Sequoiadendron giganteum (giant sequoia), A. magnifica (red fir), and Pinus lambertiana (sugar pine). Bedrock is predominantly granite and granodiorite, and the soils are mostly Pachic Xerumbrepts. Over the three year period, sulfate (SO42-), nitrate (NO3-), and chloride (Cl-) were the major anions in bulk precipitation with volume-weighted average concentrations of 12.6, 12.3 and 10.0 μeq/1, respectively. Annual inputs of NO3-N, NH4-N and SO4-S from wet deposition were about 60 to 75% of those reported from bulk deposition collectors. Discharge from the two watersheds occurs primarily during spring snowmelt. Solute exports from Log and Tharp's Creeks were dominated by HCO3-, Ca2+ and Na+, while H+, NO3-, NH4+ and PO43- outputs were relatively small. Solute concentrations were weakly correlated with instantaneous stream flow for all solutes (r2 3- (Log Cr. r2=0.72; Tharp's Cr. r2=0.38), Na+ (Log Cr. r2=0.56; Tharp's Cr. r2=0.47), and silicate (Log Cr. r2=0.71; Tharp's Cr. r2=0.49). Mean annual atmospheric contributions of NO3-N (1.6 kg ha-1), NH4-N (1.7 kg ha-1), and SO4-S (1.8 kg ha-1), which are associated with acidic deposition, greatly exceed hydrologic losses. Annual watershed yields (expressed as eq ha-1) of HCO3- exceeded by factors of 2.5 to 37 the annual atmospheric deposition of H+.

  9. Ecosystem Consequences of Prolonged Ozone Pollution in the Southern Sierra Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cousins, S.; Battles, J. J.; Cisneros, R.; Esperanza, A.; Swenson, D.

    2015-12-01

    While acute O3 exposure is widely known to damage plant tissues, the chronic effects on long lived organisms such as trees remain unclear. In the southern Sierra Nevada, O3 pollution has afflicted pine-dominated forests for over 40 years. Here we report the results of a long-term study of O3 impact on tree injury, growth, and mortality. Our study employed a network of forest plots along a gradient of O3 pollution with recurring measurements from 1991-2012. Over the same period and locations, summer O3 was monitored via partnership with USNPS and USFS, making this one of the longest known ecosystem studies of O3 pollution and its effects. We found that exposure at the most polluted sites declined 33%, from a W126 index of 20.12 ppm-hrs in 1992 to 13.5 ppm-hrs in 2012. The severity of foliar pollution damage at these sites also declined, from 43.9 on the 0-100 Ozone Injury Index (OII) scale to 34.2, a drop of 22%. At locations with lower O3 exposure, damage declined from OII of 16.9 to 9.2. Mean annual tree mortality rates over the 20 year period, calculated with a profile likelihood approach, were 0.5%/yr (95% CI 0.3 to 0.8 %/yr). This rate is similar to that of healthy canopy trees in similar unpolluted stands. However, low and declining tree growth rates reveal possible ecosystem impacts of prolonged exposure to pollution. Across affected sites, mean relative growth rates were 1.1%/yr in 1991-2000, and just 0.9%/yr in 2000-2011, a decline of 15.6% in the second decade. Initial analyses suggest that tree damage is positively correlated with June-October O3, as indicated by previous studies. Further analysis will explore the drivers of ecosystem impacts and roles of other natural and anthropogenic stressors, including variation in climatic water deficit. Understanding the consequences of prolonged O3 exposure on both individual trees and complex forest ecosystems helps identify the hidden environmental costs of tropospheric O3 and potential benefits of cleaner air.

  10. Nutrient and mercury deposition and storage in an alpine snowpack of the Sierra Nevada, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pearson, C.; Schumer, R.; Trustman, B. D.; Rittger, K.; Johnson, D. W.; Obrist, D.

    2015-01-01

    Bi-weekly snowpack core samples were collected at seven sites along two elevation gradients in the Tahoe Basin during two consecutive snow years to evaluate total wintertime snowpack accumulation of nutrients and pollutants in a high elevation watershed of the Sierra Nevada. Additional sampling of wet deposition and detailed snow pit profiles was conducted the following year to compare wet deposition to snowpack storage and assess the vertical dynamics of snowpack chemicals. Results show that on average organic N comprised 48% of all snowpack N, while nitrate (NO3--N) and TAN (total ammonia nitrogen) made up 25 and 27%, respectively. Snowpack NO3--N concentrations were relatively uniform across sampling sites over the sampling seasons and showed little difference between seasonal wet deposition and integrated snow pit concentrations in agreement with previous studies that identify wet deposition as the dominant source of wintertime NO3--N deposition. However, vertical snow pit profiles showed highly variable concentrations of NO3--N within the snowpack indicative of additional deposition and in snowpack dynamics. Unlike NO3--N, snowpack TAN doubled towards the end of winter and in addition to wet deposition, had a strong dry deposition component. Organic N concentrations in snowpack were highly variable (from 35 to 70%) and showed no clear temporal or spatial dependence throughout the season. Integrated snowpack organic N concentrations were up to 2.5 times higher than seasonal wet deposition, likely due to microbial immobilization of inorganic N as evident by coinciding increases of organic N and decreases of inorganic N, in deeper, aged snowpack. Spatial and temporal deposition patterns of snowpack P were consistent with particulate-bound dry deposition inputs and strong impacts from in-basin sources causing up to 6 times enrichment at urban locations compared to remote sites. Snowpack Hg showed little temporal variability and was dominated by particulate

  11. Characterizing Runoff and Water Yield from Headwater Catchments in the Southern Sierra Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Safeeq, M.; Hunsaker, C. T.

    2015-12-01

    In a mediterranean climate where much of the annual precipitation falls during winter, the snow-capped Sierra Nevada serves as the primary source of dry season runoff that supports agriculture, industries, urban, and other ecosystems. Increased warming has led to significant reductions in mountain snowpack accumulation and earlier snowmelt throughout the western United States where most of the snow accumulates at temperatures near the freezing point. As a result, declines in dry season runoff magnitude, earlier runoff timing, and altered flood risk have been reported across the region. An important question in this context is, how to best manage forested catchments for water and other ecosystem services? We depict the differences in hydrologic response of ten catchments in the Kings River Experimental Watersheds (KREW) research project using continuous precipitation, snow, and runoff data during 2004-2014. The size of these catchments ranges from 50 to 475 ha, and they span a 600-m elevation range in the rain snow transitional zone. In terms of soil, Shaver and Gerle-Cagwin dominate the lower elevation Providence catchments, and Cagwin soils dominate the higher elevation Bull catchments. The majority of these catchments have southwest aspect, moderate average slope (i.e. <25%), and a well-developed drainage network with drainage density ranging from 4.6 to 10.1 km/km2. Bull catchments, on average, have higher runoff than the Providence catchments across all hydrologic signatures extracted from daily hydrographs. Mean annual runoff ranges between 281 to 408 mm in Providence and 436 to 656 mm in Bull catchments despite no significant difference in precipitation among KREW's four meteorological stations. However, high elevation Bull catchments receive significantly more precipitation as snow than the low elevation Providence catchments. The average runoff ratio ranges from 18% to as high as 43% among different catchments, indicating that the catchment

  12. Forest Vertical Structure of Sierra Nevada Observed by the First Spaceborne Tandem SAR Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qi, W.; Swatantran, A.; Dubayah, R.

    2015-12-01

    DLR's TerraSAR-X (TSX, 2007 launched) /TanDEM-X (TDX, 2010 launched) (abbreviated as TDM) mission is the first and sole Spaceborne tandem SAR mission, allowing for consistent and continuous mappings of global forest structure without any temporal decorrelation. This study tested performance of three single-polarized (HH) TDM acquisitions for forest structure estimation over a coniferous forest of Sierra Nevada. Complex interferometric coherences were calculated and applied in a widely used scattering model - the Random Volume over Ground (RVoG) model to retrieve the forest structural properties. Scattering phase height (SPH) was derived from the interferometric phase for an evaluation of the average scattering height of this forest and the overall penetration capability of TDM X-band signal over this area. Since only single-polarized TDM data are available, in order to keep the RVoG inversion balanced and solvable, either one of the following two strategies can be applied: 1) simulating the ground phase using a digital terrain model (DTM) from Lidar, and 2) assuming a fixed extinction coefficient value for the entire study area when a Lidar DTM is not used. This study firstly used a 5-m Lidar DTM to estimate the SPH and RVoG forest height. All SPH of the three TDM acquisitions have demonstrated strong correlations to the Lidar RH100 (canopy top height) with r2 of 0.75~0.77, bias of -11.60~-12.58m (i.e. the mean height difference between SPH and canopy top height; this bias can be associated to the average penetration depth) and RMSE of 12.79~13.73m at 90m. An r2 of 0.79~0.81, bias of 0.37~1.97m and RMSE of 5.11~5.56m was observed between all the RVoG forest height and Lidar RH100. The study also tested the second method by fixing the extinction value, i.e. without applying a Lidar DTM for the ground phase. Despite the large variety of forest density and height over this area, the derived RVoG forest height has a surprisingly good correlation to the Lidar RH100 with

  13. Explosively erupted magmas with relatively quiescent differentiation stories. Examples from Sierra Nevada, México

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sosa-Ceballos, G.; Macias, J.; Garduño-Monroy, V. H.

    2013-12-01

    Sierra Nevada is a N-S aligned volcanic range in central Mexico, located approximately 65 km SE of Mexico City. It is formed by Telapón, Tláloc, Iztaccíhuatl, and Popocatépetl volcanoes. Popocatepetl have had at least five Plinian eruptions in the last 23 ky and at least two sector collapses that partially destroyed the volcanic edifice. Iztaccíhuatl explosive history is less constrained than Popocatepetl's but a debris avalanche deposit suggest that at least one sector collapse affected the volcano. The most recent debris avalanche deposits from Popocatépetl (23 ky) and Iztaccíhuatl (430 ky) are crowned by fall deposits produced by an explosive eruption. Compared to the other Plinian magmas from Popocatepetl, the WP magma (Popocatepetl) and the IZ-4 magma (Iztaccíhuatl) are slightly more evolved (65-66 wt. % SiO2), do not contain any xenocryst suggesting mixing with more mafic magmas (olivine, Mg-rich pyroxene, or Cr-rich magnetite), their frequency of mixing events is lower, disequilibrium textures like sieving are absent, and at least for the WP magma, evidence of upper crust assimilation is negligible. In addition, equilibrium of Fe-Ti oxides, CO2 and water concentrations analyzed in melt inclusions, and hydrothermal experiments yield that the pre-eruptive conditions of both magmas are approximately ~910 °C and <200 MPa. The pressure of storage is greater compared to the other Plinain magmas from Popocatepetl, ~130 MPa. It is well known that magma mixing could trigger explosive eruptions. However, in contrast to all other Plinian eruptions from Popocatepetl, the WP and IZ-4 magmas seem to being predominately crystallizing with no major effects from mixing and/or assimilation, and that they were tapped just because of the effect produced on the pressure gradient by the sector collapse. This is important for present day monitoring of Popocatépetl activity, because it seems that the deeper reservoir is less prone for mixing and that the accumulation of

  14. Climate and hillslope degradation vary in concert; 85 ka to present, eastern Sierra Nevada, CA, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Madoff, Risa D.; Putkonen, Jaakko

    2016-08-01

    Degradation in the landscape results when the interactions of climate, substrate, and biota dislodge and transport sediment that is mantling landforms. Rates of degradation through time control landform stability and resiliency. Therefore, records of past degradation rates can be used to inform us on how a given landscape responded to significant changes in past climates. For example, climate has varied at many temporal scales, and some of the largest recent shifts enabled the glacial advances and retreats in time scales of 20-100 ka. Therefore, it is reasonable to expect that the rate of landscape degradation has also varied at similar time scales. However, the general hillslope diffusion equation that is commonly used to model cross-profiles of hillslopes on time scales of thousands to tens of thousands of years typically relies on a constant and optimized rate parameter to generate a model cross-profile approximating the current observed landform cross-profile. Using a time-varying diffusivity parameter, we generated three separate degradation scenarios for the Mono Basin moraine in the eastern Sierra Nevada, CA, USA, in order to assess the potential impact of varying past climates on sediment transport. We used published paleoclimate records in the study area and modern rates of surface degradation from climates that correspond broadly to those paleoclimates. The results indicate that, in this case, the climate driven and, therefore, time-dependent degradation model produces a good fit between the modeled and observed landform profiles. Results showed that, when the surface elevations of the reference case (constant optimized diffusivity) were compared through time to the surface elevations of the time-dependent model, the differences were relatively small. The largest deviation was found to occur during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). We found that for investigations into the geological effects of climate change in glacial and polar regions, the use of time

  15. Early Neogene unroofing of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta along the Bucaramanga -Santa Marta Fault

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piraquive Bermúdez, Alejandro; Pinzón, Edna; Bernet, Matthias; Kammer, Andreas; Von Quadt, Albrecht; Sarmiento, Gustavo

    2016-04-01

    Plate interaction between Caribbean and Nazca plates with Southamerica gave rise to an intricate pattern of tectonic blocks in the Northandean realm. Among these microblocks the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta (SNSM) represents a fault-bounded triangular massif composed of a representative crustal section of the Northandean margin, in which a Precambrian to Late Paleozoic metamorphic belt is overlain by a Triassic to Jurassic magmatic arc and collateral volcanic suites. Its western border fault belongs to the composite Bucaramanga - Santa Marta fault with a combined left lateral-normal displacement. SE of Santa Marta it exposes remnants of an Oligocene marginal basin, which attests to a first Cenoizoic activation of this crustal-scale lineament. The basin fill consists of a sequence of coarse-grained cobble-pebble conglomerates > 1000 m thick that unconformably overlay the Triassic-Jurassic magmatic arc. Its lower sequence is composed of interbedded siltstones; topwards the sequence becomes dominated by coarser fractions. These sedimentary sequences yields valuable information about exhumation and coeval sedimentation processes that affected the massif's western border since the Upper Eocene. In order to analyse uplifting processes associated with tectonics during early Neogene we performed detrital zircon U-Pb geochronology, detrital thermochronology of zircon and apatites coupled with the description of a stratigraphic section and its facies composition. We compared samples from the Aracataca basin with analog sequences found at an equivalent basin at the Oca Fault at the northern margin of the SNSM. Our results show that sediments of both basins were sourced from Precambrian gneisses, along with Mesozoic acid to intermediate plutons; sedimentation started in the Upper Eocene-Oligocene according to palynomorphs, subsequently in the Upper Oligocene a completion of Jurassic to Cretaceous sources was followed by an increase of Precambrian input that became the dominant

  16. Potential effects of tree-to-shrub type conversion on streamflow in California's Sierra Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baguskas, S. A.; Bart, R.; Molinari, N.; Tague, C.; Moritz, M.

    2014-12-01

    There is widespread concern that changes in climate and fire regime may lead to vegetation change across California, which in turn may influence watershed hydrology. Although plant cover is known to affect numerous hydrological processes, sensitivities to vegetation type and spatial arrangement of species within watersheds are not well understood. The primary objective of our research was to generate mechanistically-based projections of how potential type conversion from forested to shrub dominated systems may affect streamflow. During the 2014 growing season, we measured ecophysiological responses (plant water status and leaf gas exchange rates) of two dominant tree and shrub species to changes in seasonal water availability at two sites within the southern Sierra Nevada Critical Zone Observatory. Plant physiological observations were used to parameterize a process-based eco-hydrological model, RHESSys. This model was used to evaluate the impact of changes in seasonal water availability and vegetation type-conversion on streamflow. Based on our field observations, shrubs and trees had similar access to water through the early part of the growing season (April-early June); however, by late July, available water to shrubs was twice that of trees (shrubs, -0.55 ± 0.08 MPa; trees, -1.07 ± 0.08 MPa, p<0.05). Likewise, maximum transpiration (E) and carbon assimilation (A) rates per unit leaf area were twice as high for shrubs then trees in July (shrubs, A= 21 ± 2.3 μmol m-2 s-1, E=6.6 ± 1.8 mmol m-2 s-1; trees, A=8.2 ± 1.9 μmol m-2 s-1, E=2.4 ± 0.3 mmol m-2 s-1). Preliminary modeled changes in streamflow following simulated vegetation conversion were found to affect both the timing and amount of discharge. Controls on pre vs. post-conversion streamflow included changes in interception, rooting depth, energy balance, and plant response to changes in seasonal water availability. Our research demonstrates how linking strategic field data collection and mechanistic

  17. Tertiary Volcanic Stratigraphy and Structure of the Sonora Pass Region, Central Sierra Nevada, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Busby, C. J.; Rood, D.; Wagner, D.

    2003-12-01

    Mapping north and west of Sonora Pass provides information about the paleogeography and structure of the Sierra Nevada-Basin Range transition in Oligocene to Miocene time. The stratigraphy includes: (1) Late Oligocene-Early Miocene (?) Valley Springs Formation, composed of at least 5-6 petrographically distinctive silicic ignimbrites, overlain with erosional unconformity by (2) Early to Middle Miocene (?) "Relief Peak Formation", here referred to as Mehrten Formation, composed of hornblende andesite volcanic debris flow deposits, overlain with erosional uncomformity by channelized fluvial deposits, in turn overlain with erosional unconformity by block and ash flow tuffs, overlain with erosional unconformity by (3) the Middle or Late Miocene (?) Stanislaus Formation, composed of (a) latite lava flows ("Table Mountain Latite") and interbedded volcanic debris flow and fluvial deposits, overlain with erosional unconformity by (b) the Eureka Valley Tuff (EVT), also of latitic composition, in turn overlain with erosional unconformity by (c) latite flows, volcaniclastic fluvial deposits, or a debris avalanche deposit. The entire section is cut by andesite plugs. The basal ignimbrites are distal facies with source calderas in Nevada. The Merhten Formation is dominated by primary volcanic deposits in the east. The "Table Mountain Latite" is coarsely porphyritic plagioclase- and augite-phyric lava flows and flow breccias; it is only 83 m thick, with two flow units, in the west, and thickens to 344 m, with 21 flow units, in the east, suggesting a source not far to the east of the crest. The EVT consists of two members, each of which grade upward from densely welded to nonwelded latite ignimbrite. Distinctive lapilli- to block-sized clasts in both members are a distinctive mixture of highly flattened and plastically-deformed obsidian and rigid, vesicular bombs cored by obsidian. The tuff was probably erupted from a caldera only 22 km to the east. The Miocene strata generally

  18. Vertical tectonics at a continental crust-oceanic plateau plate boundary zone: Fission track thermochronology of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Villagómez, Diego; Spikings, Richard; Mora, AndréS.; GuzmáN, Georgina; Ojeda, GermáN.; CortéS, Elizabeth; van der Lelij, Roelant

    2011-08-01

    The topographically prominent Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta forms part of a faulted block of continental crust located along the northern boundary of the South American Plate, hosts the highest elevation in the world (˜5.75 km) whose local base is at sea level, and juxtaposes oceanic plateau rocks of the Caribbean Plate. Quantification of the amount and timing of exhumation constrains interpretations of the history of the plate boundary, and the driving forces of rock uplift along the active margin. The Sierra Nevada Province of the southernmost Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta exhumed at elevated rates (≥0.2 Km/My) during 65-58 Ma in response to the collision of the Caribbean Plateau with northwestern South America. A second pulse of exhumation (≥0.32 Km/My) during 50-40 Ma was driven by underthrusting of the Caribbean Plate beneath northern South America. Subsequent exhumation at 40-25 Ma (≥0.15 Km/My) is recorded proximal to the Santa Marta-Bucaramanga Fault. More northerly regions of the Sierra Nevada Province exhumed rapidly during 26-29 Ma (˜0.7 Km/My). Further northward, the Santa Marta Province exhumed at elevated rates during 30-25 Ma and 25-16 Ma. The highest exhumation rates within the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta progressed toward the northwest via the propagation of NW verging thrusts. Exhumation is not recorded after ˜16 Ma, which is unexpected given the high elevation and high erosive power of the climate, implying that rock and surface uplift that gave rise to the current topography was very recent (i.e., ≤1 Ma?), and there has been insufficient time to expose the fossil apatite partial annealing zone.

  19. A Brittle-Ductile Transition Preserved in the Sierra Crest Shear Zone, Sierra Nevada, CA: a Natural Laboratory for Examining Rheologically-Controlled Brittle and Ductile Deformation Partitioning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Attia, S.; Paterson, S. R.; Hartman, S. M.; Jiang, D.

    2015-12-01

    The Sierra Crest shear zone (SCSZ), an ~300 km long Late Cretaceous dextral transpressive ductile-brittle shear system in the eastern central Sierra Nevada, CA partitioned tectonic boundary conditions during a fundamental rheological transition in the upper crust from ductile to brittle deformation due to the exhumation and cooling of the arc. The SCSZ represents a well-exposed and data-rich 'natural laboratory' to study the mechanisms driving evolving strain partitioning and rheology. The SCSZ transitioned from a broad swath of partitioned ductile shear zones, comprised of anastomosing simple shear dominated zones separated by pure shear dominated domains, to a complex partitioned brittle fault system, expressed as brittle slip, veining, brecciation, and pseudotachylyte formation along discrete structures, as arc magmatism shut down, the arc cooled, and exhumation rates increased. Previous studies have documented evolving deformation partitioning in the ductile system indicated by variable fabric development ranging from preserved bedding to mylonites, the spread of lineation orientations, and variable kinematics. Multi-generational brittle fabrics that are variably ductilely deformed and the orientation of 1st and 2nd order brittle structures, both concordant and discordant with ductile shears, indicate that partitioning also evolved during the complex rheological transition. Structural, strain, P-T-t, geochronologic, and field data provide controls on parameters (e.g. lithology, fluids, strain, preexisting structure, timing, P-T conditions) needed to model the development of the SCSZ in anisotropic crust undergoing a transition in rheology and tectonic boundary conditions. As rheological heterogeneity will lead to deformation partitioning throughout intervening scales, it is unrealistic to apply single scale models to this investigation. Thus, we propose to compare the above observations to predictions made by a model (MOPLA; Jiang, 2014) of progressive

  20. Environmental changes in Sierra Nevada during the last 6 ky BP inferred from solifluction lobes and lake sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oliva, M.; Gómez Ortiz, A.; Schulte, L.

    2009-04-01

    Holocene climate variability drove important landscape changes in Sierra Nevada, heightened due to the emplacement of Sierra Nevada at 37°N in southwestern Europe and, therefore, the different crossing influences in this region: geographical Europe/Africa), maritime (Atlantic/Mediterranean), climatic (subtropical high-pressure belt/ mid-latitude westerlies). Despite the existence of several kinds of sedimentary records in Sierra Nevada, only two of them can provide further information about Holocene landscape changes in this massif: solifluction lobes and mountain lakes. The numerous sedimentological changes inferred from terrestrial and aquatic records suggest the proximity of geomorphological processes in the massif of their climate boundaries and the small climate range necessary to carry environmental changes in the summits of the Sierra Nevada. Sierra Nevada holds the highest lakes in Europe, all of them related to a glacial origin. Four lakes were cored in Sierra Nevada, three of them southern exposed (Aguas Verdes, Rio Seco and Rio Seco lagoon) and only one with northern orientation (San Juan lagoon). Sedimentological properties of these cores assert evidences of different phases of coarse-grained inputs into the lakes, with low organic matter proportion and high mineral contents. These pulses correspond to geomorphic periods with enhanced slope instability, interfingered in phases with lower sediment transfer onto the lakes. These relative stable periods show a fine-grained texture with less mineral fraction and increases in the organic composition of the sediments. The similar evolution of the C/N ratio and Corg contents reflects the low productivity of these oligotrophic lakes and the terrestrial origin of the organic matter present in their sediments; both proxies also confirm a general pattern characterized in Sierra Nevada by an arid trend since the HWP, when the headwaters of the highest catchments stored a denser vegetation cover. We report an

  1. Is the Isabella anomaly a fossil slab or the foundered lithospheric root of the Sierra Nevada batholith?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoots, C. R.; Schmandt, B.; Clayton, R. W.; Hansen, S. M.; Dougherty, S. L.

    2015-12-01

    The Isabella Anomaly is a volume of relatively high seismic velocity upper mantle beneath the southern Great Valley in California. We deployed ~45 broadband seismometers in central California to test two main hypotheses for the origin of the Isabella Anomaly. One suggests that the Isabella Anomaly is the foundered lithospheric root of the southern Sierra Nevada batholith, which delaminated on account of eclogite-rich composition and translated westward as it began to sink into the asthenosphere. The other hypothesis suggests that the Isabella Anomaly is a fossil slab fragment attached to the Monterey microplate that lies offshore of central California and thus it is mechanically coupled to the Pacific plate. Prior seismic imaging with ~70 km station spacing cannot resolve the landward termination of Monterey microplate lithosphere beneath coastal California or where/if the Isabella Anomaly is attached to North America lithosphere beneath the Great Valley. The new temporary broadband array consists of 40 broadband seismometers with ~7 km spacing extending from the central California coast to the western Sierra Nevada batholith, plus some outliers to fill gaps in the regional network coverage. The temporary array was initially deployed in early 2014 and will continue to record until October 2015 so the complete data are not yet available. Preliminary Ps scattered wave images show an abrupt ~6 km increase in Moho depth eastward across the San Andreas fault, a strong positive impedance contrast that dips westward from ~7-25 km beneath Great Valley, and a sharp Moho with a slight westward dip beneath the western edge of the Sierra Nevada batholith. Apparently low impedance contrast characterizes the Moho beneath the eastern Great Valley and foothills, consistent with near mantle velocities in the lower crust. Processing of the cumulative data that will be available in October 2015 and incorporation of new tomography models into scattered wave imaging are needed before

  2. Correlation and analysis of Miocene paleochannels in the central Sierra Nevada, California, as displayed by the Stanislaus Group

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, S.; Pluhar, C. J.; Farner, M. J.; Deino, A. L.

    2013-12-01

    The proposed Neogene uplift of the Sierra Nevada has been debated for several decades. Although multiple lines of evidence indicate substantial uplift of the Sierran crest over the last ten million years, recent isotopic and paleobotanical methods have called the validity of these calculations into question. Our study focuses on the discontinuous units of the Miocene Stanislaus Group: Table Mountain Formation lavas, Dardenelles Formation lavas, and Eureka Valley Tuff (EVT) lava and tuffs. These units are significant because they have been used as a tilt indicator to calculate the uplift of the Sierra Nevada crest since their emplacement, 9.0-10.2 million years ago. Our research increased the quantity of primary data, which will be used to develop and verify a digitally-derived model of the paleodrainage systems of the ancient Sierra Nevada. The localities, Dorrington, Pikes Peak, Rancheria Mountain, Three Chimneys, and Sonora Pass are significant because they may represent the few remaining Table Mountain Formation (trachyandesite) outcrops of previously unmapped paleodrainage channels. To test this hypothesis, geochemical and paleomagnetic data were used to correlate the localities and thereby reconstruct the paleochannels. Outcrops near Dorrington, California contain biotite, display eutaxitic textures and are characterized by a reverse polarity indistinguishable from the Tollhouse Flat Member of the EVT. Previously mapped as Table Mountain Latite, we reclassify these units as Tollhouse Flat Member and eliminate the hypothesis that the units were once part of a potentially lava-back-flooded tributary of the paleo-Stanislaus River. The high potassium, columnar jointed lava at Pikes Peak, exhibits normal polarity; it is plausibly part of the Stanislaus Group and may be correlated to flows along the main 'cataract channel' of the Stanislaus Group. Results from Rancheria Mountain verify the presence of Stanislaus Group lavas and the EVT, previously mapped by Huber et

  3. Mercury concentrations and pools in four Sierra Nevada forest sites, and relationships to organic carbon and nitrogen

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Obrist, D.; Johnson, D. W.; Lindberg, S. E.

    2009-05-01

    This study presents data on mercury (Hg) concentrations, stochiometric relations to carbon (C) and nitrogen (N), and Hg pool sizes in four Sierra Nevada forest sites of similar exposure and precipitation regimes, and hence similar atmospheric deposition, to evaluate how ecosystem parameters control Hg retention in ecosystems. In all four sites, the largest amounts of Hg reside in soils which account for 94-98% of ecosystem pools. Hg concentrations and Hg/C ratios increase in the following order: Green Needles/LeavesSierra Nevada forest sites. This suggests that soil organic N and C groups provide sorption sites for Hg to retain atmospheric deposition. However, the patterns could be due to indirect relationships where high soil N and C levels reflect high ecosystem productivity which leads to corresponding high atmospheric Hg deposition inputs via leaf litterfall and plant senescence. Our results also show that two of the sites previously affected by prescribed burning and wildfires show significant depletion of above-ground Hg pools but that belowground Hg pools

  4. Mercury concentrations and pools in four Sierra Nevada forest sites, and relationships to organic carbon and nitrogen

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Obrist, D.; Johnson, D. W.; Lindberg, S. E.

    2009-02-01

    This study presents data on Hg concentrations, stochiometric relations to carbon (C) and nitrogen (N), and Hg pool sizes in four Sierra Nevada forest sites of similar exposure and precipitation regimes, and hence similar atmospheric deposition, to evaluate how ecosystem parameters control Hg retention in ecosystems. In all four sites, the largest amounts of Hg reside in soils which account for 94-98% of ecosystem pools. Hg concentrations and Hg/C ratios increase in the following order: Green Needles/Leaves < Dry Needles/Leaves < Oi litter < Oe litter < Oa litter. Stochiometric relations show negative correlations between Hg and C (r2=0.58) and N and C (r2=0.64) in decomposing litter, but a positive correlation between litter Hg and N (r2=0.70). These inverse relations may reflect preferential retention of N and Hg over C during decomposition, or may be due to older age of decomposed litter layers which are exposed to longer-term atmospheric Hg deposition in the field. The results indicate that litter Hg levels depend on decomposition stage and may not follow generally observed positive relationships between Hg and organic C. Mineral soil layers show strong positive correlations of Hg to C across all sites and soil horizons (r2=0.83), but Hg concentrations are even more closely related to N with a similar slope to that observed in litter (r2=92%). Soil N levels alone explain over 90% of Hg pool sizes across the four Sierra Nevada forest sites. This suggest that soil organic N and C groups provide sorption sites for Hg to retain atmospheric deposition. However, the patterns could be due indirect relationships where high soil N and C levels reflect high ecosystem productivity which leads to corresponding high atmospheric Hg deposition inputs via leaf litterfall and plant senescence. Our results also show that two of the sites previously affected by prescribed burning and wildfires show significant depletion of above-ground Hg pools but that belowground Hg pools remain

  5. Mechanisms of soil organic matter stabilization in sediments eroded from small Sierra Nevada catchments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stacy, E.; Hart, S. C.; Hunsaker, C. T.; Johnson, D.; Berhe, A.

    2011-12-01

    Lateral redistribution of soil and associated soil organic matter (SOM) by soil erosion imposes significant controls on SOM dynamics within the eroding watershed, and the overall carbon (C) sequestration potential of the terrestrial biosphere. For sediments exported from eroding watersheds, biochemical composition is a function of SOM in the eroding slope profiles, the type of erosion, duration of transport, and the intensity of decomposition that occurs during transport. Eroded SOM stability, including its molecular architecture and associations with soil minerals, influences complex decomposition dynamics involving microbial activity and abiotic factors during transit and after deposition. Sediment traps located at the point where the first-order stream leaves the watershed provide insight into the material removed by these nearly ephemeral streams before the sediment passes into a larger adjacent watershed. This study investigates the variability in amount and composition of SOM eroded from eight first-order watersheds in the mixed-conifer zone of the Sierra National Forest in the Kings River Experimental Watershed. These watersheds range in size from 48.7 to 650 ha, and have predominately western aspects and granitic bedrock. We are determining the interannual variation in the biochemical composition and stability of SOM of the annual sediment load, and how it relates to the composition of the upslope soil in the watershed. Previous work indicates that the dry weight of sediment transported by the streams may vary by more than two orders of magnitude between years and between watersheds (when normalized to kg/ha; Eagan et al. 2004). Our preliminary results show that the carbon to nitrogen (C:N) ratio of the sediment is less variable between years and watersheds, and is similar to the C:N ratio of surface soils from upslope positions. High concentrations of particulate organic matter in the sediment contribute to higher C concentrations in the sediments than in

  6. Evaluating potential overlap between pack stock and Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis sierrae) in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Klinger, Robert C.; Few, Alexandra P.; Knox, Kathleen A.; Hatfield, Brian E.; Clark, Jonathan; German, David W.; Stephenson, Thomas R.

    2015-01-01

    The association analyses indicated the potential for overlap between pack stock and SNBS was minimal; only 1 percent of the potential meadow area in the SNBS herd home ranges overlapped that of pack stock meadows. There were no systematic differences in overall vegetation structure or composition, or in diversity, cover, or composition of forage species, that indicated pack stock were altering SNBS habitat or affecting their nutrition. Variation in plant species composition was influenced primarily by random differences among meadows and environmental gradients, and there was little evidence that pack stock use contributed in meaningful ways to this variation. The few differences among meadows with different levels of use by bighorn sheep and pack stock either were minor or were not in a direction consistent with negative effects of pack stock on SNBS. We conclude that the current plan for managing pack stock grazing has been successful in minimizing significant negative effects on Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.

  7. The ancestral cascades arc: Cenozoic evolution of the central Sierra Nevada (California) and the birth of the new plate boundary

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Busby, C.J.; Hagan, J.C.; Putirka, K.; Pluhar, C.J.; Gans, P.B.; Wagner, D.L.; Rood, D.; DeOreo, S.B.; Skilling, I.

    2008-01-01

    We integrate new stratigraphic, structural, geochemical, geochronological, and magnetostratigraphic data on Cenozoic volcanic rocks in the central Sierra Nevada to arrive at closely inter-related new models for: (1) the paleogeography of the ancestral Cascades arc, (2) the stratigraphic record of uplift events in the Sierra Nevada, (3) the tectonic controls on volcanic styles and compositions in the arc, and (4) the birth of a new plate margin. Previous workers have assumed that the ancestral Cascades arc consisted of stratovolcanoes, similar to the modern Cascades arc, but we suggest that the arc was composed largely of numerous, very small centers, where magmas frequently leaked up strands of the Sierran frontal fault zone. These small centers erupted to produce andesite lava domes that collapsed to produce block-and-ash flows, which were reworked into paleocanyons as volcanic debris flows and streamflow deposits. Where intrusions rose up through water-saturated paleocanyon fill, they formed peperite complexes that were commonly destabilized to form debris flows. Paleocanyons that were cut into Cretaceous bedrock and filled with Oligocene to late Miocene strata not only provide a stratigraphic record of the ancestral Cascades arc volcanism, but also deep unconformities within them record tectonic events. Preliminary correlation of newly mapped unconformities and new geochronological, magnetostratigraphic, and structural data allow us to propose three episodes of Cenozoic uplift that may correspond to (1) early Miocene onset of arc magmatism (ca. 15 Ma), (2) middle Miocene onset of Basin and Range faulting (ca. 10 Ma), and (3) late Miocene arrival of the triple junction (ca. 6 Ma), perhaps coinciding with a second episode of rapid extension on the range front. Oligocene ignimbrites, which erupted from calderas in central Nevada and filled Sierran paleocanyons, were deeply eroded during the early Miocene uplift event. The middle Miocene event is recorded by growth

  8. Estimating contribution of wildland fires to ambient ozone levels in National Parks in the Sierra Nevada, California.

    PubMed

    Preisler, Haiganoush K; Zhong, Shiyuan Sharon; Esperanza, Annie; Brown, Timothy J; Bytnerowicz, Andrzej; Tarnay, Leland

    2010-03-01

    Data from four continuous ozone and weather monitoring sites operated by the National Park Service in Sierra Nevada, California, are used to develop an ozone forecasting model and to estimate the contribution of wildland fires on ambient ozone levels. The analyses of weather and ozone data pointed to the transport of ozone precursors from the Central Valley as an important source of pollution in these National Parks. Comparisons of forecasted and observed values demonstrated that accurate forecasts of next-day hourly ozone levels may be achieved by using a time series model with historic averages, expected local weather and modeled PM values as explanatory variables. Results on fire smoke influence indicated occurrence of significant increases in average ozone levels with increasing fire activity. The overall effect on diurnal ozone values, however, was small when compared with the amount of variability attributed to sources other than fire.

  9. Abies concolor growth responses to vegatation changes following shrub removal, northern Sierra Nevada, California. Forest Service research paper (Final)

    SciTech Connect

    Conard, S.G.; Sparks, S.R.

    1993-08-01

    Conifer productivity in western North America is often severely inhibited by competing vegetation. Abies concolor (Gord, and Glendl.) Lindl. (white fir) is an important species over much of this area, yet little information is available on response of A. concolor to vegetation management treatments. We revisited two sites in the northern Sierra Nevada to assess the responses of naturally regenerated A. concolor saplings to vegetation recovery 8-9 years after release treatments. Treatments caused major and persistent shifts in vegetation structure and composition on both sites. Differences in individual tree growth within treatments were strongly correlated with structure and composition of neighboring vegetation, even where no treatment effects were observed. Great variability in response between sites illustrates the strong effect of site characteristics on response to release treatments and the importance to managers of anticipating such differences before making treatment decisions.

  10. Characterizing the extreme 2015 snowpack deficit in the Sierra Nevada (USA) and the implications for drought recovery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Margulis, Steven A.; Cortés, Gonzalo; Girotto, Manuela; Huning, Laurie S.; Li, Dongyue; Durand, Michael

    2016-06-01

    Analysis of the Sierra Nevada (USA) snowpack using a new spatially distributed snow reanalysis data set, in combination with longer term in situ data, indicates that water year 2015 was a truly extreme (dry) year. The range-wide peak snow volume was characterized by a return period of over 600 years (95% confidence interval between 100 and 4400 years) having a strong elevational gradient with a return period at lower elevations over an order of magnitude larger than those at higher elevations. The 2015 conditions, occurring on top of three previous drought years, led to an accumulated (multiyear) snowpack deficit of ~ -22 km3, the highest over the 65 years analyzed. Early estimates based on 1 April snow course data indicate that the snowpack drought deficit will not be overcome in 2016, despite historically strong El Niño conditions. Results based on a probabilistic Monte Carlo simulation show that recovery from the snowpack drought will likely take about 4 years.

  11. A reconnaissance space sensing investigation of crustal structure for a strip from the eastern Sierra Nevada to the Colorado Plateau

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Liggett, M. A. (Principal Investigator)

    1974-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. Research progress in an investigation using ERTS-1 MSS imagery to study regional tectonics and related natural resources is summarized. Field reconnaissance guided by analysis of ERTS-1 imagery has resulted in development of a tectonic model relating strike-slip faulting to crustal extension in the southern Basin Range Province. The tectonics of the northern Death Valley-Furnace Creek Fault Zone and spacially associated volcanism and mercury mineralization were also investigated. Field work in the southern Sierra Nevada has confirmed the existence of faults and diabase dike swarms aligned along several major lineaments first recognized in ERTS-1 imagery. Various image enhancement and analysis techniques employed in the study of ERTS-1 data are summarized.

  12. Effects of ozone and sulfur dioxide mixtures on forest vegetation of the southern Sierra Nevada. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Taylor, O.C.; Miller, P.R.; Page, A.L.; Lund, L.J.

    1986-03-01

    In 1981 and 1982, a multidisciplinary study was conducted within a 32-mile zone from Oildale, CA eastward to points in the southern Sierra Nevada. Concentrations of sulfur in pine needles and lichens along transects tended to decrease with increasing elevation. Stable isotope ratios in soils and plant tissue ran counter to expectations because natural isotopic composition at greater distances is similiar to the source area. Recently germinated pine seedlings exposed to ozone and sulfur dioxide mixtures showed significant differences in root dry weight, suggesting that pollutant mixtures may affect seedling establishment. Surveys of the study area showed increased ozone damage to pines between 1977 and 1981. Sulfur dioxide did not appear to be acting jointly with ozone to cause existing injury.

  13. A reconnaissance space sensing investigation of crustal structure for a strip from the eastern Sierra Nevada to the Colorado Plateau

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Liggett, M. A. (Principal Investigator)

    1974-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. Studies were conducted in key field areas in the Sierra Nevada, the Basin Range Province and the Colorado Plateau to evaluate the origins and significance of geologic and structural anomalies expressed in the ERTS-1 data. The investigation included development of image enhancement and analysis techniques and comparison of remote sensing data available over the test site. The ERTS-1 MSS imagery has proven to be an effective tool for studying the interrelationsships between Cenozoic tectonic patterns and the distributions of Cenozoic plutonism and volcanism, seismic activity, geologic hazards, and known mineral, geothermal and ground water resources. Recommendations are made for applications of ERTS-1 data to natural and resource exploration and management.

  14. Status and understanding of groundwater quality in the Sierra Nevada Regional study unit, 2008: California GAMA Priority Basin Project

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fram, Miranda S.; Belitz, Kenneth

    2014-01-01

    Statistical tests were used to evaluate relations between constituent concentrations and potential explanatory factors descriptive of land use, geography, depth, geochemical conditions, and groundwater age. Higher concentrations of trace elements, radioactive constituents, and constituents with aesthetic-based benchmarks generally were associated with anoxic conditions, higher pH, and location within a particular compositional band in the Sierra Nevada batholith corresponding to the southwestern part of the study unit. High concentrations of organic constituents generally were associated with greater proportions of urban land use. No significant relations were observed between the concentrations of organic constituents and measures of well depth or groundwater age, perhaps because of the high proportions of springs and modern groundwater in the dataset.

  15. Quantitative estimation of granitoid composition from thermal infrared multispectral scanner (TIMS) data, Desolation Wilderness, northern Sierra Nevada, California

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sabine, Charles; Realmuto, Vincent J.; Taranik, James V.

    1994-01-01

    We have produced images that quantitatively depict modal and chemical parameters of granitoids using an image processing algorithm called MINMAP that fits Gaussian curves to normalized emittance spectra recovered from thermal infrared multispectral scanner (TIMS) radiance data. We applied the algorithm to TIMS data from the Desolation Wilderness, an extensively glaciated area near the northern end of the Sierra Nevada batholith that is underlain by Jurassic and Cretaceous plutons that range from diorite and anorthosite to leucogranite. The wavelength corresponding to the calculated emittance minimum lambda(sub min) varies linearly with quartz content, SiO2, and other modal and chemical parameters. Thematic maps of quartz and silica content derived from lambda(sub min) values distinguish bodies of diorite from surrounding granite, identify outcrops of anorthosite, and separate felsic, intermediate, and mafic rocks.

  16. Estimating contribution of wildland fires to ambient ozone levels in National Parks in the Sierra Nevada, California.

    PubMed

    Preisler, Haiganoush K; Zhong, Shiyuan Sharon; Esperanza, Annie; Brown, Timothy J; Bytnerowicz, Andrzej; Tarnay, Leland

    2010-03-01

    Data from four continuous ozone and weather monitoring sites operated by the National Park Service in Sierra Nevada, California, are used to develop an ozone forecasting model and to estimate the contribution of wildland fires on ambient ozone levels. The analyses of weather and ozone data pointed to the transport of ozone precursors from the Central Valley as an important source of pollution in these National Parks. Comparisons of forecasted and observed values demonstrated that accurate forecasts of next-day hourly ozone levels may be achieved by using a time series model with historic averages, expected local weather and modeled PM values as explanatory variables. Results on fire smoke influence indicated occurrence of significant increases in average ozone levels with increasing fire activity. The overall effect on diurnal ozone values, however, was small when compared with the amount of variability attributed to sources other than fire. PMID:19914752

  17. Projected changes in seasonal drought and flood conditions in the Sierra Nevada and Colorado River basins (USA)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stewart-Frey, Iris; Ficklin, Darren; Carrillo, Carlos; McIntosh, Russell

    2014-05-01

    The Sierra Nevada and Colorado River mountain ranges are the principal source of water for large urban and agricultural demands in the North American Southwest. In this region, GCM ensemble output suggests varying and modest precipitation changes, while air surface temperatures are expected to increase by several degrees by the end of the century. This study used the downscaled output of an ensemble of 16 GCMs and 2 emission scenarios to drive the SWAT watershed model, and to assess the impact of projected climatic changes on water availability and water quality through 2100. We then assess the changes in likelihood of occurrence of high (> 125%, > 150%) and low (< 75%, 150% of historic averages in high elevation regions and in main channels. The occurrence of extreme low flows are likely to significantly increase for the spring and summer seasons, with low flows of

  18. An ecologic study comparing distribution of Pasteurella trehalosi and Mannheimia haemolytica between Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep, White Mountain bighorn sheep, and domestic sheep.

    PubMed

    Tomassini, Letizia; Gonzales, Ben; Weiser, Glen C; Sischo, William

    2009-10-01

    The prevalence and phenotypic variability of Pasteurella and Mannheimia isolates from Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis sierrae), White Mountain bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis nelsoni), and domestic sheep (Ovis aries) from California, USA, were compared. The White Mountain bighorn sheep population had a recent history of pneumonia-associated mortality, whereas the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep population had no recent history of pneumonia-associated mortality. The domestic sheep flocks were pastured in areas geographically near both populations but were not known to have direct contact with either bighorn sheep population. Oropharyngeal swab samples were collected from healthy domestic and bighorn sheep and cultured to characterize bacterial species, hemolysis, biogroups, and biovariants. Pasteurella trehalosi and Mannheimia haemolytica were detected in all of the study populations, but the relative proportion of each bacterial species differed among sheep populations. Pasteurella trehalosi was more common than M. haemolytica in the bighorn sheep populations, whereas the opposite was true in domestic sheep. Mannheimia haemolytica was separated into 11 biogroups, and P. trehalosi was characterized into two biogroups. Biogroup distributions for M. haemolytica and P. trehalosi differed among the three populations; however, no difference was detected for the distribution of P. trehalosi biogroups between the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep and domestic sheep. The prevalence odds ratios (pOR) for the distribution of M. haemolytica biogroups suggested little difference between White Mountain bighorn sheep and domestic sheep compared with Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep and domestic sheep, although these comparisons had relatively large confidence intervals for the point estimates. Hemolytic activity of the isolates was not different among the sheep populations for M. haemolytica but was different for P. trehalosi. No clear evidence of association was found in the

  19. Mushy magma processes in the Tuolumne intrusive complex, Sierra Nevada, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Memeti, V.; Paterson, S. R.

    2012-12-01

    Debates continue on the nature of volcanic-plutonic connections and the mechanisms of derivation of large volcanic eruptions, which require large volumes of magma to be readily available within a short period of time. Our focus to understand these magma plumbing systems has been to study the nature of their mid-to upper crustal sections, such as the 1,000 km2, 95-85 Ma old Tuolumne intrusive complex in the Sierra Nevada, California, USA. The Tuolumne intrusive complex is a great example where the magma mush model nicely explains observations derived from several datasets. These data suggest that a magma mush body was present and may have been quite extensive especially at times when the Tuolumne intrusive complex was undergoing waxing periods of magmatism (increased magma input), which alternated with waning periods of magmatism (decreased magma addition) and thus a smaller mush body, essentially mimicking in style periodic flare-ups and lulls at the arc scale. During waxing stages, magma erosion and mixing were the dominant processes, whereas waning stages allowed mush domains to continue to undergo fractional crystallization creating additional compositional variations. Over time, the imprint left behind by previous waxing and waning stages was partly overprinted, but individual crystals successfully recorded the compositions of these earlier magmas. Waxing periods in the Tuolumne intrusive complex during which large magma mush bodies formed are supported by the following evidence: 1) Hybrid units and gradational contacts are commonly present between major Tuolumne units. 2) CA-TIMS U/Pb zircon geochronology data demonstrate that antecrystic zircon recycling took place unidirectional from the oldest, marginal unit toward the younger, interior parts of the intrusion, where increasing zircon age spread encompasses the entire age range of the Tuolumne. 3) The younger, interior units also show an increasing scatter and complexity in geochemical element and isotope

  20. Hydroclimatic alteration increases vulnerability of montane meadows in the Sierra Nevada, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Viers, J. H.; Peek, R.; Purdy, S. E.; Emmons, J. D.; Yarnell, S. M.

    2012-12-01

    Meadow ecosystems of the Sierra Nevada (California, USA) have been maintained by the interplay of biotic and abiotic forces, where hydrological functions bridge aquatic and terrestrial realms. Meadows are not only key habitat for fishes, amphibians, birds, and mammals alike, but also provide enumerable ecosystem services to humans, not limited to regulating services (eg, water filtration), provisioning services (eg, grazing), and aesthetics. Using hydroclimatic models and spatial distribution models of indicator species, a range wide assessment was conducted to assess and synthesize the vulnerability of meadow ecosystems to hydroclimatic alteration, a result of regional climate change. Atmospheric warming is expected to result in a greater fraction of total precipitation falling as winter rain (rather than snow) and earlier snowmelt. These predicted changes will likely cause more precipitation-driven runoff in winter and reduced snowmelt runoff in spring, leading to reduced annual runoff and a general shift in runoff timing to earlier in the year. These profound effects have consequences for hydrological cycling and meadow functioning, though such changes will not occur steadily through time or uniformly across the range, and each individual meadow will respond as a function of its composition and land use history. Most vulnerable is groundwater recharge, a fundamental component of meadow hydrology. As a result of shortened snow melt period and absence of diel snowmelt fluxes that would otherwise gradually refill meadow aquifers, recharge is expected to decline due to less infiltration. Diminished water tables will likely stress hydric and mesic vegetation, promoting more xeric conditions. Coupled with greater magnitude stream flows, these conditions promote channel incision and ultimate state shift to non-meadow conditions. The biological effects of hydroclimatic alteration, such as lower mean annual flow and earlier timing, will result in an overall decrease in

  1. Review of Seismic Hazard Issues Associated with Auburn Dam Project, Sierra Nevada Foothills, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schwartz, D.P.; Joyner, W.B.; Stein, R.S.; Brown, R.D.; McGarr, A.F.; Hickman, S.H.; Bakun, W.H.

    1996-01-01

    Summary -- The U.S. Geological Survey was requested by the U.S. Department of the Interior to review the design values and the issue of reservoir-induced seismicity for a concrete gravity dam near the site of the previously-proposed Auburn Dam in the western foothills of the Sierra Nevada, central California. The dam is being planned as a flood-control-only dam with the possibility of conversion to a permanent water-storage facility. As a basis for planning studies the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is using the same design values approved by the Secretary of the Interior in 1979 for the original Auburn Dam. These values were a maximum displacement of 9 inches on a fault intersecting the dam foundation, a maximum earthquake at the site of magnitude 6.5, a peak horizontal acceleration of 0.64 g, and a peak vertical acceleration of 0.39 g. In light of geological and seismological investigations conducted in the western Sierran foothills since 1979 and advances in the understanding of how earthquakes are caused and how faults behave, we have developed the following conclusions and recommendations: Maximum Displacement. Neither the pre-1979 nor the recent observations of faults in the Sierran foothills precisely define the maximum displacement per event on a fault intersecting the dam foundation. Available field data and our current understanding of surface faulting indicate a range of values for the maximum displacement. This may require the consideration of a design value larger than 9 inches. We recommend reevaluation of the design displacement using current seismic hazard methods that incorporate uncertainty into the estimate of this design value. Maximum Earthquake Magnitude. There are no data to indicate that a significant change is necessary in the use of an M 6.5 maximum earthquake to estimate design ground motions at the dam site. However, there is a basis for estimating a range of maximum magnitudes using recent field information and new statistical fault

  2. Nutrient and mercury deposition and storage in an alpine snowpack of the Sierra Nevada, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pearson, C.; Schumer, R.; Trustman, B. D.; Rittger, K.; Johnson, D. W.; Obrist, D.

    2015-06-01

    Biweekly snowpack core samples were collected at seven sites along two elevation gradients in the Tahoe Basin during two consecutive snow years to evaluate total wintertime snowpack accumulation of nutrients and pollutants in a high-elevation watershed of the Sierra Nevada. Additional sampling of wet deposition and detailed snow pit profiles were conducted the following year to compare wet deposition to snowpack storage and assess the vertical dynamics of snowpack nitrogen, phosphorus, and mercury. Results show that, on average, organic N comprised 48% of all snowpack N, while nitrate (NO3--N) and TAN (total ammonia nitrogen) made up 25 and 27%, respectively. Snowpack NO3--N concentrations were relatively uniform across sampling sites over the sampling seasons and showed little difference between seasonal wet deposition and integrated snow pit concentrations. These patterns are in agreement with previous studies that identify wet deposition as the dominant source of wintertime NO3--N deposition. However, vertical snow pit profiles showed highly variable concentrations of NO3--N within the snowpack indicative of additional deposition and in-snowpack dynamics. Unlike NO3--N, snowpack TAN doubled towards the end of winter, which we attribute to a strong dry deposition component which was particularly pronounced in late winter and spring. Organic N concentrations in the snowpack were highly variable (from 35 to 70%) and showed no clear temporal, spatial, or vertical trends throughout the season. Integrated snowpack organic N concentrations were up to 2.5 times higher than seasonal wet deposition, likely due to microbial immobilization of inorganic N as evident by coinciding increases in organic N and decreases in inorganic N in deeper, aged snow. Spatial and temporal deposition patterns of snowpack P were consistent with particulate-bound dry deposition inputs and strong impacts from in-basin sources causing up to 6 times greater enrichment at urban locations compared

  3. Deciphering the environmental and landscape evolution of Sierra Nevada (S Iberia) from bog archives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garcia Alix, Antonio; Toney, Jaime L.; Jiménez-Moreno, Gonzalo; Ramos-Román, Maria J.; Anderson, R. Scott; Jiménez-Espejo, Francisco; Delgado Huertas, Antonio; Ruano, Patricia

    2016-04-01

    Sierra Nevada is the southernmost mountain range in the Iberian Peninsula and one of the highest in Europe. Its geomorphology was the result of Pleistocene glaciations that carved out depressions, valleys and cirques at high elevations in the metamorphic basement. Depressions gave rise to lakes and wetlands during the Holocene. Geophysical and organic geochemical analyses of biomarkers (n-alkanes) and bulk sediment (C and N ratio and isotopes) from two high elevation bogs (locally called "Borreguiles"): Borreguiles de la Virgen (BdlV) and Borreguiles de la Caldera (BdlC), have allowed us to track the hydrological evolution of the area and its relationship to climatic fluctuations of the western Mediterranean during the Holocene. Most of the bogs of this area resulted from the natural evolution of former small lakes. The records are 56 cm and 169 cm long, respectively. Geophysical data suggest that we recovered the whole sedimentary record from BdlC; however, there are some post-glacial sediments remaining below the BdlV core that we could not recover due to hard-ground conditions. During the early and middle Holocene, aquatic conditions predominated in BdlV compared to the most recent part of the record (low C/N values and high proportion of aquatic plants (Paq) deduced from the n-alkanes) suggesting a lake environment whose water level gradually decreased until ˜5.5 cal ky BP. This aridity trend is also observed in nearby records such as at Laguna de Río Seco (LdRS), a result of the African Humid Period demise. Carbon and nitrogen isotopes were higher during this interval, which might suggest more algae activity, in agreement with the highest concentrations of the algae Pediastrum in the area. There is an important development of terrestrial plants, a real bog stage (C/N higher than 20, high TOC, lower Paq) in both records from ˜5.5 to 3.5-3.0 cal ky BP. Those hydrological changes in the landscape might be related to a possible change in the source of

  4. Pyroclasts Key to Age and Use of Meter-Size Granite Basins, Sierra Nevada, CA (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moore, J. G.; Gorden, M. A.; Sisson, T. W.

    2010-12-01

    More than 1000 meter-size granite basins at more than 220 sites occur in a 240-km-long belt from Lake Isabella north to the San Joaquin River on the west slope of the southern Sierra Nevada. The circular basins are carved in granitic outcrops at an average elevation of 1950 m. They range in volume from 40 to 1400 liters, median 130 liters. The basins display features compatible with a man-made origin, but required enormous, sustained labor to excavate. Until now their apparent purpose was believed to be some aspect of food preparation (Moore, Gorden, Robinson, Moring, 2008). About 120 km north of this belt a separate cluster of more than 350 similar granite basins occurs near a rare salt spring. They were clearly made by Indians to contain saline water to produce salt by evaporation (Moore and Diggles, 2009). An early study identified rhyolitic volcanic ash in the bottom of many basins in Sequoia National Park at both Giant Forest and at Redwood Meadow 13 km ESE (Stewart, 1929). That ash is unavailable, having been removed in recent time. Subsequent study of meadowland soils identified two ash layers in the region from explosive eruptions in the Mono Lake area: Tephra 1 and Tephra 2 (Wood, 1977). Later work indicates that Tephra 1 was erupted from the Glass Creek vent of the Inyo Craters (Miller, 1985) and that its refined age by tree-ring techniques is AD 1350 (Millar, King, Westfall, Alden, Delany, 2006). A fossil forest killed by Tephra 1 differs from modern forests in that it grew in the warmer climate of the Medieval Warm Period (MWP)--a period when drought conditions prevailed at lower elevations (Stine, 1994; Millar et al, 2006). In July 2010 ash was discovered near the bottom of a pristine granite basin (TUL-496) in a remote area of Giant Sequoia National Monument 14.5 km NW of Giant Forest. High-beam-current electron microprobe analyses of pumice glasses give Zr 145-420 ppm, homogeneous within lapilli, and correlated with MgO and CaO concentrations. The

  5. The Effect of Past Climate Change on Regolith Erosion Rates for the Past 100 ka in the Eastern Sierra Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Madoff, R. D.; Putkonen, J.

    2014-12-01

    Global climate change over the last 100 ka is known to have resulted in glacial fluctuations in the eastern Sierra Nevada evidenced today by moraines. The effect of past climate on regolith erosion rates is quantified by modeling hillslope diffusion and evolution of a profile cross-section of Mono Basin moraine in the eastern Sierra Nevada. The degradation in the model is described by the linear transport law, q = -κ(dz/dx), where the diffusivity coefficient, κ, is a parameter to account for factors affecting regolith transport rate (q) unrelated to slope (dz/dx), such as climate and substrate. Three scenarios were modeled with respective κ values. In the first, κ is held constant through the age of the landform and optimized to reproduce the current moraine cross-section. In the second, κ varies with time based on the documented variation in the paleoclimate and related degradation rate. In the third, κ is held constant and defined by present-day degradation values measured in the region. In all the scenarios the moraine initial slopes are at the angle of repose. Comparisons of the first (constant κ) and second (variable κ) scenarios show that the former can generate erosion rates that overestimate crest elevation by 30% during the first quarter of the landform age and underestimate it by 20% during the latter three-quarters. However, the third (current κ) scenario underestimates the degradation up to 58% of the current profile. This indicates that the past erosion rates were higher than what is observed today. Increased regolith erosion rates in the past were driven by climates colder and wetter than the present.

  6. Species composition and habitat associations of benthic algal assemblages in headwater streams of the Sierra Nevada, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brown, L.R.; May, J.T.; Hunsaker, C.T.

    2008-01-01

    Despite their trophic importance and potential importance as bioindicators of stream condition, benthic algae have not been well studied in California. In particular there are few studies from small streams in the Sierra Nevada. The objective of this study was to determine the standing crop of chlorophyll-a and benthic algal species assemblages present in the small 1st- and 2nd-order streams of the Kings River Experimental Watersheds (KREW, watersheds of Bull, Providence, Duff, and Teakettle Creeks) and determine the associations of these measures with stream habitat. We collected samples of benthic algae from rock substrata in September 2002 (7 sites) and 2005 (the same 7 sites plus 5 additional sites). Habitat and water-quality data were collected concurrently. Chlorophyll-a values ranged from 0.2 to 3.2 mg??m-2. Chlorophyll-a in the Bull Creek watershed was generally lower than in the other watersheds. Benthic algal assemblages were dominated by diatoms and cyanobacteria. We collected 79 taxa of diatoms in 2002 and 126 taxa in 2005. Diatom taxa richness in individual samples ranged from 15 to 47. Nonmetric multidimensional scaling analysis of arcsine square-root transformed proportional abundances of diatoms identified 3 groups of sites. Bull Creek sites were generally different from other sites (group 1), and the sites from Bull Creek were different in 2002 (group 2) and 2005 (group 3). Five taxa appeared to be particularly important in distinguishing groups: Achnanthidium minutissimum, Cocconeis placentula, Eunotia incisa, Eunotia pectinalis var. minor, and Planothidium lanceolatum. Elevation, water temperature, pH, specific conductance, and canopy were habitat variables correlated with the differences in diatom assemblages among sites. Our results provide a valuable baseline for future studies of benthic algae in Sierra Nevada headwater streams and will be particularly important in understanding the effects of different forest restoration management

  7. Dispersal limitation does not control high elevational distribution of alien plant species in the southern Sierra Nevada, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rundel, Philip W.; Keeley, Jon E.

    2016-01-01

    Patterns of elevational distribution of alien plant species in the southern Sierra Nevada of California were used to test the hypothesis that alien plant species invading high elevations around the world are typically climate generalists capable of growing across a wide elevational range. The Sierra Nevada has been heavily impacted for more than a century and a half, first by heavy grazing up into high elevation meadows, followed by major logging, and finally, by impacts associated with recreational use. The comparative elevational patterns of distribution and growth form were compared for native and alien plant species in the four families (Asteraceae, Brassicaceae, Fabaceae, and Poaceae) that contribute the majority of naturalized aliens in the study area. The distribution of realized climatic niche breadth, as measured by elevational range of occurrence, was virtually identical for alien and native species, with both groups showing a roughly Gaussian distribution peaking with species whose range covers a span of 1500–1999 m. In contrast to alien species, which only rarely occurred at higher elevations, native species showed a distribution of upper elevation limits peaking at 3000–3499 m, an elevation that corresponds to the zone of upper montane and subalpine forests. Consistent with a hypothesis of abiotic limitations, only a few alien species have been ecologically successful invaders at subalpine and alpine elevations above 2500 m. The low diversity of aliens able to become established in these habitats is unlikely due to dispersal limitations, given the long history of heavy grazing pressure at high elevations across this region. Instead, this low diversity is hypothesized to be a function of life history traits and multiple abiotic stresses that include extremes of cold air and soil temperature, heavy snowfall, short growing seasons, and low resource availability. These findings have significant implications for resource managers.

  8. The relationships between insoluble precipitation residues, clouds, and precipitation over California's southern Sierra Nevada during winter storms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Creamean, Jessie M.; White, Allen B.; Minnis, Patrick; Palikonda, Rabindra; Spangenberg, Douglas A.; Prather, Kimberly A.

    2016-09-01

    Ice formation in orographic mixed-phase clouds can enhance precipitation and depends on the type of aerosols that serve as ice nucleating particles (INPs). The resulting precipitation from these clouds is a viable source of water, especially for regions such as the California Sierra Nevada. Thus, a better understanding of the sources of INPs that impact orographic clouds is important for assessing water availability in California. This study presents a multi-site, multi-year analysis of single-particle insoluble residues in precipitation samples that likely influenced cloud ice and precipitation formation above Yosemite National Park. Dust and biological particles represented the dominant fraction of the residues (64% on average). Cloud glaciation, determined using satellite observations, not only depended on high cloud tops (>5.9 km) and low temperatures (<-23 °C), but also on the presence of what were likely dust and biological INPs. The greatest prevalence of ice-phase clouds occurred in conjunction with biologically-rich residues and mineral dust rich in calcium, followed by iron and aluminosilicates. Dust and biological particles are known to be efficient INPs, thus these residues likely influenced ice formation in clouds above the sites and subsequent precipitation quantities reaching the surface during events with similar meteorology. The goal of this study is to use precipitation chemistry information to gain a better understanding of the potential sources of INPs in the south-central Sierra Nevada, where cloud-aerosol-precipitation interactions are poorly understood and where mixed-phase orographic clouds represent a key element in the generation of precipitation and thus the water supply in California.

  9. Modeling Forest Composition and Carbon Dynamics Under Projected Climate-Fire Interactions in the Sierra Nevada, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liang, S.; Hurteau, M. D.; Westerling, A. L.

    2014-12-01

    The Sierra Nevada Mountains are occupied by a diversity of forest types that sort by elevation. The interaction of changing climate and altered disturbance regimes (e.g. fire) has the potential to drive changes in forest distribution as a function of species-specific response. Quantifying the effects of these drivers on species distributions and productivity under future climate-fire interactions is necessary for informing mitigation and adaptation efforts. In this study, we assimilated forest inventory and soil survey data and species life history traits into a landscape model, LANDIS-II, to quantify the response of forest dynamics to the interaction of climate change and large wildfire frequency in the Sierra Nevada. We ran 100-year simulations forced with historical climate and climate projections from three models (GFDL, CNRM and CCSM3) driven by the A2 emission scenario. We found that non-growing season NPP is greatly enhanced by 15%-150%, depending on the specific climate projection. The greatest increase occurs in subalpine forests. Species-specific response varied as a function of life history characteristics. The distribution of drought and fire-tolerant species, such as ponderosa pine, expanded by 7.3-9.6% from initial conditions, while drought and fire-intolerant species, such as white fir, showed little change in the absence of fire. Changes in wildfire size and frequency influence species distributions by altering the successional stage of burned patches. The range of responses to different climate models demonstrates the sensitivity of these forests to climate variability. The scale of climate projections relative to the scale of forest simulations presents a source of uncertainty, particularly at the ecotone between forest types and for identifying topographically mediated climate refugia. Improving simulations will likely require higher resolution climate projections.

  10. In-situ monitoring of California's drought: Impacts on key hydrologic variables in the Southern Sierra Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oroza, C.; Zheng, Z.; Zhang, Z.; Glaser, S. D.; Bales, R. C.; Conklin, M. H.

    2015-12-01

    Like many semi-arid regions, California relies on seasonal snowmelt from the Sierra Nevada mountain range to provide freshwater allocations for multiple stakeholders throughout the year. The magnitude and timing of runoff from these regions is being altered by consecutive years of drought, affecting downstream ecosystems, hydropower operations, and deliveries to agriculture and urban water users. Understanding the long-term effect of drought on the montane water balance requires temporally continuous, in-situ measurements of key hydrologic variables across large spatial domains. We discuss a seven-year dataset from the Southern Sierra Critical Zone Observatory, which includes co-located measurements of snowpack, soil moisture, and soil temperature in the Kings River watershed. We investigate how these key hydrologic variables are affected as the region transitions from winters that have nearly continuous snow cover (2008-2011) to winters with extended snow-on, snow-off periods (2012-2014). For water year 2014, we observe a 93% decline in average snowpack, a 35% decline in average soil moisture, and a 25% increase in average soil temperature compared to a wet-year index of each variable. We discuss the effect of physiographic features, including slope, aspect, elevation, and canopy coverage on the changes observed in each variable. Finally, we use sparse inverse covariance estimation to investigate the changing conditional relationships throughout the observatory in wet and dry years.

  11. Mercury Contamination and Bioaccumulation Associated with Historical Gold Mining in the Bear and Yuba River Watersheds, Sierra Nevada, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alpers, C. N.; Hunerlach, M. P.; Hothem, R. L.; May, J. T.; Taylor, H. E.; DeWild, J. F.; Olson, M. L.; Krabbenhoft, D. P.; Marvin-DiPasquale, M.

    2001-12-01

    Extensive use of mercury in the mining and recovery of gold during the late 19th and early 20th centuries has led to widespread mercury contamination of water, sediment, and biota in the Sierra Nevada foothills of California. The watersheds of the Bear and Yuba Rivers were selected for study by the U.S. Geological Survey and other federal, state, and local agencies on the basis of (1) results of previous studies of bioaccumulation, (2) observations of visible elemental mercury at numerous mine sites and in river sediments, and (3) extensive historical mining on federal lands and adjacent private lands. Of 53 unfiltered water samples analyzed for total recoverable mercury (Hg-T), 17 samples (32 percent) had concentrations in excess of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) aquatic-life criterion of 50 nanograms per liter (ng/L). Water flowing from two separate tunnels in one mining district had Hg-T concentrations greater than 100,000 ng/L, exceeding the EPA drinking-water standard of 2,000 ng/L. Monthly sampling of the Bear River near its mouth revealed monomethylmercury (MeHg) concentrations in unfiltered water samples greater than 0.4 ng/L during July-August 1999 and January 2000. Game fish were collected from 5 reservoirs and 14 stream sites during 1999 to assess the distribution of mercury in the food chain and to examine the potential risk for humans and wildlife. Of 141 fish fillet samples of black basses (Micropterus spp.), sunfish (Lepomis macrochirus and Lepomis cyanellus), black crappie (Poxomis nigromaculatus), channel catfish (Ictularus punctatus), brown trout (Salmo trutta), and rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) analyzed for Hg-T, 52 percent exceeded the EPA criterion of 0.3 parts per million (ppm), wet basis. Eighty-nine percent of the bass had Hg-T greater than 0.3 ppm total mercury. Based on these data, three counties issued a public health notification recommending limited consumption of game fish from the Bear and Yuba watersheds

  12. 40Ar/39Ar and U/Pb chronology of the Green Lake Pluton (Eastern Sierra Nevada, California)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nomade, S.; Mundil, R.; Renne, P. R.; Onezime, J.; Paterson, S. R.

    2003-12-01

    The aim of this study is to understand the cooling (and emplacement) history of the Cretaceous Tuolumne Intrusive Suite (TIS, eastern Sierra Nevada, California) by studying its thermal effects on adjacent plutonic bodies such as the Green Lake pluton (GLP), which is a small granodioritic intrusion 5 km to the east of the TIS (ca. 5 km in diameter). Nine samples were collected from the center of the GLP towards the TIS. U/Pb zircon single-crystal analyses display an upper intercept age of 168 +/- 5 Ma (uncertainties are given at the 2σ level). 40Ar/39Ar analyses were performed on two different biotite and hornblende grain size fractions (800-900 μ m and 150-180 μ m) from each sample. Step heating experiments on large biotite and hornblende as well as total fusion analyses on 20 (biotite) to 25 (hornblende) single grains yield the following ages (relative to FCs at 28.02 Ma): (1) Biotite plateau ages (100 to 95% 39Ar) display a trend between 118.2 +/- 0.8 Ma in the center of the GLP to 83.9 +/- 1.5 Ma closest to the TIS. (2) Total fusion analyses of the 150 to 180 μ m biotite fractions yield younger ages ranging from 89 to 82 Ma. We interpret these ages as the result of partial and/or total resetting of the K/Ar system at the time of TIS emplacement at around 90 Ma (Coleman et al, 2002). (3) Age spectra from large hornblende crystals are highly discordant due to "younger" (i.e. degassed) biotite inclusions. Hornblende (150 to 180 μ m) total fusion experiments display a wide range of ages (92 to 172 Ma) with most of the ages ranging from 164 to 170 Ma (Ca/K of 15, weighted mean age of 166.2 +/- 1.6 Ma). This age is in agreement with the above reported U/Pb age and interpreted to be the "true cooling age" of hornblende devoid of biotite inclusions and unaffected by the TIS intrusion. The results demonstrate the possibility for erroneous conclusions if techniques are used which fail to reveal these spatial complexities and partial resetting of the K/Ar system. The

  13. Geohydrologic and drill-hole data for test well USW H-1, adjacent to Nevada Test Site, Nye County, Nevada

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rush, F. Eugene; Thordarson, William; Bruckheimer, Laura

    1983-01-01

    This report presents data collected to determine the hydraulic characteristics of rocks penetrated in test well USW H-1. The well is one of a series of test wells drilled in and near the southwestern part of the Nevada Test Site, Nye County, Nevada, in a program conducted on behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy. These investigations are part of the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations to identify suitable sites for storage of high-level radioactive wastes. Data on drilling operations, lithology, borehole geophysics, hydrologic monitoring, core analysis, ground-water chemistry and pumping and injection tests for well USW H-1 are contained in this report.

  14. Investigation of the application of HCMM thermal data to snow hydrology. [Sierra Nevada region, California

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barnes, J. C. (Principal Investigator)

    1980-01-01

    All heat capacity mapping mission (HCMM) data needed for the investigation were received, including the imagery and CCT's for the April 1979 day/night registered data set for the Sierras study area. Three sets of excellent data for the Sierras study were received. Analysis of the earlier two sets (late May and mid July 1978) was completed. Initial examination of the latest imagery received indicates that the April 1979 data are the best quality HCMM day/night registered data of the three data sets. The thermal inertia imagery is particularly outstanding, appearing to contain much more detail and information than the earlier thermal inertia images.

  15. Age and tectonic significance of metamorphic rocks along the axis of the Sierra Nevada batholith: A critical reappraisal

    SciTech Connect

    Schweickert, R.A.; Lahren, M.M. )

    1991-02-01

    Metamorphic rocks in many roof pendants along the axis of the Sierra Nevada batholith (SNB) between 36 and 38{degree}N lat. have been considered part of the Kings sequence, of probable Mesozoic age. However, most of the pendants are in fact undated by fossils and may contain Paleozoic or Precambrian strata. A critical reappraisal of new and existing data on these pendants has led to the following hypotheses: (1) A continental crustal silver referred to as the Snow Lake block, with the approximate dimensions of the Salinian block, and represented by metamorphosed Proterozoic and Cambrian miogeoclinal rocks, extends 120 mi (200 km) southeastward from northern YNP to the Kaweah River drainage, and includes rocks in the following pendants: Snow Lake, Piute Mountain, Glen Aulin, May Lake, Iron mountain, Shuteye Peak, Dinkey Creek, Patterson Mountain, Boyden Cave, and Sequoia Park. This silver was displaced about 400 km northward along an intrabatholithic dextral strike-slip fault during the Early Cretaceous time. (2) Based on reconnaissance studies, the authors propose that the Shoo Fly Complex, which lies west of the Snow Lake block, continues southeastward to 36{degree}N lat., and includes parts of the following pendants: Oakhurst, Lower Kings River, Kaweah River, Tule River, and Kern Canyon. The apparent juxtaposition of the Shoo Fly Complex with the Snow Lake block requires the presence of a major tectonic break between them. This structure, now largely obliterated by Cretaceous plutons of the SNB, may be the equivalent of the Golconda thrust in north-central Nevada.

  16. 75 FR 7518 - Notice of Public Meeting: Sierra Front Northwestern Basin Resource Advisory Council, Nevada

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-02-19

    ... Pipeline, possible sage grouse listing, BLM Nevada Wild Horse and Burro Program strategies, American... media at least 14 days before the meeting. Individuals who need special assistance such as sign...

  17. Integrated Kinematic Analysis of GPS and Fault Slip Data in the Eastern California Shear Zone, Walker Lane and Sierra Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hammond, W. C.; Thatcher, W.

    2001-12-01

    The Sierra Nevada (SN) microplate moves roughly N50?W with respect to North America (NA), around an Euler pole that lies in the Pacific (PA) basin to the west and south. Its motion is indicative of processes governing the deformation of the Walker Lane and Eastern California Shear Zone, accommodating east to west expansion of the Basin and Range and approximately 25% of PA/NA dextral shear. To date, estimates for the location of the SN/NA pole obtained by GPS, VLBI and geologic data differ by at least 30 degrees [e.g. Argus and Gordon, 1996; Hearn and Humphreys, 1998]. The difference between these poles may, in part, be attributable to the type of data used in the analyses. The GPS determined velocity field potentially contains artifacts of the earthquake cycle such as recoverable elastic deformation preceded by slip at depth, fault creep, and viscoelastic relaxation following earthquakes on block bounding faults. We use Global Positioning System (GPS), fault strike and slip rate data to constrain the kinematics of the eastern boundary of the Sierra Nevada (SN) microplate, and western Basin and Range province of western North America. Data include previously published GPS measurements [Bennet et al., 1998; Thatcher et al., 1999; Gan et al., 2000; Svarc et al., submitted manuscript 2001], recently collected GPS data, and recently compiled fault maps of Nevada and California that include fault strike, slip sense and slip rate estimates. GPS velocities are refined with the Quasi Observation Combination Analysis algorithm of Dong et al. From these data we constrain the spatial variation in the rate and style of deformation throughout the region, and identify components of the deformation that are relevant to interaction of the PA/NA transform margin and Basin and Range extension. Using two-dimensional viscoelastic finite elements we derive kinematic models representative of the instantaneous (GPS) time scale, in preparation for future modeling of the longer term

  18. Paleomagnetism, Geochronology, and Geochemistry of the Type Section of the Stanislaus Group: Reference Parameters from the Stable Sierra Nevada Microplate, CA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farner, M. J.; Pluhar, C. J.; Asami, R.; Putirka, K. D.; Busby, C.; Renne, P. R.

    2012-12-01

    The Late Miocene Stanislaus Group, of California and Nevada is composed of Table Mountain Formation, Eureka Valley Tuff, and Dardanelles Formation. This ~9.0-~10.2 million year old unit interrupted Miocene andesitic arc volcanism in the Sierra Nevada, providing a regional lithostratigraphic marker that has been used extensively to reconstruct tilt and uplift of the range, Neogene tectonics of the Walker Lane Belt, magmagenetic processes beneath the Sierra Nevada, and lithospheric evolution of the Sierra Nevada and Eastern California. A recent study (Koerner et al, 2009) produced a measured section and geologic map of the Stanislaus Group type section, but until now this locality has never seen comprehensive multidisciplinary study of the geochronology, geochemistry, and magnetostratigraphy of the site and to integrate this into the overall understanding of the Stanislaus Group. Stratigraphy, geochemistry, and paleomagnetism from the type section suggest addition of a basal trachyte lava flow member to the Eureka Valley tuff and adds an additional intermediate-polarity lava flow to Table Mountain Formation magnetostratigraphy. This study dates the youngest member of the Stanislaus Group, the Dardanelles Formation, by 40Ar/39Ar radioisotopic dating for the first time, yielding an age of 9.048 ± 0.017 Ma. Paleomagnetic results verify the previous paleomagnetic reference direction from the Sierra Nevada microplate for the Tollhouse Flat Member of the Eureka Valley Tuff (King et al., 2007). However, our work revises the By-Day Member reference direction to D = 349.6°, I = 51.9° n = 8, α95 = 3.0°, k = 346. This difference is because the prior work analyzed By-Day localities within the tectonically-active Walker Lane Belt. The revised reference direction is critical for measurements of relative vertical-axis rotation studies in the Walker Lane. Our study also demonstrates that little to no vertical-axis rotation of the Sierra Nevada microplate has occurred since

  19. Past and future demographic dynamics of alpine species: limited genetic consequences despite dramatic range contraction in a plant from the Spanish Sierra Nevada.

    PubMed

    Blanco-Pastor, J L; Fernández-Mazuecos, M; Vargas, P

    2013-08-01

    Anthropogenic global climate change is expected to cause severe range contractions among alpine plants. Alpine areas in the Mediterranean region are of special concern because of the high abundance of endemic species with narrow ranges. This study combined species distribution models, population structure analyses and Bayesian skyline plots to trace the past and future distribution and diversity of Linaria glacialis, an endangered narrow endemic species that inhabits summits of Sierra Nevada (Spain). The results showed that: (i) the habitat of this alpine-Mediterranean species in Sierra Nevada suffered little changes during glacial and interglacial stages of late Quaternary; (ii) climatic oscillations in the last millennium (Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age) moderately affected the demographic trends of L. glacialis; (iii) future warming conditions will cause severe range contractions; and (iv) genetic diversity will not diminish at the same pace as the distribution range. As a consequence of the low population structure of this species, genetic impoverishment in the alpine zones of Sierra Nevada should be limited during range contraction. We conclude that maintenance of large effective population sizes via high mutation rates and high levels of gene flow may promote the resilience of alpine plant species when confronted with global warming.

  20. Paleofire reconstruction for high-elevation forests in the Sierra Nevada, California, with implications for wildfire synchrony and climate variability in the late Holocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hallett, Douglas J.; Anderson, R. Scott

    2010-03-01

    Here, we present two high-resolution records of macroscopic charcoal from high-elevation lake sites in the Sierra Nevada, California, and evaluate the synchroneity of fire response for east- and west-side subalpine forests during the past 9200 yr. Charcoal influx was low between 11,200 and 8000 cal yr BP when vegetation consisted of sparse Pinus-dominated forest and montane chaparral shrubs. High charcoal influx after ˜ 8000 cal yr BP marks the arrival of Tsuga mertensiana and Abies magnifica, and a higher-than-present treeline that persisted into the mid-Holocene. Coeval decreases in fire episode frequency coincide with neoglacial advances and lower treeline in the Sierra Nevada after 3800 cal yr BP. Independent fire response occurs between 9200 and 5000 cal yr BP, and significant synchrony at 100- to 1000-yr timescales emerges between 5000 cal yr BP and the present, especially during the last 2500 yr. Indistinguishable fire-return interval distributions and synchronous fires show that climatic control of fire became increasingly important during the late Holocene. Fires after 1200 cal yr BP are often synchronous and corroborate with inferred droughts. Holocene fire activity in the high Sierra Nevada is driven by changes in climate linked to insolation and appears to be sensitive to the dynamics of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation.

  1. Interpretation of snowcover from satellite imagery for use in water supply forecasts in the Sierra Nevada

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brown, A. J.; Hannaford, J. F.

    1975-01-01

    The California ASVT test area is composed of two study areas; one in Northern California covering the Upper Sacramento and Feather River Basins, and the other covering the Southern Sierra Basins of the San Joaquin, Kings, Kaweah, Tule, and Kern Rivers. Experiences of reducing snowcover from satellite imagery; the accuracy of present water supply forecast schemes; and the potential advantages of introducing snowcover into the forecast procedures are described.

  2. Delineation of the High Enthalpy Reservoirs of the Sierra Nevada Volcanic Geothermal System, South-Central Chile

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alam, M.; Muñoz, M.; Parada, M.

    2011-12-01

    Geothermal system associated with the Pleistocene-Holocene Sierra Nevada volcano (SNVGS) in the Araucanía Region of Chile has surface manifestations from the north-western flank of the volcano, up to Manzanar and Malalcahuello. Baños del Toro, located on the northwestern flank of the volcano, has numerous fumaroles and acid pools (acid sulfate waters, T=~90°C, pH=2.1, TDS=3080 mg/L); while Aguas de la Vaca, near the base of the volcano, has a bubbling spring (chloride-sulfate waters, T=~60°C, pH=7.0, TDS=950 mg/L). Five shallow (<120m) wells (2 at Manzanar and 3 at Malalcahuello) dug and drilled in the Cautín River Valley discharge alkaline (pH= 9-10) waters with relatively low TDS (130-210mg/L). The main heat source of the geothermal system is apparently the magmatic system of the Sierra Nevada volcano. Liquiñe-Ofqui Fault Zone (LOFZ) that transects the area forms excellent conduits for the flow of the geothermal waters. The geothermal reservoirs are hosted in the volcanic rocks interceded with glacial deposits over the North Patagonian Batholith that forms an impermeable barrier, and thus constitutes the lower boundary of the geothermal system and also controls the lateral flow of the fluids. An equilibrium temperature of ~210°C is derived from gas geothermometry (CO2/Ar-H2/Ar) of the discharges at Baños del Toro. Geothermal fluids from the upflow area on the northwestern flank of the volcano migrate northwards to the Cautín River Valley. The geothermal system has a high enthalpy reservoir(s) on the northwestern flank of the Sierra Nevada volcano and low-enthalpy reservoirs in the Cautín River Valley that have been tapped to form spas at Manzanar and Malalcahuello. While sub-vertical fractures of LOFZ facilitate the recharge of the system, lateral flow of the geothermal fluids is apparently controlled by lithology; Melipueclo Pluton in particular prevents the westward flow from the upflow zone, causing the flow only northwards to Malalcahuello and

  3. Streamflow changes in the Sierra Nevada, California, simulated using a statistically downscaled general circulation model scenario of climate change

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wilby, Robert L.; Dettinger, Michael D.

    2000-01-01

    Simulations of future climate using general circulation models (GCMs) suggest that rising concentrations of greenhouse gases may have significant consequences for the global climate. Of less certainty is the extent to which regional scale (i.e., sub-GCM grid) environmental processes will be affected. In this chapter, a range of downscaling techniques are critiqued. Then a relatively simple (yet robust) statistical downscaling technique and its use in the modelling of future runoff scenarios for three river basins in the Sierra Nevada, California, is described. This region was selected because GCM experiments driven by combined greenhouse-gas and sulphate-aerosol forcings consistently show major changes in the hydro-climate of the southwest United States by the end of the 21st century. The regression-based downscaling method was used to simulate daily rainfall and temperature series for streamflow modelling in three Californian river basins under current-and future-climate conditions. The downscaling involved just three predictor variables (specific humidity, zonal velocity component of airflow, and 500 hPa geopotential heights) supplied by the U.K. Meteorological Office couple ocean-atmosphere model (HadCM2) for the grid point nearest the target basins. When evaluated using independent data, the model showed reasonable skill at reproducing observed area-average precipitation, temperature, and concomitant streamflow variations. Overall, the downscaled data resulted in slight underestimates of mean annual streamflow due to underestimates of precipitation in spring and positive temperature biases in winter. Differences in the skill of simulated streamflows amongst the three basins were attributed to the smoothing effects of snowpack on streamflow responses to climate forcing. The Merced and American River basins drain the western, windward slope of the Sierra Nevada and are snowmelt dominated, whereas the Carson River drains the eastern, leeward slope and is a mix of

  4. The ~ 31 ka rhyolitic Plinian to sub-Plinian eruption of Tlaloc Volcano, Sierra Nevada, central Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rueda, H.; Macías, J. L.; Arce, J. L.; Gardner, J. E.; Layer, P. W.

    2013-02-01

    Tlaloc is a late Pleistocene stratovolcano located NE of México City. It is the northernmost volcano of the N-S Sierra Nevada Volcanic Range, which consists from north to south of Tlaloc, Telapón, Iztaccíhuatl, and Popocatépetl volcanoes. Tlaloc has always been considered the oldest (and extinct) volcano of the Sierra Nevada Volcanic Range. Recent field data revealed that Tlaloc was very active during late Pleistocene through a series of explosive eruptions. One of these eruptions produced the Multilayered White Pumice (MWP) a rhyolitic pyroclastic sequence. The eruption began with a 24-km high Plinian column MWP-F1 that was dispersed to the NE by prevailing winds. It was interrupted by fountaining of the column with the generation of a pyroclastic density current that emplaced MWP-S1 layer. Then, followed five unstable sub-Plinian columns (MWP-F2 to F6) that reached altitudes between 16 and 19 km. Fall deposits as a whole are 1 m thick at 12 km from the vent, cover a minimum area of 577 km2 for a total volume of 4.68 km3 (DRE 1.58 km3). The eruption ejected a total mass of 3.45 × 1012 kg at different mass discharges. The last sub-Plinian column (MWP-F6) collapsed and produced dense pyroclastic density currents that deposited pumiceous pyroclastic flows (MWP-PF) following main ravines to the north and east of the vent. These density currents filled gullies with 23 m-thick deposits at a distance of 12 km from the vent totaling a minimum DRE volume of 0.2 km3. Pyroclastic flow deposits charred tree trunks that yielded an age of 31,490 + 1995/- 1595 yr B.P. that closely date the age of the eruption. Rain during this phase of the eruption generated syn-eruptive lahars (MWP-DF). Post-eruptive lahars (MWP-ED) finally swept the volcano flanks. The MWP deposits consist of abundant white pumice (up to 96 vol.%), rare gray pumice, cognate lithics, accidental altered lithics, xenocrysts. White and gray pumice clasts contain phenocrysts of quartz, plagioclase, sanidine

  5. Zircon Geochemical and Isotopic Constraints on the Evolution of the Mount Givens Pluton, Central Sierra Nevada Batholith

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sendek, C.; Lackey, J. S.; Miller, J. S.; Davies, G. R.; Valley, J. W.; Kitajima, K.

    2015-12-01

    The Late Cretaceous Mt. Givens pluton (central Sierra Nevada batholith, CA) is noteworthy for its large size (≈1400 km2) and relative compositional and textural homogeneity. It has been proposed as a plutonic analog for "monotonous intermediate" ignimbrites. The pluton is characterized by a 30 km wide ellipse shaped northern lobe that connects with a long mass about 15 km wide and extending 50 km SE. The northern lobe was constructed over 7 m.y. (from 98 to 91 Ma) with progressively younger ages toward the interior. This inward younging is accompanied by transitions to more felsic compositions and from equigranular to K-spar porphyritic textures. The large elongated mass extending to the SE (ca. 95-91 Ma) is more homogeneous, mostly equigranular granodiorite with subordinate K-spar-phyric granodiorite. Small diorite intrusions (10's to 100's m2) are also present and locally mingle and hybridize with the host granodiorite. Unlike other Late Cretaceous zoned intrusions (the Sierra Crest intrusions), the equigranular, and K-spar porphyritic phases of the Givens have similar trace element characteristics. All zircons have high Ti-in-zircon model temperatures (850-1000 °C), pronounced negative Eu anomalies, and curved MREE and HREE patterns. These characteristics indicate that zircon grew early and that initial magmas were likely undersaturated in zircon. Significant within sample variations in δ18O (up to 1.5‰) and eHf (up to 8 units) require mixing of isotopically distinct magmas in the Givens magma system after they had begun crystallizing zircon, but well before solidification. O and Hf isotopic variation within the granodiorites shows distinct geographic variation, with higher δ18O and more negative eHf values along the western margin of the pluton. This trend is consistent with earlier work suggesting that the Givens intruded across the Panthalassan-North American lithospheric boundary.

  6. Surface temperature patterns in complex terrain: Daily variations and long-term change in the central Sierra Nevada, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lundquist, J.D.; Cayan, D.R.

    2007-01-01

    A realistic description of how temperatures vary with elevation is crucial for ecosystem studies and for models of basin-scale snowmelt and spring streamflow. This paper explores surface temperature variability using temperature data from an array of 37 sensors, called the Yosemite network, which traverses both slopes of the Sierra Nevada in the vicinity of Yosemite National Park, California. These data indicate that a simple lapse rate is often a poor description of the spatial temperature structure. Rather, the spatial pattern of temperature over the Yosemite network varies considerably with synoptic conditions. Empirical orthogonal functions (EOFs) were used to identify the dominant spatial temperature patterns and how they vary in time. Temporal variations of these surface temperature patterns were correlated with large-scale weather conditions, as described by National Centers for Environmental Prediction-National Center for Atmospheric Research Reanalysis data. Regression equations were used to downscale larger-scale weather parameters, such as Reanalysis winds and pressure, to the surface temperature structure over the Yosemite network. These relationships demonstrate that strong westerly winds are associated with relatively warmer temperatures on the east slope and cooler temperatures on the west slope of the Sierra, and weaker westerly winds are associated with the opposite pattern. Reanalysis data from 1948 to 2005 indicate weakening westerlies over this time period, a trend leading to relatively cooler temperatures on the east slope over decadal timescale's. This trend also appears in long-term observations and demonstrates the need to consider topographic effects when examining long-term changes in mountain regions. Copyright 2007 by the American Geophysical Union.

  7. Thirty Years of Change in Subalpine Forest Cover from Landsat Image Analysis in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Potter, Christopher

    2015-01-01

    Landsat imagery was analyzed to understand changes in subalpine forest stands since the mid-1980s in the Sierra-Nevada region of California. At locations where long-term plot measurements have shown that stands are becoming denser in the number of small tree stems (compared to the early 1930s), the 30-year analysis of Landsat greenness index (NDVI) indicated that no consistent increases in canopy leaf cover have occurred at these same locations since the mid-1980s. Interannual variations in stand NDVI closely followed snow accumulation amounts recorded at nearby stations. In contrast, at eastern Sierra whitebark pine stand locations where it has been observed that widespread tree mortality has occurred, decreasing NDVI trends over the past 5-10 years were consistent with rapid loss of forest canopy cover. Landsat imagery was further analyzed to understand patterns of post-wildfire vegetation recovery, focusing on high burn severity (HBS) patches within burned areas dating from the late 1940s. Analysis of landscape metrics showed that the percentage of total HBS area comprised by the largest patch of recovered woody cover was relatively small in all fires that occurred since 1995, but increased rapidly with time since fire. Patch complexity of recovered woody cover decreased notably after more than 50 years of regrowth, but was not readily associated with time for fires that occurred since the mid 1990s. The aggregation level of patches with recovery of woody cover increased steadily with time since fire. The study approach using satellite remote sensing can be expanded to assess the consequences of stand-replacing wildfires in all forests of the region.

  8. A tree-ring based reconstruction of North Pacific Jet variability and its influence on Sierra Nevada fire regimes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trouet, V.; Babst, F.; Betancourt, J. L.

    2013-12-01

    Over the last decade, the northern hemisphere polar jet stream - the fast-flowing, high-altitude westerly air current that flows over mid and northern latitudes - has experienced a more meridional (north-south) and slower wave progression. This anomalous behavior contributed to extreme mid-latitude weather events across the globe, including drought and forest fires in the American Southwest (2012), summer heatwaves in Russia (2010), and floods in central and western Europe (2007). The position of the North Pacific Jet (NPJ) strongly modulates winter hydroclimatology in the Sierra Nevada and the Central Rocky Mountains; moreover, a persistent southerly (northerly) trajectory can offset (reinforce) losses in regional snowpack predicted with greenhouse warming . Snowpack variability has a fundamental impact on water resources and ecosystem disturbances. An increase in wildfire activity in the American West since the mid-1980s, for instance, has been related to decreasing snowpacks and earlier and faster snowmelt. Recent anomalous, high-amplitude, jet stream fluctuations are consistent with model projections forced by greenhouse gases. By weakening the pole-equator temperature gradient, enhanced Arctic warming in particular may cause the jet to slow and extreme weather patterns (e.g., blocking high pressure cells) to persist. Questions exist about the ability of climate models to simulate jet stream dynamics, however, and the instrumental record is still too short to fully evaluate the natural range of jet stream variability. We developed a reconstruction of winter NPJ variability from tree-ring data at two locations where climate is strongly influenced by the latitudinal NPJ position. We combined Blue Oak (Quercus douglasii) data from central California with climate-sensitive tree-ring series from multiple species in the northern Rockies in a nested PCA model that explained up to 41% of the variance in the instrumental NPJ target. The resulting reconstruction (1409

  9. Soil moisture trends in mountainous areas: a 50-yr analysis of modelled soil moisture over Sierra Nevada Mountains (Spain).

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    José Pérez-Palazón, María; Pimentel, Rafael; Herrero, Javier; José Polo, María

    2016-04-01

    Soil moisture conditions the energy and water fluxes through the ground surface and constitutes a major hydrological state variable in the analysis of environmental processes. Detecting potential changes in soil moisture and analyzing their trend over a long period of study can help to understand its evolution in other similar areas and to estimate its future role. In mountainous areas, the snow distribution highly conditions soil water content and its implications on the local water cycle. Sierra Nevada, Southern Spain, is a linear mountain range, with altitude higher than 3000 m.a.s.l., where Mediterranean and alpine climates coexist. The snow dynamics dominates the hydrological regime, and the medium and long term trends observed in the snow persistence constitute one of the main potential drivers for soil moisture changes both on a seasonal and annual basis. This work presents a 50-yr study of the soil moisture trends in Sierra Nevada (SN); the distributed monthly mean soil moisture evolution during the recent past (1960-2010) is simulated and its relationship with meteorological variables (precipitation and temperature) analyzed in the five head river basins that the SN area comprises. For this, soil water content is simulated throughout the area by means of WiMMed, a distributed and physically based hydrological model developed for Mediterranean regions that includes snow modelling, which had been previously calibrated and validated in the study area. The analysis of soil moisture shows a globally decreasing annual rate, with a mean value of 0.0011 mmṡmm-1ṡyear-1 during the study period averaged over the whole study area, which locally ranges between 0.174 mmṡmm-1ṡyear-1 and 0.0014 mmṡmm-1ṡyear-1. As previous studies reported, the observed trend in precipitation is more influent than temperature on the snowfall regime change; therefore, as expected, the estimated trends of soil moisture are more related to this variable. Moreover, an increase of

  10. Favorable areas for prospecting adjacent to the Roberts Mountains thrust in southern Lander County, Nevada

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stewart, John Harris; McKee, Edwin H.

    1968-01-01

    Recent geologic mapping by the U.S. Geological Survey of more than 2,500 square miles of a relatively little-studied part of central Nevada has outlined four areas favorable for the discovery of metallic mineral deposits. In these areas, lower Paleozoic carbonate rocks crop out below the Roberts Mountains thrust, a widespread fault in central and north-central Nevada. These areas have a stratigraphic and structural setting similar to that of the areas where large, open-pit gold deposits have been discovered recently at Carlin and Cortez in north-central Nevada.

  11. Investigating Planetary Boundary Layer and Land Surface Model Schemes in the WRF Model for the Sierra Nevada Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rayne, S.; Holmes, H.; Zielinska, B.; Gertler, A.

    2014-12-01

    The Lake Tahoe Basin is located on the border of California and Nevada northeast of the Central Valley in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Despite its pristine beauty and water clarity, the Lake Tahoe Basin is facing problems related to air pollution including ambient ozone levels. The meteorology in this region is unusually complex due to mountainous terrain and other topographical features. Thermally driven wind systems are a common phenomenon found in mountainous regions throughout the world. These wind systems, along with the structure of the atmospheric boundary layer are important for understanding the distribution and transport of atmospheric pollutants in complex terrain. Therefore, it is essential in air pollution modeling to correctly represent the planetary boundary layer (PBL) physics that governs the vertical mixing of pollutants and PBL height, where both impact the surface pollutant concentrations. Multiple PBL and Land Surface Model (LSM) parameterization schemes are available in the Weather Research and Forecast (WRF) model and have different assumptions determining the transport of mass, moisture and energy. During the period of July 21 -26, 2012, a field study was conducted in the Basin designed to characterize the precursors and pathways of secondary pollutant formation, including ozone and secondary organic aerosol (SOA). Using the observations obtained from the field study, this analysis looks at various WRF PBL schemes used in the Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) model and evaluates their performance for this area as well as investigates thermally forced small-scale processes within the Lake Tahoe Basin. The goal of this work is to understand the impact of PBL/LSM schemes on the micrometeorology in complex terrain in order to investigate the impact of transport phenomena on rural ozone concentrations in the Lake Tahoe Basin.

  12. Elevation and vegetation determine Cryptosporidium oocyst shedding by yellow-bellied marmots (Marmota flaviventris) in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

    PubMed

    Montecino-Latorre, Diego; Li, Xunde; Xiao, Chengling; Atwill, Edward R

    2015-08-01

    Wildlife are increasingly recognized as important biological reservoirs of zoonotic species of Cryptosporidium that might contaminate water and cause human exposure to this protozoal parasite. The habitat range of the yellow-bellied marmot (Marmota flaviventris) overlaps extensively with the watershed boundaries of municipal water supplies for California communities along the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. We conducted a cross-sectional epidemiological study to estimate the fecal shedding of Cryptosporidium oocysts by yellow-bellied marmots and to quantify the environmental loading rate and determine risk factors for Cryptosporidium fecal shedding in this montane wildlife species. The observed proportion of Cryptosporidium positive fecal samples was 14.7% (33/224, positive number relative to total number samples) and the environmental loading rate was estimated to be 10,693 oocysts animal(-1) day(-1). Fecal shedding was associated with the elevation and vegetation status of their habitat. Based on a portion of the 18s rRNA gene sequence of 2 isolates, the Cryptosporidium found in Marmota flaviventris were 99.88%-100% match to multiple isolates of C. parvum in the GenBank.

  13. Elevation and vegetation determine Cryptosporidium oocyst shedding by yellow-bellied marmots (Marmota flaviventris) in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

    PubMed

    Montecino-Latorre, Diego; Li, Xunde; Xiao, Chengling; Atwill, Edward R

    2015-08-01

    Wildlife are increasingly recognized as important biological reservoirs of zoonotic species of Cryptosporidium that might contaminate water and cause human exposure to this protozoal parasite. The habitat range of the yellow-bellied marmot (Marmota flaviventris) overlaps extensively with the watershed boundaries of municipal water supplies for California communities along the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. We conducted a cross-sectional epidemiological study to estimate the fecal shedding of Cryptosporidium oocysts by yellow-bellied marmots and to quantify the environmental loading rate and determine risk factors for Cryptosporidium fecal shedding in this montane wildlife species. The observed proportion of Cryptosporidium positive fecal samples was 14.7% (33/224, positive number relative to total number samples) and the environmental loading rate was estimated to be 10,693 oocysts animal(-1) day(-1). Fecal shedding was associated with the elevation and vegetation status of their habitat. Based on a portion of the 18s rRNA gene sequence of 2 isolates, the Cryptosporidium found in Marmota flaviventris were 99.88%-100% match to multiple isolates of C. parvum in the GenBank. PMID:25834788

  14. Different fire-climate relationships on forested and non-forested landscapes in the Sierra Nevada ecoregion

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Keeley, Jon E.; Syphard, Alexandra D.

    2015-01-01

    In the California Sierra Nevada region, increased fire activity over the last 50 years has only occurred in the higher-elevation forests on US Forest Service (USFS) lands, and is not characteristic of the lower-elevation grasslands, woodlands and shrublands on state responsibility lands (Cal Fire). Increased fire activity on USFS lands was correlated with warmer and drier springs. Although this is consistent with recent global warming, we found an equally strong relationship between fire activity and climate in the first half of the 20th century. At lower elevations, warmer and drier conditions were not strongly tied to fire activity over the last 90 years, although prior-year precipitation was significant. It is hypothesised that the fire–climate relationship in forests is determined by climatic effects on spring and summer fuel moisture, with hotter and drier springs leading to a longer fire season and more extensive burning. In contrast, future fire activity in the foothills may be more dependent on rainfall patterns and their effect on the herbaceous fuel load. We predict spring and summer warming will have a significant impact on future fire regimes, primarily in higher-elevation forests. Lower elevation ecosystems are likely to be affected as much by global changes that directly involve land-use patterns as by climate change.

  15. Erosion rates as a potential bottom-up control of forest structural characteristics in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

    PubMed

    Milodowski, David T; Mudd, Simon M; Mitchard, Edward T A

    2015-01-01

    The physical characteristics of landscapes place fundamental constraints on vegetation growth and ecosystem function. In actively eroding landscapes, many of these characteristics are controlled by long-term erosion rates: increased erosion rates generate steeper topography and reduce the depth and extent of weathering, limiting moisture storage capacity and impacting nutrient availability. Despite the potentially important bottom-up control that erosion rates place on substrate characteristics, the relationship between the two is largely unexplored. We investigate spatial variations in aboveground biomass (AGB) across a structurally diverse mixed coniferous/deciduous forest with an order of magnitude erosion-rate gradient in the Northern Californian Sierra Nevada, USA, using high resolution LiDAR data and field plots. Mean basin slope, a proxy for erosion rate, accounts for 32% of variance in AGB within our field area (P < 0.001), considerably outweighing the effects of mean annual precipitation, temperature, and bedrock lithology. This highlights erosion rate as a potentially important, but hitherto unappreciated, control on AGB and forest structure.

  16. Episodic dike intrusions in the northwestern Sierra Nevada, California: Implications for multistage evolution of a Jurassic arc terrane

    SciTech Connect

    Dilek, Y.; Moores, E.M. ); Thy, P. )

    1991-02-01

    In the northwestern Sierra Nevada, California, volcanic and plutonic rocks of the Smartville and Slate Creek complexes, both fragments of a Jurassic arc terrane, are tectonically juxtaposed against ophiolitic and marine rocks that represent late Paleozoic-early Mesozoic oceanic basement. This oceanic basement is intruded by Early Jurassic dikes that are coeval with hypabyssal and plutonic rocks within the Smartville and Slate Creek complexes. These dikes have geochemical characteristics reflecting a depleted and metasomatized source, as commonly observed in modern fore-arc settings and incipient volcanic arcs, and are interpreted to be the conduits for the Early Jurassic arc volcanism, which was built on and across the disrupted oceanic basement. Late Jurassic sheeted dikes intruding the Smartville complex have basaltic compositions compatible with an intra-arc or back-arc origin and indicate that a spreading event occurred within the arc in early Late Jurassic time. These interpretations support models for a complex multistage evolution via episodic magmatism and deformation within a singly ensimatic Jurassic arc terrane west of the North American continent.

  17. A global model simulation for 3-D radiative transfer impact on surface hydrology over Sierra Nevada and Rocky Mountains

    DOE PAGES

    Lee, W. -L.; Gu, Y.; Liou, K. N.; Leung, L. R.; Hsu, H. -H.

    2014-12-15

    We investigate 3-D mountain effects on solar flux distributions and their impact on surface hydrology over the Western United States, specifically the Rocky Mountains and Sierra Nevada using CCSM4 (CAM4/CLM4) global model with a 0.23° × 0.31° resolution for simulations over 6 years. In 3-D radiative transfer parameterization, we have updated surface topography data from a resolution of 1 km to 90 m to improve parameterization accuracy. In addition, we have also modified the upward-flux deviation [3-D - PP (plane-parallel)] adjustment to ensure that energy balance at the surface is conserved in global climate simulations based on 3-D radiation parameterization.more » We show that deviations of the net surface fluxes are not only affected by 3-D mountains, but also influenced by feedbacks of cloud and snow in association with the long-term simulations. Deviations in sensible heat and surface temperature generally follow the patterns of net surface solar flux. The monthly snow water equivalent (SWE) deviations show an increase in lower elevations due to reduced snowmelt, leading to a reduction in cumulative runoff. Over higher elevation areas, negative SWE deviations are found because of increased solar radiation available at the surface. Simulated precipitation increases for lower elevations, while decreases for higher elevations with a minimum in April. Liquid runoff significantly decreases in higher elevations after April due to reduced SWE and precipitation.« less

  18. Pesticides in mountain yellow-legged frogs (Rana muscosa) from the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, USA.

    PubMed

    Fellers, Gary M; McConnell, Laura L; Pratt, David; Datta, Seema

    2004-09-01

    In 1997, pesticide concentrations were measured in mountain yellow-legged frogs (Rana muscosa) from two areas in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, USA. One area (Sixty Lakes Basin, Kings Canyon National Park) had large, apparently healthy populations of frogs. A second area (Tablelands, Sequoia National Park) once had large populations, but the species had been extirpated from this area by the early 1980s. The Tablelands is exposed directly to prevailing winds from agricultural regions to the west. When an experimental reintroduction of R. muscosa in 1994 to 1995 was deemed unsuccessful in 1997, the last 20 (reintroduced) frogs that could be found were collected from the Tablelands, and pesticide concentrations in both frog tissue and the water were measured at both the Tablelands and at reference sites at Sixty Lakes. In frog tissues, dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE) concentration was one to two orders of magnitude higher than the other organochlorines (46+/-20 ng/g wet wt at Tablelands and 17+/-8 Sixty Lakes). Both gamma-chlordane and trans-nonachlor were found in significantly greater concentrations in Tablelands frog tissues compared with Sixty Lakes. Organophosphate insecticides, chlorpyrifos, and diazinon were observed primarily in surface water with higher concentrations at the Tablelands sites. No contaminants were significantly higher in our Sixty Lakes samples.

  19. Elevation and vegetation determine Cryptosporidium oocyst shedding by yellow-bellied marmots (Marmota flaviventris) in the Sierra Nevada Mountains

    PubMed Central

    Montecino-Latorre, Diego; Li, Xunde; Xiao, Chengling; Atwill, Edward R.

    2015-01-01

    Wildlife are increasingly recognized as important biological reservoirs of zoonotic species of Cryptosporidium that might contaminate water and cause human exposure to this protozoal parasite. The habitat range of the yellow-bellied marmot (Marmota flaviventris) overlaps extensively with the watershed boundaries of municipal water supplies for California communities along the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. We conducted a cross-sectional epidemiological study to estimate the fecal shedding of Cryptosporidium oocysts by yellow-bellied marmots and to quantify the environmental loading rate and determine risk factors for Cryptosporidium fecal shedding in this montane wildlife species. The observed proportion of Cryptosporidium positive fecal samples was 14.7% (33/224, positive number relative to total number samples) and the environmental loading rate was estimated to be 10,693 oocysts animal-1 day-1. Fecal shedding was associated with the elevation and vegetation status of their habitat. Based on a portion of the 18s rRNA gene sequence of 2 isolates, the Cryptosporidium found in Marmota flaviventris were 99.88%–100% match to multiple isolates of C. parvum in the GenBank. PMID:25834788

  20. Magnetic susceptibility and relation to initial 87Sr/86Sr for granitoids of the central Sierra Nevada, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bateman, P.C.; Dodge, F.C.W.; Kistler, R.W.

    1991-01-01

    Measurement of the magnetic susceptibility of more than 6000 samples of granitic rock from the Mariposa 1?? by 2?? quadrangle, which crosses the central part of the Sierra Nevada batholith between 37?? and 38??N latitude, shows that magnetic susceptibility values are above 10-2 SI units in the east and central parts of the batholith and drop abruptly to less than 10-3 SI units in the western foothills. In a narrow transitional zone, intermediate values (10-3 to 10-2) prevail. Magnetic susceptibility appears to decrease slightly westward within the zones of both high and low values. Magnetic susceptibility in plutonic rocks is chiefly a function of the abundance of magnetite, which depends, in turn, on the total iron content of the rocks and their oxidation ratio. Correlations of magnetic susceptibility with initial 87Sr/86Sr suggest that oxidation ratios have been inherited from the source regions for the magmas from which the rocks crystallized. Reduction of Fe3+ to Fe2+ by organic carbon or other reducing substances may also have affected magnetic susceptibility. -from Authors

  1. Ozone, nitric acid, and ammonia air pollution is unhealthy for people and ecosystems in southern Sierra Nevada, California.

    PubMed

    Cisneros, Ricardo; Bytnerowicz, Andrzej; Schweizer, Donald; Zhong, Sharon; Traina, Samuel; Bennett, Deborah H

    2010-10-01

    Two-week average concentrations of ozone (O3), nitric acid vapor (HNO3) and ammonia (NH3) were measured with passive samplers during the 2002 summer season across the central Sierra Nevada Mountains, California, along the San Joaquin River drainage. Elevated concentrations of the pollutants were determined with seasonal means for individual sites ranging between 62 and 88 ppb for O3, 1.0-3.8 microg m(-3) for HNO3, and 2.6-5.2 microg m(-3) for NH3. Calculated O3 exposure indices were very high, reaching SUM00-191 ppm h, SUM60-151 ppm h, and W126-124 ppm h. Calculated nitrogen (N) dry deposition ranged from 1.4 to 15 kg N ha(-1) for maximum values, and 0.4-8 kg N ha(-1) for minimum values; potentially exceeding Critical Loads (CL) for nutritional N. The U.S., California, and European 8 h O3 human health standards were exceeded during 104, 108, and 114 days respectively, indicating high risk to humans from ambient O3. PMID:20708832

  2. Relationships of ozone exposure to pine injury in the Sierra Nevada and San Bernardino Mountains of California, USA.

    PubMed

    Arbaugh, M J; Miller, P R; Carroll, J J; Takemoto, B; Procter, T

    1998-01-01

    Hourly ambient ozone exposure data and crown injury measurements were gathered in the Sierra Nevada and San Bernardino Mountains of California to develop relationships between the Ozone Injury Index (OII), the Forest Pest Management Index (FPM), chlorotic mottle, fascicle retention (OII index components) and cumulative ambient ozone indices for Pinus ponderosa Dougl. ex Laws and Pinus jeffreyi Grev. and Balf. Eleven sites located in the mixed conifer forest near ambient ozone monitoring sites were evaluated annually for 4 years. Four other sites in the San Bernardino Mountains were evaluated for 1 year. Analyses showed OII to be functionally equivalent (r2 = 0.96) to the FPM, and to depend only on fascicle retention and chlorotic mottle (R2 = 0.95) of the fourth whorl (or if four whorls are not present at the site, then the last whorl present for the majority of trees). Significant associations were found between OII and 4-year 24-h. summer SUM0, SUM06, W126 and HRS80 ozone indices. Three sites had higher levels of cumulative chlorotic mottle for individual whorls and larger numbers of trees with visible crown injury than other sites with similar cumulative ambient ozone levels. Including an indicator variable to discriminate between these two groups of sites increased R2 and decreased root mean square (RMSE) for all indices, especially SUM0 (R2 = 0.93, RMSE reduced by 46%). PMID:15093091

  3. Long-term effects of prescribed fire on mixed conifer forest structure in the Sierra Nevada, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    van Mantgem, Phillip J.; Stephenson, Nathan L.; Knapp, Eric; Keeley, Jon E.

    2011-01-01

    The capacity of prescribed fire to restore forest conditions is often judged by changes in forest structure within a few years following burning. However, prescribed fire might have longer-term effects on forest structure, potentially changing treatment assessments. We examined annual changes in forest structure in five 1 ha old-growth plots immediately before prescribed fire and up to eight years after fire at Sequoia National Park, California. Fire-induced declines in stem density (67% average decrease at eight years post-fire) were nonlinear, taking up to eight years to reach a presumed asymptote. Declines in live stem biomass were also nonlinear, but smaller in magnitude (32% average decrease at eight years post-fire) as most large trees survived the fires. The preferential survival of large trees following fire resulted in significant shifts in stem diameter distributions. Mortality rates remained significantly above background rates up to six years after the fires. Prescribed fire did not have a large influence on the representation of dominant species. Fire-caused mortality appeared to be spatially random, and therefore did not generally alter heterogeneous tree spatial patterns. Our results suggest that prescribed fire can bring about substantial changes to forest structure in old-growth mixed conifer forests in the Sierra Nevada, but that long-term observations are needed to fully describe some measures of fire effects.

  4. Aquatic amphibians in the Sierra Nevada: Current status and potential effects of acidic deposition on populations. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Bradford, D.F.; Gordon, M.S.

    1992-05-01

    Toxicity testing indicated that amphibians are at little risk from low pH in water acidified to a pH of 5.0 and aluminum concentrations from 39 to 80 micrograms/l. However, sublethal effects (reduced growth rate and earlier hatching) were observed for pH as high as 5.25 and the aluminum concentrations tested. The authors tested the hypothesis that acidification of habitats in the field has resulted in elimination of populationss from waters most vulnerable to acidification, i.e., low in pH or ANC, or from waters low in ionic strength a condition that increases the sensitivity of amphibians to low pH. The authors surveyed potential breeding sites for two declining and one non-declining species at high elevation within 30 randomly selected survey areas, and compared chemical parameters between sites containing a species and sites lacking the species. No significant differences were found that were consistent with the hypothesis, and water chemistry did not differ among sites inhabited by the three species. These findings imply that acidic deposition is unlikely to have been a cause of recent amphibian population declines in the Sierra Nevada.

  5. Assessing the Value of Improved Hydrologic Forecasting for Hydropower in the Sierra Nevada at Multiple Spatial Scales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rheinheimer, D. E.; Bales, R. C.; Lund, J. R.; Viers, J. H.

    2014-12-01

    Increased accuracy of snowpack measurements can potentially greatly improve planning for rest-of-year water allocations, particularly when coupled with improvements in hydrologic modeling skill. In California, the degree to which investments in improved hydrologic information systems, such as wireless sensor networks, is worth the cost remains poorly quantified. We conducted a numerical study to assess the value of improvements in snowpack measurements and hydrologic prediction for a single representative hydropower system in the Sierra Nevada considering different measurement and prediction accuracy levels and prediction intervals. Additionally, we examined the value of these improvements for a range of different infrastructure, operational, and hydrologic characteristics, such as reservoir capacity, hydropower capacity, electricity demand, instream flow requirements, and hydrologic regime. Operations were represented with a linear programming model using hydrologic information inaccuracy mimicked by perturbing assumed known hydrologic conditions. Results demonstrate that under current system physical and operational characteristics, improved snowpack estimation and hydrologic prediction generally improve optimal hydropower management compared to current estimation capabilities, particularly in drier years. However, improvements vary by infrastructure characteristics, as well as by management and hydrologic assumptions, such as energy demand and hydrologic stationarity. This approach and the specific results presented will help resource managers understand where investments in hydrologic sensor network and prediction systems will be most beneficial.

  6. Pesticides in mountain yellow-legged frogs (Rana muscosa) from the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fellers, G.M.; McConnell, L.L.; Pratt, D.; Datta, S.

    2004-01-01

    In 1997, pesticide concentrations were measured in mountain yellow-legged frogs (Rana muscosa) from two areas in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, USA. One area (Sixty Lakes Basin, Kings Canyon National Park) had large, apparently healthy populations of frogs. A second area (Tablelands, Sequoia National Park) once had large populations, but the species had been extirpated from this area by the early 1980s. The Tablelands is exposed directly to prevailing winds from agricultural regions to the west. When an experimental reintroduction of R. muscosa in 1994 to 1995 was deemed unsuccessful in 1997, the last 20 (reintroduced) frogs that could be found were collected from the Tablelands, and pesticide concentrations in both frog tissue and the water were measured at both the Tablelands and at reference sites at Sixty Lakes. In frog tissues, dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE) concentration was one to two orders of magnitude higher than the other organochlorines (46 ?? 20 ng/g wet wt at Tablelands and 17 ?? 8 Sixty Lakes). Both ??-chlordane and trans-nonachlor were found in significantly greater concentrations in Tablelands frog tissues compared with Sixty Lakes. Organophosphate insecticides, chlorpyrifos, and diazinon were observed primarily in surface water with higher concentrations at the Tablelands sites. No contaminants were significantly higher in our Sixty Lakes samples.

  7. Water Resources of the Basin and Range Carbonate-Rock Aquifer System, White Pine County, Nevada, and Adjacent Areas in Nevada and Utah - Draft Report

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Welch, Alan H.; Bright, Daniel J.

    2007-01-01

    Summary of Major Findings This report summarizes results of a water-resources study for White Pine County, Nevada, and adjacent areas in east-central Nevada and western Utah. The Basin and Range carbonate-rock aquifer system (BARCAS) study was initiated in December 2004 through Federal legislation (Section 131 of the Lincoln County Conservation, Recreation, and Development Act of 2004) directing the Secretary of the Interior to complete a water-resources study through the U.S. Geological Survey, Desert Research Institute, and State of Utah. The study was designed as a regional water-resource assessment, with particular emphasis on summarizing the hydrogeologic framework and hydrologic processes that influence ground-water resources. The study area includes 13 hydrographic areas that cover most of White Pine County; in this report however, results for the northern and central parts of Little Smoky Valley were combined and presented as one hydrographic area. Hydrographic areas are the basic geographic units used by the State of Nevada and Utah and local agencies for water-resource planning and management, and are commonly defined on the basis of surface-water drainage areas. Hydrographic areas were further divided into subbasins that are separated by areas where bedrock is at or near the land surface. Subbasins represent subdivisions used in this study for estimating recharge, discharge, and water budget. Hydrographic areas represent the subdivision used for reporting summed and tabulated subbasin estimates.

  8. Water Resources of the Basin and Range Carbonate-Rock Aquifer System, White Pine County, Nevada, and Adjacent Areas in Nevada and Utah

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Welch, Alan H.; Bright, Daniel J.; Knochenmus, Lari A.

    2008-01-01

    INTRODUCTION This report summarizes results of a water-resources study for White Pine County, Nevada, and adjacent areas in east-central Nevada and western Utah. The Basin and Range carbonate-rock aquifer system (BARCAS) study was initiated in December 2004 through Federal legislation (Section 301(e) of the Lincoln County Conservation, Recreation, and Development Act of 2004; PL108-424) directing the Secretary of the Interior to complete a water-resources study through the U.S. Geological Survey, Desert Research Institute, and State of Utah. The study was designed as a regional water-resource assessment, with particular emphasis on summarizing the hydrogeologic framework and hydrologic processes that influence ground-water resources. The study area includes 13 hydrographic areas that cover most of White Pine County; in this report however, results for the northern and central parts of Little Smoky Valley were combined and presented as one hydrographic area. Hydrographic areas are the basic geographic units used by the State of Nevada and Utah and local agencies for water-resource planning and management, and are commonly defined on the basis of surface-water drainage areas. Hydrographic areas were further divided into subbasins that are separated by areas where bedrock is at or near the land surface. Subbasins are the subdivisions used in this study for estimating recharge, discharge, and water budget. Hydrographic areas are the subdivision used for reporting summed and tabulated subbasin estimates.

  9. Geochronological constraints (40Ar/39Ar and U/Pb) on the thermal history of the Tolumne Intrusive Suite (Sierra Nevada, California)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mundil, R.; Nomade, S.; Paterson, S. R.; Renne, P. R.

    2004-12-01

    The Tuolumne Intrusive Suite (TIS) in the Eastern Sierra Nevada is considered a type example of a batholith and represents a spectacularly exposed, protracted record of internal differentiation and plutonic assembly in a large, open-system, continental arc magma chamber. One of the recent advances in our understanding of magmatic systems is the recognition that a substantial number are constructed episodically over timescales of up to millions of years for larger plutons. The main objective of this study is to investigate the episodic growth and evolution of magmatic systems by integrating thermal, geochronologic, geochemical, and crystal size distribution (CSD) studies with ongoing field studies of the TIS. Here we present high-resolution U/Pb and 40Ar/39Ar geochronology from the TIS (which was assembled between 93 and 85 Ma, Coleman et al., 2004) and adjacent older units in order to unravel the time scales of its assemblage and thermal history. 25 Samples were collected along a SW-NE corridor (ca 30 km) across the TIS, including older plutons to the SW (El Capitan) and the NE (Soldier Lake (SDL) and Green Lake plutons (GRL)). So far, conventional U/Pb single-zircon analyses yield weighted mean 206Pb/238U ages of 165.0 ± 0.3 Ma for the GRL and a preliminary age of ca. 95 Ma for the SDL, which are interpreted as emplacement ages (all uncertainties are given at the 2σ level). 40Ar/39Ar analyses were performed on two different biotite and hornblende grain size fractions (800-900μ m and 150-180μ m) from each sample. As expected, isotherms in the eastern pendant of the Sierra Nevada move towards the TIS as a result of its cooling between 85 to 80 Ma. The gradient of temperature at the time of the emplacement of the Cathedral Peak (CP) Pluton (U/Pb zircon age of ca 88 Ma, Coleman, 2004) was about 150° C to 200° C per 5 km. The western margin of the GRL (at 5 km distance from the TIS) is thermally affected by the TIS as indicated by biotite ages that are reset (ca

  10. Constraints from Field Geology for Numerical Modeling of the Crustal Overturn Processes During the Cretaceous High-Magma-Flux Episode in the Central and Southern Sierra Nevada, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cao, W.; Paterson, S. R.; Kaus, B. J.; Anderson, J. L.; Memeti, V.

    2010-12-01

    Building on prior studies, recent fieldwork combined with geochronology, thermobarometry and geochemistry studies in the Cretaceous Sierra Nevada arc reveal the following arc-scale features: 1) The Middle to Late Cretaceous Sierra Nevada arc has a 30-35 km thick granodioritic to tonalitic upper-middle crust and may have had up to 30-35 km of mafic to ultramafic lower crust, including dehydrated amphibolitic residues. 2) Plutons emplaced during the ~20 myr long High-Magma-Flux Episode (HMFE, 105-85 Ma) include large batholiths (~1000 km2 at exposure level) with growth histories occurring over millions of years (e.g. ~9 myr for Tuolumne Batholith). Magma pulses creating such large intrusions could vary from up to 103 km3 in dimension depending on different growth models. 3) In the central Sierra Nevada, emplacement depths of the granitoid plutons during the HMFE are 7-15 km with shallow emplaced plutons’ solidi at usually ~700 -760 °C. 4) Plutons intruding only slightly older volcanic host rocks in the central and southern Sierra Nevada indicate that host rocks’ downward displacement of ~7-25 km depths occurred within 1-3 myr. This process is accompanied with the long-lived arc exhumation since at least middle Jurassic. 5) Steep syn-emplacement subsolidus lineations, rim monoclines, and plastic shear strain in pluton aureoles suggest ductile deformations of host rock materials. 6) Partial melting occurred along the margins of plutons and in the middle-lower crust, as represented in the more deeply exposed southern Sierra (30-45 km). 7) Magmatic to subsolidus foliations in plutons and ductile shear zones in host rocks indicate NW-trending transpressional tectonics during the HMFE. 8) Isotopic oxygen data and mass balance calculation indicate that crustal components provides more than 50% of the entire arc’s mass. Intra-crustal magma sources of the HMFE are sustained possibly by thickened crust due to contractional tectonics. These observations in the central

  11. 78 FR 13374 - Notice of Public Meetings: Sierra Front-Northwestern Great Basin Resource Advisory Council, Nevada

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-02-27

    ...: 14X1109] Notice of Public Meetings: Sierra Front-Northwestern Great Basin Resource Advisory Council... 1972 (FACA), the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Sierra Front... on-line at the BLM Sierra Front- Northwestern Great Basin RAC Web site at...

  12. 77 FR 28619 - Notice of Public Meetings: Sierra Front-Northwestern Great Basin Resource Advisory Council, Nevada

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-05-15

    ...: 14X1109] Notice of Public Meetings: Sierra Front-Northwestern Great Basin Resource Advisory Council... 1972 (FACA), the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Sierra Front... raise other topics at the meetings. Final agendas will be posted on-line at the BLM Sierra...

  13. Calculation of the Rate of M>6.5 Earthquakes for California and Adjacent Portions of Nevada and Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Frankel, Arthur; Mueller, Charles

    2008-01-01

    One of the key issues in the development of an earthquake recurrence model for California and adjacent portions of Nevada and Mexico is the comparison of the predicted rates of earthquakes with the observed rates. Therefore, it is important to make an accurate determination of the observed rate of M>6.5 earthquakes in California and the adjacent region. We have developed a procedure to calculate observed earthquake rates from an earthquake catalog, accounting for magnitude uncertainty and magnitude rounding. We present a Bayesian method that corrects for the effect of the magnitude uncertainty in calculating the observed rates. Our recommended determination of the observed rate of M>6.5 in this region is 0.246 ? 0.085 (for two sigma) per year, although this rate is likely to be underestimated because of catalog incompleteness and this uncertainty estimate does not include all sources of uncertainty.

  14. Oxygen Isotope Zoning in Skarn Garnets: Evidence for Spatial and Temporal Fluid Source Variability in the Sierra Nevada and Mojave

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gevedon, M. L.; Ryan-Davis, J.; Lackey, J. S.; Barnes, J.; Kitajima, K.; Valley, J. W.

    2014-12-01

    Skarns provide insight to the depth, longevity, and dominant fluid regime associated with Sierra Nevada plutonism and Mesozoic magmatism in the Mojave National Preserve, which represent different spatial and temporal exposures of the Mesozoic arc. Skarns from these regions may serve as proxies for intricacies in the fluid source, and have the potential to resolve magmatic flare-ups and relative depths of emplacement. Both laser fluorination (LF) and secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) δ18O analyses of garnet from multiple Mojave (Lucerne valley) skarns indicate a strong, early influence of meteoric fluid despite the presence of relatively deep plutonism. LF data from individual whole garnets and garnet chips broken during sample preparation reveal variation from +4.2‰ to -8.8‰ (n = 24), with an average of approximately -4.0‰. The large spread in these LF data suggest that (A) δ18O reflects an average of varying δ18O (fluid) compositions spanning multiple garnet growth oscillations; or (B) multiple generations of garnets exist within individual skarns, the growth of each coinciding with changes in the hydrothermal source and composition. SIMS analysis of two individual Mojave skarn garnets with oscillatory zoning (seen in backscatter electron images) reveal crystal cores with δ18O values of -9.6‰, internal variations of -9.4‰ to -3.3‰, and crystal rims of -2.2‰ and -2.9‰ (precision ±0.3; 2σ). In general, δ18O values negatively correlate with andradite compositions, with high andradite zones having lower δ18O values ([AND + CaTi] compositions range from 100 to 73). Similar analyses (both SIMS and LF) of garnets from Sierra Nevadan skarns (Tungsten Hills region) show variation in δ18O values with LF data ranging from 5.4‰ to 6.2‰ (n = 8), with an average of 5.7‰, and an additional 2.7‰ value obtained from a garnet interior. SIMS data show δ18O compositional variation from 4.0‰ to 5.9‰. Data across the two Tungsten Hills garnets

  15. Using ecological forecasting of future vegetation transition and fire frequency change in the Sierra Nevada to assess fire management strategies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thorne, J. H.; Schwartz, M. W.; Holguin, A. J.; Moritz, M.; Batllori, E.; Folger, K.; Nydick, K.

    2013-12-01

    Ecological systems may respond in complex manners as climate change progresses. Among the responses, site-level climate conditions may cause a shift in vegetation due to the physiological tolerances of plant species, and the fire return interval may change. Natural resource managers challenged with maintaining ecosystem health need a way to forecast how these processes may affect every location, in order to determine appropriate management actions and prioritize locations for interventions. We integrated climate change-driven vegetation type transitions with projected change in fire frequency for 45,203 km2 of the southern Sierra Nevada, California, containing over 10 land management agencies as well as private lands. This Magnitude of Change (MOC) approach involves classing vegetation types in current time according to their climate envelopes, and identifying which sites will in the future have climates beyond what that vegetation currently occurs in. Independently, fire models are used to determine the change in fire frequency for each site. We examined 82 vegetation types with >50 grid cell occurrences. We found iconic resources such as the giant sequoia, lower slope oak woodlands, and high elevation conifer forests are projected as highly vulnerable by models that project a warmer drier future, but not as much by models that project a warmer future that is not drier than current conditions. Further, there were strongly divergent vulnerabilities of these forest types across land ownership (National Parks versus US Forest Service lands), and by GCM. For example, of 50 giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) groves and complexes, all but 3 (on Sierra National Forest) were in the 2 highest levels of risk of climate and fire under the GFDL A2 projection, while 15 groves with low-to-moderate risk were found on both the National Parks and National Forests 18 in the 2 under PCM A2. Landscape projections of potential MOC suggest that the region is likely to experience

  16. Late-Quaternary Environmental Change in the Sierra Nevada: A 19,000-Year Sedimentary Organic Matter Record From Swamp Lake, Yosemite National Park, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Street, J. H.; Anderson, R. S.; Starratt, S. W.; Paytan, A.

    2007-12-01

    Paleoclimate and environmental change in California over the last several millennia have received intensive study, in part because future climate warming in this drought-vulnerable region is likely to be expressed most acutely through rearrangements in the hydrological cycle (e.g., changes in the amount and timing of precipitation, snowmelt, and runoff). The 19,000-year sedimentary record from Swamp Lake, a small mid-elevation (1554 m) lake in the central Sierra Nevada, provides a rare opportunity to examine the relationships among climate variability, drought, and ecosystem response over a longer timeframe, spanning deglaciation and the Holocene, including several periods in which the Sierra Nevada is thought to have been warmer and drier than the present. Lake sedimentary organic matter (SOM) preserves paleoenvironmental information in a variety of elemental, isotopic, molecular, and microfossil indicators. In this study we utilize carbon and nitrogen elemental abundances and isotopic compositions (δ13C, δ15N) of bulk organic matter, along with measurements of biogenic silica (BSi), diatom and pollen assemblages, and magnetic susceptibility to reconstruct changes in lake productivity, organic matter sources, and plant and algal community composition in relation to climatic variables. We will also present preliminary measurements of the hydrogen isotope ratios (δD) of specific biomarker compounds extracted from the sediment, providing more direct information about the hydrologic status of the lake and watershed. In addition to tracing the post-glacial recovery and Holocene evolution of Sierra Nevada ecosystems, the Swamp Lake SOM record contains significant millennial- and century-scale variability that may correspond to periods of enhanced/suppressed ENSO activity.

  17. Observations and Numerical Simulations of Precipitation Development in Seeded Clouds over the Sierra Nevada.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prasad, N.; Rodi, A. R.; Heymsfiield, A. J.

    1989-10-01

    The evolution of precipitation in seeded wintertime orographically induced convective and stratiform clouds with embedded convection were studied using in situ observations and particle growth and trajectory models. The particle growth model of Heymsfield embedded in a kinematic flow field representative of the Sierra barrier was used to study the ice particle growth by diffusion, accretion and subsequent fall trajectories. The particles observed by the aircraft were classified into habits. The growth of observed particles were compared with the model predicted evolution. Using the aggregation model of Heymsfield, the observation of formation of aggregates in <10 minutes was verified. The key findings of this study were.. (i) Aggregates (>1 mm) form in 4-8 minutes after seeding a convective cloud. (ii) Riming is important close to the barrier in a stratiform cloud when large cloud droplets and liquid water up to 0.3 g m3 are present. (iii) Diffusional growth is extremely important for temperatures near 15°C in these low liquid water content clouds. The particles grow to 2 mm when released from just colder than 15°C, and to 1 mm when falling from warmer than 15°C.

  18. Erosion of bulk and pyrogenic C from upland forested Sierra Nevada ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berhe, A. A.; Stacy, E.; McClintock, M.; Newman, A.; Hart, S. C.; Hunsaker, C. T.; Johnson, D. W.

    2012-12-01

    Erosion of bulk and pyrogenic carbon (C) impose significant controls on storage and persistence of soil organic matter (SOM) in eroding watershed. The extent of both bulk and BC export from eroding watersheds depends on amount and composition of SOM, association of SOM with reactive soil minerals in eroding slope profiles, the type and rate of erosion, and time since and severity of past fires. Currently, we have very little data on the relative lateral distribution and export of bulk vs. pyrogenic C from eroding upland, fire-affected forested ecosystems. Here, we will present data on the amount and composition of soil material eroded from eight first-order watersheds in the mixed-conifer zone of the Sierra National Forest in the Kings River Experimental Watershed. Our results show that there is large variability in nature of exported material - including ratio of bulk sediment vs. BC content, chemical composition of SOM, rate of export of reactive soil minerals, and overall sediment export across the watersheds that is not directly related to watershed size or climatic variability.

  19. Distribution of aquatic animals relative to naturally acidic waters in the Sierra Nevada. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Bradford, D.F.; Cooper, S.D.; Brown, A.D.; Mahood, G.

    1994-01-01

    Lakes in the Bench Lake/Mount Pinchot area of Kings Canyon National Park were surveyed in summer 1992 and found to range in pH from 5.0 to 9.3. Ten lakes were acidic (pH < 6.0). Thirty three lakes were chosen for detailed analyses of their chemical and biological characteristics, including eight acidic lakes. Unlike typical Ca-Na-HCO3-dominated Sierra lakes, SO4 concentrations are high enough to classify 19 of these lakes with SO4 as the dominant anion. The source of acidity and SO4 is sulfuric acid produced by the oxidation of pyrite found in metamorphic and granitic rocks in the area. Faunal surveys revealed that yellow-legged frog tadpoles (Rana muscosa), limnephilid caddis larvae (Hesperophylax), and large microcrustaceans (Daphnia, Diaptomus) were rare or absent in acidic lakes and common in lakes with a pH > 6.0. Four species of trout were collected, and their presence appeared to be related to historical stocking patterns. Trout appeared to have large effects on the distributions and abundances of larval amphibians and large, mobile invertebrate taxa that were rare or absent in trout lakes, but common in lakes lacking trout.

  20. Evolution of the persistence of snow over Sierra Nevada Mountain (southern, Spain) in the last 55 years

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pimentel, Rafael; José Pérez-Palazón, María; Herrero, Javier; José Polo, María

    2016-04-01

    Snow plays a crucial role in mountainous areas, not only as water resources for human supply, irrigation and energy production, but also for the ecosystem, flora and fauna, over these areas. Sierra Nevada Mountains, southern Spain, constitutes a rich reservoir of endemic wildlife species, and it is considered the most important center of biodiversity in the wester Mediterranean region. The highest regions of the range were declared UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Natural and National Parks. Climate trends over the last decades put a lot of pressure on both snowfall occurrence and snow persistence; this poses a risk for biodiversity and has led to its inclusion in the Global Change Observatory Network. This work quantifies the evolution of the persistence of snow over the Sierra Nevada area during the last fifty-five years (1960-2015) as a basis to assess the vulnerability of its ecosystem services. For this, the spatial distribution of the annual number of days with snow, SDS, was analyzed over a study area of 4583 km2 (140-3479 m.a.s.l.), which comprises the head of the five basins in these mountains. The following indicator variables were studied over the whole area and each one of the five head regions identified: 1) the trend of SDS; 2) the annual area where SDS exceeded selected percentiles in its distribution; and 3) the annual minimum altitude where SDS exceeded those percentiles. SDS was obtained during the study period by means of the snow module in WiMMed (Watershed Integrated Model in Mediterranean Environment), a physically-based hydrological model developed, calibrated and validated in the area; the model is based on an energy-mass balance over the snowpack that is spatially distributed through the use of depletion curves, and is operational at hourly and daily scales. A general decreasing trend of SDS (0.25 days year‑1) was found over the whole study area for the study period. This value is higher in the more humid basins (0.45 and 0.41 days year‑1

  1. Snow cover and ground surface temperature on a talus slope affected by mass movements. Veleta cirque, Sierra Nevada, Spain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tanarro, L. M.; Palacios, D.; Gómez-Ortiz, A.; Salvador-Franch, F.

    2012-04-01

    This paper analyses the thermal ground behaviour on an alpine talus slope located at the foot of the north wall of the glacial cirque on the Pico del Veleta (3398 m, 37°03'21''N, 3°21'57''W, MAAT: -0,4°C) in Sierra Nevada, SE Spain. There are frequent mass movements on this talus slope, particularly in its central section, caused by the abundant presence of fine-grained sediment and by the water from snowmelt and/or ice degradation in the ground or permafrost (Gómez et al., 2003). To determine the snowmelt pattern and ocurrence of permafrost, a continuous ground surface temperature was kept by installing 6 mini-loggers (HOBO Pendant) along the descending profile of the central talus, which is 170 m long with altitudes ranging from 3180 m at the higher end to 3085 m at the lower end. A thermal borehole was also installed at a depth of 2 m at the base of the slope on an active rock glacier. The results obtained for the period October 2008 - September 2009 show that, in contrast to alpine talus slopes (Luetschg et. al., 2004; Lambiel and Pieracci, 2008), the upper part of the slope is characterized by mean annual ground surface temperatures (MAGST) lower than at the base of the talus, possibly due to the effect of the shadow of the cirque wall. The MAGST oscillate between 0.592°C at the station near the slope apex (S2) and 1.836°C at the station near the base (S5). In winter-spring, when the talus slope is covered with snow, the GST are stabilized at all stations between mid-October and early November. The minimum GST, which express the BTS conditions, oscillate between 0.232 and 0.01°C, depending on the month, with lowest values recorded during the month of April. Only one station (S3, mid-slope) recorded negative values (max. value : - 0.549°C in December and - 0.211 in April ). In summer, the snow disappears fairly quickly between mid- and late July on the intermediate stretch of the talus slope (S3, S4, S6), where the majority of the flows detected occur

  2. Evolution of the persistence of snow over Sierra Nevada Mountain (southern, Spain) in the last 55 years

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pimentel, Rafael; José Pérez-Palazón, María; Herrero, Javier; José Polo, María

    2016-04-01

    Snow plays a crucial role in mountainous areas, not only as water resources for human supply, irrigation and energy production, but also for the ecosystem, flora and fauna, over these areas. Sierra Nevada Mountains, southern Spain, constitutes a rich reservoir of endemic wildlife species, and it is considered the most important center of biodiversity in the wester Mediterranean region. The highest regions of the range were declared UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Natural and National Parks. Climate trends over the last decades put a lot of pressure on both snowfall occurrence and snow persistence; this poses a risk for biodiversity and has led to its inclusion in the Global Change Observatory Network. This work quantifies the evolution of the persistence of snow over the Sierra Nevada area during the last fifty-five years (1960-2015) as a basis to assess the vulnerability of its ecosystem services. For this, the spatial distribution of the annual number of days with snow, SDS, was analyzed over a study area of 4583 km2 (140-3479 m.a.s.l.), which comprises the head of the five basins in these mountains. The following indicator variables were studied over the whole area and each one of the five head regions identified: 1) the trend of SDS; 2) the annual area where SDS exceeded selected percentiles in its distribution; and 3) the annual minimum altitude where SDS exceeded those percentiles. SDS was obtained during the study period by means of the snow module in WiMMed (Watershed Integrated Model in Mediterranean Environment), a physically-based hydrological model developed, calibrated and validated in the area; the model is based on an energy-mass balance over the snowpack that is spatially distributed through the use of depletion curves, and is operational at hourly and daily scales. A general decreasing trend of SDS (0.25 days year-1) was found over the whole study area for the study period. This value is higher in the more humid basins (0.45 and 0.41 days year-1) than in

  3. The genus Milnesium (Eutardigrada: Milnesiidae) in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta (Colombia), with the description of Milnesium kogui sp. nov.

    PubMed

    Londoño, Rosana; Daza, Anisbeth; Caicedo, Martín; Quiroga, Sigmer; Kaczmarek, Łukasz

    2015-01-01

    A new species, Milnesium kogui sp. nov. is described from the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia. The new species belongs to the tardigradum group and is most similar, by the claw configuration [2-2]-[2-2], to Milnesium dujiangensis and Milnesium katarzynae. Milnesium kogui sp. nov. differs from M. dujiangensis mainly by the presence of primary branches on all legs and from M. katarzynae by the absence of dorsal sculpture. Additionally, in this paper we present a list of all Milnesium species recorded in Colombia including Milnesium cf. barbadosense Meyer & Hinton, 2012 and M. brachyungue Binda & Pilato, 1990, new additions to the recorded fauna of Colombia. PMID:25947872

  4. The genus Milnesium (Eutardigrada: Milnesiidae) in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta (Colombia), with the description of Milnesium kogui sp. nov.

    PubMed

    Londoño, Rosana; Daza, Anisbeth; Caicedo, Martín; Quiroga, Sigmer; Kaczmarek, Łukasz

    2015-05-06

    A new species, Milnesium kogui sp. nov. is described from the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia. The new species belongs to the tardigradum group and is most similar, by the claw configuration [2-2]-[2-2], to Milnesium dujiangensis and Milnesium katarzynae. Milnesium kogui sp. nov. differs from M. dujiangensis mainly by the presence of primary branches on all legs and from M. katarzynae by the absence of dorsal sculpture. Additionally, in this paper we present a list of all Milnesium species recorded in Colombia including Milnesium cf. barbadosense Meyer & Hinton, 2012 and M. brachyungue Binda & Pilato, 1990, new additions to the recorded fauna of Colombia.

  5. Pseudotachylyte in the Bench Canyon Shear Zone, central Sierra Nevada, California: Frictional melting in the brittle and semi-brittle fields

    SciTech Connect

    McNulty, B.A. )

    1993-04-01

    Many aspects of pseudotachylyte are controversial, particularly whether it is the product of intense comminution (e.g. ultracataclasite'') or frictional melting. Ubiquitous exposures of pseudotachylyte in the Bench Canyon shear Zone (BCSZ), central Sierra Nevada, California, provide an excellent opportunity for further study. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) reveals vesicles, amygdules, crystallites and embayments of microxenocrysts, textures which are supportive of a melt origin for pseudotachylyte in the BCAZ. EDS and microprobe analyses indicate strong compositional contrasts between pseudotachylyte and granodiorite host; one explanation for this is preferential melting in order of individual mineral melting points.

  6. Melt Extraction Zones in Shallow Arc Plutons: Insights from Fisher Lake Orbicules and Comb Layers, Northern Sierra Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCarthy, A. J.; Muntener, O.

    2015-12-01

    Identifying the processes behind magma flow structures and complex sheeted zones within otherwise near-homogeneous shallow plutons is fundamental in order to understand the mechanisms of melt transport, magma differentiation, crustal recycling and growth of mid-upper crustal plutons. The Cretaceous gabbro-diorite pluton of Fisher Lake, Northern Sierra Nevada (USA), contains multiple m-sized orbicule and magma-breccia bodies as well as orbicule- and comb layer-bearing dikes. Olivine-bearing norites, hornblende diorites and gabbros which have crystallized at low pressure (2kbar) from hydrous basaltic-andesite melts form texturally diverse orbicule cores which act as nuclei for comb layers. Rising hydrous mafic melts remobilizing low pressure cumulates and/or crystal mushes are injected at the contact between cooling plutons prior to the initiation of comb layer growth. Multiple generations of melt injections are attested by the presence of magma-breccia bodies which incorporate fractured, disaggregated fragments of pre-existing orbicule and comb layer bodies. The cumulate signature of the orbicule-bearing matrix indicates that interstitial melt was extracted towards shallower depth. Though orbicule and comb layer bodies have been variously ascribed to melt migration within cooling plutons, magma mixing or fluid flow, we propose an alternative interpretation where these m-scale features represent localized subvertical channels formed during the extraction of multiple batches of hydrous melts within a volcanic plumbing system or shallow plutonic feeder zone. These features thus preserve unique evidence of upper-crustal melt migration processes during the transfer of hydrous mafic melts towards shallower depth. Geochemical gradients between decompressing liquids and crystallizing cumulates are the main driving force for crystallization. We will illustrate examples of this process on the basis of field observations, textural data, whole rock and mineral geochemistry.

  7. Snowpack Changes in the Sierra Nevada: High-Resolution Projections for the End of 21st Century

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walton, D.; Hall, A. D.; Sun, F.; Berg, N.; Schwartz, M. A.

    2014-12-01

    The snowpack of the Sierra Nevada plays an important role as a natural reservoir for the surrounding region, storing water during the wet season and releasing it later in the year. Changes to the snowpack between the 1981-2000 and 2081-2100 periods are investigated using dynamical downscaling with WRF v3.2 coupled to the NOAH-MP land surface model, at 3km resolution. First, a baseline run is performed in which WRF is forced by North American Regional Reanalysis (NARR) for the 1981-2000 period. Based on a comparison between this baseline simulation and station data from the California Department of Water Resources, WRF is shown to have high model skill in reproducing snow water equivalent (SWE) variability. Next, five future runs are performed in order to simulate how that same baseline period would transpire if the mean climate were altered to reflect the climate change signal found in five CMIP5 GCMs. All five runs show an overall decline in April 1st SWE, but some runs show increased SWE at high elevations. SWE changes are influenced by competing factors including reduced precipitation falling as snow, increased total precipitation, and enhanced melting. Snow at lower elevations is highly temperature sensitive, so lower elevations experience higher fractional SWE losses. Meanwhile, higher elevations may still be below freezing under a warmer climate, so increased precipitation can lead to increased snowfall. The largest SWE losses occur at intermediate elevations that are cold enough to maintain moderate SWE levels during the baseline, but are still sensitive to temperature changes.

  8. A global model simulation for 3-D radiative transfer impact on surface hydrology over the Sierra Nevada and Rocky Mountains

    DOE PAGES

    Lee, W.-L.; Gu, Y.; Liou, K. N.; Leung, L. R.; Hsu, H.-H.

    2015-05-19

    We investigate 3-D mountain effects on solar flux distributions and their impact on surface hydrology over the western United States, specifically the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada, using the global CCSM4 (Community Climate System Model version 4; Community Atmosphere Model/Community Land Model – CAM4/CLM4) with a 0.23° × 0.31° resolution for simulations over 6 years. In a 3-D radiative transfer parameterization, we have updated surface topography data from a resolution of 1 km to 90 m to improve parameterization accuracy. In addition, we have also modified the upward-flux deviation (3-D–PP (plane-parallel)) adjustment to ensure that the energy balance atmore » the surface is conserved in global climate simulations based on 3-D radiation parameterization. We show that deviations in the net surface fluxes are not only affected by 3-D mountains but also influenced by feedbacks of cloud and snow in association with the long-term simulations. Deviations in sensible heat and surface temperature generally follow the patterns of net surface solar flux. The monthly snow water equivalent (SWE) deviations show an increase in lower elevations due to reduced snowmelt, leading to a reduction in cumulative runoff. Over higher-elevation areas, negative SWE deviations are found because of increased solar radiation available at the surface. Simulated precipitation increases for lower elevations, while it decreases for higher elevations, with a minimum in April. Liquid runoff significantly decreases at higher elevations after April due to reduced SWE and precipitation.« less

  9. Interannual variability of snowmelt in the Sierra Nevada and Rocky Mountains, United States: examples from two alpine watersheds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jepsen, Steven M.; Molotch, Noah P.; Williams, Mark W.; Rittger, Karl E.; Sickman, James O.

    2012-01-01

    The distribution of snow and the energy flux components of snowmelt are intrinsic characteristics of the alpine water cycle controlling the location of source waters and the effect of climate on streamflow. Interannual variability of these characteristics is relevant to the effect of climate change on alpine hydrology. Our objective is to characterize the interannual variability in the spatial distribution of snow and energy fluxes of snowmelt in watersheds of a maritime setting, Tokopah Basin (TOK) in California's southern Sierra Nevada, and a continental setting, Green Lake 4 Valley (GLV4) in Colorado's Front Range, using a 12 year database (1996–2007) of hydrometeorological observations and satellite-derived snow cover. Snowpacks observed in GLV4 exhibit substantially greater spatial variability than in TOK (0.75 versus 0.28 spatial coefficient of variation). In addition, modeling results indicate that the net turbulent energy flux contribution to snowmelt in GLV4 is, on average, 3 times greater in magnitude (mean 29% versus 10%) and interannual variability (standard deviation 17% versus 6%) than in TOK. These energy flux values exhibit strong seasonality, increasing as the melt season progresses to times later in the year (R2 = 0.54–0.77). This seasonality of energy flux appears to be associated with snowmelt rates that generally increase with onset date of melt (0.02 cm d-2). This seasonality in snowmelt rate, coupled to differences in hydrogeology, may account for the observed differences in correspondence between the timing of snowmelt and timing of streamflow in these watersheds.

  10. The role of snow cover in ground thermal conditions in three sites with contrasted topography in Sierra Nevada (Spain)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oliva, Marc; Salvador, Ferran; Gómez Ortiz, Antonio; Salvà, Montserrat

    2014-05-01

    Snow cover has a high capacity to insulate the soil from the external thermal influences. In regions of high snowfall, such as the summit areas of the highest Iberian mountain ranges, the presence of a thick snow cover may condition the existence or inexistence of permafrost conditions. In order to analyze the impact of the thickness, duration and interannual variability of snow cover on the ground thermal regime in the massif of Sierra Nevada, we have analyzed soil temperatures at a depth of 2 cm for the period 2006-2012 in three sites of contrasting topography as well as air temperatures for the same period: (a) Corral del Veleta (3100 m) in a rock glacier located in the northern Veleta cirque, with high and persistent snow cover. (b) Collado de los Machos (3300 m), in a summit area with relict stone circles, with little snow accumulation due to wind effect. (c) Río Seco (3000 m), in a solifluction lobe located in this southern glacial cirque with moderate snowfall. Considering the air and 2 cm depth soil temperature records, the freezing degree-days were calculated for each year from November to May in order to characterize the role of snow as a thermal insulator of the ground during the cold season (Frauenfeld et al., 2007). In all cases, the highest values of freezing degree-days correspond to years with little snowfall (2006-2007, 2007-2008, 2011-2012), while in years with a thicker snow cover (2008-2009, 2009-2010, 2010-2011) the total freezing degree-days were significantly lower. The accumulation of freezing degree-days is maximum at the wind-exposed site of Collado de los Machos, where the wind redistributes snow and favours the penetration of cold into the ground. The opposite pattern occurs in the Veleta cirque, where most persistent snow cover conditions determine lower accumulated freezing degree-days than in Collado de los Machos and Rio Seco.

  11. Sierra Nevada, California, U.S.A., Snow Algae: Snow albedo changes, algal-bacterial interrelationships and ultraviolet radiation effects

    SciTech Connect

    Thomas, W.H.; Duval, B.

    1995-11-01

    In the Tioga Pass area (upper LeeVining Creek watershed) of the Sierra Nevada (California), snow algae were prevalent in the early summers of 1993 and 1994. Significant negative correlations were found between snow water content. However, red snow caused by algal blooms did not decrease mean albedos in representative snowfields. This was due to algal patchiness; mean albedos would not decrease over the whole water catchment basin; and water supplies would not be affected by the presence of algae. Albedo was also reduced by dirt on the snow, and wind-blown dirt may provide a source of allochthonous organic matter for snow bacteria. However, several observations emphasize the importance of an autochthonous source for bacterial nutrition. Bacterial abundances and production rates were higher in red snow containing algae than in noncolored snow. Bacterial production was about two orders-of-magnitude lower than photosynthetic algal production. Bacteria were also sometimes attached to algal cells. In experiments where snow algae were contained in UV-transmitting quartz tubes, ultraviolet radiation inhibited red snow (collected form open, sunlit areas) photosynthesis about 25%, while green snow (collected from forested, shady locations) photosynthesis was inhibited by 85%. Methanol extracts of red snow algae had greater absorbances in blue and UV spectral regions than did algae from green snow. These differences in UV responses and spectra may be due to habitat (sun vs shade) differences, or may be genetic, since different species were found in the two snow types. However, both habitat and genetic mechanisms may be operating together to cause these differences. 53 refs., 5 figs., 5 tabs.

  12. Long-term monitoring of 10 selected pathogens in wild boar (Sus scrofa) in Sierra Nevada National Park, southern Spain.

    PubMed

    Cano-Manuel, Francisco J; López-Olvera, Jorge; Fandos, Paulino; Soriguer, Ramón C; Pérez, Jesús M; Granados, José E

    2014-11-01

    Wild boar (Sus scrofa) populations are increasing in the Iberian Peninsula, and population management must include disease management and control. In this study, the epidemiology of 10 selected pathogens (Aujeszky's disease virus - ADV, porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus - PRRSV, porcine influenza virus, porcine circovirus, porcine parvovirus, Erysipelotrix rhusiopathiae, Leptospira pomona, Chlamydia/Chlamydiaceae sp., Salmonella sp. and Mycobacterium bovis) in the wild boar population in Sierra Nevada National Park (SNNP), an open unfenced area, is reported, taking into account wild boar population abundance variation in space and time in an open unfenced environment. A total of 1103 wild boar were sampled in 141 hunting events randomly carried out for sampling in seven hunting seasons (October to February from 2002-2003 to 2009-2010 (except 2007-2008). Prevalence was overall lower than those previously reported for fenced wild boar populations in Spain, but all the pathogens analyzed except PRRSV were considered endemic in the SNNP. ADV, E. rhusiopathiae and total pathogen prevalence were positively correlated to wild boar density. Prevalence in the positive areas was significantly higher in females for ADV, E. rhusiopathiae, L. pomona, Chlamydia/Chlamydiaceae sp. and Salmonella sp., and in males for M. bovis. This longitudinal study provides the first data on the health status of the relatively unmanaged and low density wild boar population of SNNP. It is concluded that non-intensively managed wild boar populations are able to maintain the circulation of several pathogens, even in low prevalences and in open unfenced areas with natural density variation both in time and space.

  13. Does prescribed fire promote resistance to drought in low elevation forests of the Sierra Nevada, California, USA?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    van Mantgem, Phillip J.; Caprio, Anthony C.; Stephenson, Nathan L.; Das, Adrian J.

    2016-01-01

    Prescribed fire is a primary tool used to restore western forests following more than a century of fire exclusion, reducing fire hazard by removing dead and live fuels (small trees and shrubs).  It is commonly assumed that the reduced forest density following prescribed fire also reduces competition for resources among the remaining trees, so that the remaining trees are more resistant (more likely to survive) in the face of additional stressors, such as drought.  Yet this proposition remains largely untested, so that managers do not have the basic information to evaluate whether prescribed fire may help forests adapt to a future of more frequent and severe drought.During the third year of drought, in 2014, we surveyed 9950 trees in 38 burned and 18 unburned mixed conifer forest plots at low elevation (<2100 m a.s.l.) in Kings Canyon, Sequoia, and Yosemite national parks in California, USA.  Fire had occurred in the burned plots from 6 yr to 28 yr before our survey.  After accounting for differences in individual tree diameter, common conifer species found in the burned plots had significantly reduced probability of mortality compared to unburned plots during the drought.  Stand density (stems ha-1) was significantly lower in burned versus unburned sites, supporting the idea that reduced competition may be responsible for the differential drought mortality response.  At the time of writing, we are not sure if burned stands will maintain lower tree mortality probabilities in the face of the continued, severe drought of 2015.  Future work should aim to better identify drought response mechanisms and how these may vary across other forest types and regions, particularly in other areas experiencing severe drought in the Sierra Nevada and on the Colorado Plateau.

  14. Ecology of Borrelia burgdorferi in ticks (Acari: Ixodidae), rodents, and birds in the Sierra Nevada foothills, Placer County, California.

    PubMed

    Wright, S A; Thompson, M A; Miller, M J; Knerl, K M; Elms, S L; Karpowicz, J C; Young, J F; Kramer, V L

    2000-11-01

    This study examined the prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi Johnson, Schmid, Hyde, Steigerwalt & Brenner in host-seeking adult and nymphal Ixodes pacificus Cooley & Kohls and estimated the I. pacificus infestation and B. burgdorferi infection of rodent and avian hosts in the western Sierra Nevada foothills of northern California. Additionally, we identified species likely to participate in an enzootic cycle for B. burgdorferi in this yellow pine transition habitat. Evidence of infection with B. burgdorferi was identified in 7.3 and 5.4% of host-seeking I. pacificus adults and nymphs, respectively. Mean numbers of I. pacificus observed on rodents were 1.15 for Neotoma fuscipes Baird and 0.18 for Peromyscus spp. One of 104 ear punch tissues obtained from woodrats and none from 49 Peromyscus spp. yielded B. burgdorferi. A total of 291 collected birds representing 34 species had a mean of 0.27 I. pacificus per bird. The mean I. pacificus infestation of ground-dwelling birds was 2.5 ticks per bird. Forty-nine of 92 (53%) blood smears collected from birds were reactive to a B. burgdorferi specific antibody. This study presents the identification of a B. burgdorferi-like spirochete in birds in western North America. The tick burden and spirochete infection of birds suggests that birds may be involved in a local B. burgdorferi enzootic cycle and likely participate in the transport of ticks and spirochetes to other locations while rodents from this site do not appear to be major contributors. PMID:11126549

  15. Landslide susceptibility mapping in a semi-arid mountain environment: example of the southern slopes of Sierra Nevada (Granada, Spain)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiménez-Perálvarez, J. P.; Irigaray, C.; El Hamdouni, R.; Fernández, P.; Chacón, J.

    2009-04-01

    Landslide susceptibility in a Mediterranean mountain environment, southern slope of Sierra Nevada, is analyzed. In the study area of 460 km2, 252 landslides were inventoried affecting a 3,2% of the total area. These landslides comprising mainly slides and flows on phyllites, schist and marble units in the Inner Zone of the Betic Cordillera, with colluvial, alluvial or scree deposits, along slopes mainly oriented toward the Mediterranean Sea. The more relevant determining factors are elevation, slope angle, aspect and lithology. A homogeneous distribution of elevations, inclined to very inclined slopes and aspect mainly toward the South are observed. Triggering factors in this region includes mainly short term landslide generation during heavy rainfall, as also unevenly occurring earthquakes or long term activations by a widespread deforestation, land-use changes and river over excavation. Although the landslide susceptibility, assessed by a GIS matrix method, is predominantly low, a 15% of the study area shows moderate to very high susceptibility, just were very valuable infrastructures of the region are settled. A validation of the obtained map is made by using the degree of fit method, showing only a 6% of landslides in the lower susceptibility classes, in relation with observed slope failures along road cuts, until more than 80% of landslides appear in the higher susceptibility classes. The landslide inventory used for the validation, is based on movements generated in the 1996-1997 winter season, as a consequence of heavy rains in the study area in late 1996 and early 1997 (more than 700 mm between November and January)

  16. Interannual variability of snowmelt in the Sierra Nevada and Rocky Mountains, United States: Examples from two alpine watersheds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jepsen, Steven M.; Molotch, Noah P.; Williams, Mark W.; Rittger, Karl E.; Sickman, James O.

    2012-02-01

    The distribution of snow and the energy flux components of snowmelt are intrinsic characteristics of the alpine water cycle controlling the location of source waters and the effect of climate on streamflow. Interannual variability of these characteristics is relevant to the effect of climate change on alpine hydrology. Our objective is to characterize the interannual variability in the spatial distribution of snow and energy fluxes of snowmelt in watersheds of a maritime setting, Tokopah Basin (TOK) in California's southern Sierra Nevada, and a continental setting, Green Lake 4 Valley (GLV4) in Colorado's Front Range, using a 12 year database (1996-2007) of hydrometeorological observations and satellite-derived snow cover. Snowpacks observed in GLV4 exhibit substantially greater spatial variability than in TOK (0.75 versus 0.28 spatial coefficient of variation). In addition, modeling results indicate that the net turbulent energy flux contribution to snowmelt in GLV4 is, on average, 3 times greater in magnitude (mean 29% versus 10%) and interannual variability (standard deviation 17% versus 6%) than in TOK. These energy flux values exhibit strong seasonality, increasing as the melt season progresses to times later in the year (R2 = 0.54-0.77). This seasonality of energy flux appears to be associated with snowmelt rates that generally increase with onset date of melt (0.02 cm d-2). This seasonality in snowmelt rate, coupled to differences in hydrogeology, may account for the observed differences in correspondence between the timing of snowmelt and timing of streamflow in these watersheds.

  17. Geochemical tectonomagnetic discrimination of metamorphosed Middle Jurassic volcanic rocks, northern Sierra Nevada, California

    SciTech Connect

    Templeton, J.H. . Dept. of Geosciences); Hanson, R.E. . Dept. of Geology); Harwood, D.S. )

    1993-04-01

    Jurassic island-arc rocks in the Northern Sierra terrane (NSt) are represented by the Lower to Middle Jurassic Sailor Canyon Formation, consisting mainly of distal andesitic turgidities, and the overlying, Middle Jurassic Tuttle Lake Formation (TLF); both units were metamorphosed to lower greenschist facies during Mesozoic orogenesis. The TLF is a 1.6-km-thick sequence of submarine tuff-breccia debris-flow deposits intercalated with minor isolated-pillow breccias and intruded by numerous cogenetic hypabyssal intrusions that underwent extensive interaction with wet sediments in near-vent setting. Here the authors report the first geochemical studies of these regionally significant arc rocks. Pillow breccias, hypabyssal intrusions, and clasts within debris-flow deposits are predominantly basalt to basaltic andesite in composition and contain abundant plagioclase and clinopyroxene phenocrysts. Although cpx is intensely altered to actinolite, microprobe analyses were carried out on relict cpx cores. Compositions are typical of cpx from orogenic lavas and fall in combined calc-alkaline and tholeiitic fields on cpx discrimination diagrams. Most major elements show significant scatter on Harker and AFM variation diagrams, reflecting the metamorphic overprint. Immobile trace element contents (Ti, Cr, Y, Yb, Zr, Hf, Ta, Th) clearly indicate volcanic arc and calc-alkaline affinities when plotted on a variety of discrimination diagrams. REE patterns show LREE-enrichment typical of calc-alkaline lavas, commonly with small negative Eu anomalies consistent with plagioclase fractionation. The TLF shows marked petrologic and stratigraphic differences from broadly coeval Jurassic arc rocks exposed in the fault-bounded Kettle Rock sequence in the northeastern part of the NSt. This may reflect relatively rapid along-strike variations within the Jurassic arc, or that the Kettle Rock sequence and the TLF arc rocks have been brought into proximity by later faulting.

  18. Effects of evapotranspiration heterogeneity on catchment water balance in the Southern Sierra Nevada of California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kerkez, B.; Kelly, A. E.; Lucas, R. G.; Son, K.; Glaser, S. D.; Bales, R. C.

    2011-12-01

    Heterogeneity of Evapotranspiration (ET) is the result of poorly understood interactions between climate, topography, vegetation and soil. Accurate predictions of ET, and thus improved water balance estimates, hinge directly upon an improved understanding of the processes that drive ET across a wide spatio-temporal range. Recent warming trends in the Western US are shifting precipitation toward more rain-dominated patterns, significantly increasing vegetation water stress in historically snow-dominated regimes due to reduced soil moisture and increased vapor deficit during warm summer months. We investigate dominant controls that govern ET variability in a highly instrumented 1km2 mountain catchment at the Southern Sierra Critical Zone Observatory, co-located in the Kings River Experimental Watershed. Various ET estimates are derived from a number of measurement approaches: an eddy flux covariance tower, ET chambers, stream flumes, groundwater monitoring wells, matric potential sensors, as well as data from a distributed wireless sensor network with over 300 sensors. Combined with precipitation data, and high-density distributed soil moisture and snowdepth readings, the ET estimates are utilized to reconstruct the overall catchment water balance. We also apply the Regional Hydro-Ecologic Simulation System (RHESSys), a physically based, spatially distributed hydrologic model, to estimate water balance components. The model predictions are compared with the water budget calculated from field data, and used to identify the key variables controlling spatial and temporal patterns of ET at multiple scales. Initial results show that ET estimates are scale-, and vegetation-dependent, with significant ET variability between vegetation types and physiographic parameters such as elevation, slope, and aspect. In mixed conifer forests terrain, ET is more dependent on soil moisture, while in the meadows, where the soil is generally saturated for the duration of the growing

  19. Isotope variations in a Sierra Nevada snowpack and their relation to meltwater

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Unnikrishna, P.V.; McDonnell, Jeffery J.; Kendall, C.

    2002-01-01

    Isotopic variations in melting snow are poorly understood. We made weekly measurements at the Central Sierra Snow Laboratory, California, of snow temperature, density, water equivalent and liquid water volume to examine how physical changes within the snowpack govern meltwater ??18O. Snowpack samples were extracted at 0.1 m intervals from ground level to the top of the snowpack profile between December 1991 and April 1992. Approximately 800 mm of precipitation fell during the study period with ??18O values between -21.35 and -4.25???. Corresponding snowpack ??18O ranged from -22.25 to -6.25???. The coefficient of variation of ??18O in snowpack levels decreased from -0.37 to -0.07 from winter to spring, indicating isotopic snowpack homogenization. Meltwater ??18O ranged from -15.30 to -8.05???, with variations of up to 2.95??? observed within a single snowmelt episode, highlighting the need for frequent sampling. Early snowmelt originated in the lower snowpack with higher ??18O through ground heat flux and rainfall. After the snowpack became isothermal, infiltrating snowmelt displaced the higher ??18O liquid in the lower snowpack through a piston flow process. Fractionation analysis using a two-component mixing model on the isothermal snowpack indicated that ??18O in the initial and final half of major snowmelt was 1.30??? lower and 1.45??? higher, respectively, than the value from simple mixing. Mean snowpack ??18O on individual profiling days showed a steady increase from -15.15 to -12.05??? due to removal of lower ??18O snowmelt and addition of higher ??18O rainfall. Results suggest that direct sampling of snowmelt and snow cores should be undertaken to quantify tracer input compositions adequately. The snowmelt sequence also suggests that regimes of early lower ??18O and later higher ??18O melt may be modeled and used in catchment tracing studies. ?? 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Provenance discrimination of Paleozoic mudstones within a contact metamorphic aureole determined by REE, Th, and Sc analyses, Sierra Nevada, California

    SciTech Connect

    Yoshinobu, A.S.; Hanson, A.D.; Girty, G.H. . Dept. of Geological Sciences); Knaack, C.; Johnson, D. . Dept. of Geology)

    1993-04-01

    REE, Th, and Sc analyses of samples collected from the Lower Paleozoic Shoo Fly Complex (SFC), northern Sierra terrane, support the hypothesis that the structurally lowest portion of the SFC (i.e., the Lang, Black Oak Spring, and Zion Hill sequences) is primarily composed of continentally derived detritus. Fifteen samples collected from mudstones in and adjacent to the contact aureole of the Middle Jurassic Emigrant Gap composite pluton vary in metamorphic grade from chlorite [+-] white mica slaty argillites outside of the aureole to K-feldspar [+-] sillimanite phyllitic schists adjacent to the pluton. On chondrite-normalized REE distribution diagrams, the samples exhibit (1) no systematic change as a result of increasing contact metamorphic grade, (2) LREE enrichment trends, and (3) Eu anomalies ranging from 0.46 to 0.93, and averaging 0.66. These REE characteristics are like those documented for passive margin turbidites and Post Archean Average Shale (PAAS), and suggest that contact metamorphism did not significantly alter REE distribution. On a La-Th-Sc ternary diagram the authors data cluster in the fields of passive continental margin and PAAS. The average Th/U ratio is 8.8 which strongly implies a recycled and/or weathered source. These new data, coupled with the quartz-rich nature of interbedded sandstones, the absence of volcanic material, and previously determined Precambrian detrital zircon ages suggest that clastic detritus within the Lang, Black Oak Spring, and Zion Hill sequences was derived form a cratonal source which may have been the North American continent.

  1. Fault-scarp morphology and amount of surface offset on late-Quaternary surficial deposits, eastern escarpment of the central Sierra Nevada, CA

    SciTech Connect

    Berry, M.E. . Dept. of Geology)

    1992-01-01

    Faults scarps, formed on glacial deposits and an alluvial fan near the east-central Sierra Nevada mountain front by late-Quaternary movement on the Hilton Creek (HCF), Wheeler Crest (WCFZ) and Coyote Warp (CWFZ) fault zones, were profiled to determine the amount and to estimate the recency of fault offset. Areas studied include McGee (N--near Lake Crowley), Pine, Mount Tom, Basin Mountain, McGee (S--near Bishop), and Bishop Creek drainages. The profile data indicate that movement of the range-front faults (HCF and WCFZ), which is characterized by normal slip, has offset Tioga-age deposits 6.5-26 m. Offset of Tahoe-age moraines cannot be measured directly because the landforms are buried at the mountain-front by moraines from later glaciations. However, the amount of offset is estimated at 52--130 m, based on crest-height differences between Tahoe and Tioga moraines. The rates of slip are highest on the northern end of the HCF, at McGee (N) Creek; the higher slip rates in this latter area may be related to its close proximity to the Long Valley caldera, where tectonic processes are complex and considered closely related to ongoing magmatic activity. The preservation of bevels on the fault scarps in both HCF and WCFZ, combined with the amounts of surface offset on the late-Pleistocene moraines, and AMS C-14 dates for charcoal found in fault-scarp colluvium, indicate that large ground-rupturing events have occurred on these faults during the Holocene. In contrast to the mountain-front faults, faults in the CWFZ, on a broad warp that separates the WCFZ from range-front faults to the south of Bishop, do not cross Tioga moraines, implying that surface rupture has not occurred in the CWFZ for at least 15,000-25,000 years. The degraded morphology of the fault scarps on adjacent Tahoe and pre-Tahoe moraines, which have been offset between 10.5 and 30 m, attests to the lack of late-Pleistocene and Holocene fault activity in this latter area.

  2. Ecological gradients driven by a change in millennial erosion rates: eco-geomorphological trends from a transient landscape in the Sierra Nevada, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Milodowski, D. T.; Mudd, S. M.; Mitchard, E. T.

    2013-12-01

    In actively eroding landscapes, the erosion rate dictates many critical aspects of the topography, including spatial variations in slope, the thickness, heterogeneity, geochemistry and particle size distribution of soils, and the style and temporal variability of sediment transport. In many ways, the erosion rate sets the dynamic template on which ecosystems develop and evolve, placing controls on their characteristics and productivity, and thus the spatial distribution of biomass within a landscape. In addition, vegetation itself is a geomorphic agent, fundamental to the dynamics of soil formation and sediment transport. The productivity and turnover rates of plants and trees are themselves a function of soil parameters, so there are complex feedbacks between vegetation structure and erosion rates that may affect how both ecosystems and landscapes respond to changes in external boundary conditions. Through a combination of field surveys and analysis of high resolution LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) data, we document the covariation of ecological and geomorphological characteristics of the mixed conifer forest in the Feather River region of the Californian Sierra Nevada Mountains. This study area features strong spatial gradients in erosion rates; cosmogenic radionuclide (CRN) analyses suggest the Feather River canyon is incising at approximately 250mm/ka, whereas adjacent plateau-like areas are eroding at 20-40mm/ka, with gradients in erosion rates in transition zones between the canyon and plateau. Our results indicate that there is a significant negative correlation between aboveground woody biomass, estimated across the landscape using field plots and the LiDAR data, and erosion rate. This is accompanied by an increase in surface roughness, due to increased rock exposure on more rapidly eroding hillslopes. We suggest that as erosion rates increase, ecosystem productivity and aboveground biomass is limited as a consequence of thinner, patchier soils that

  3. Overview of mine drainage geochemistry at historical mines, Humboldt River basin and adjacent mining areas, Nevada. Chapter E.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nash, J. Thomas; Stillings, Lisa L.

    2004-01-01

    Reconnaissance hydrogeochemical studies of the Humboldt River basin and adjacent areas of northern Nevada have identified local sources of acidic waters generated by historical mine workings and mine waste. The mine-related acidic waters are rare and generally flow less than a kilometer before being neutralized by natural processes. Where waters have a pH of less than about 3, particularly in the presence of sulfide minerals, the waters take on high to extremely high concentrations of many potentially toxic metals. The processes that create these acidic, metal-rich waters in Nevada are the same as for other parts of the world, but the scale of transport and the fate of metals are much more localized because of the ubiquitous presence of caliche soils. Acid mine drainage is rare in historical mining districts of northern Nevada, and the volume of drainage rarely exceeds about 20 gpm. My findings are in close agreement with those of Price and others (1995) who estimated that less than 0.05 percent of inactive and abandoned mines in Nevada are likely to be a concern for acid mine drainage. Most historical mining districts have no draining mines. Only in two districts (Hilltop and National) does water affected by mining flow into streams of significant size and length (more than 8 km). Water quality in even the worst cases is naturally attenuated to meet water-quality standards within about 1 km of the source. Only a few historical mines release acidic water with elevated metal concentrations to small streams that reach the Humboldt River, and these contaminants and are not detectable in the Humboldt. These reconnaissance studies offer encouraging evidence that abandoned mines in Nevada create only minimal and local water-quality problems. Natural attenuation processes are sufficient to compensate for these relatively small sources of contamination. These results may provide useful analogs for future mining in the Humboldt River basin, but attention must be given to

  4. Reconnaissance for uranium-bearing carbonaceous rocks in California and adjacent parts of Oregon and Nevada

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Moore, George Winfred; Stephens, James G.

    1954-01-01

    During the summer of 1952 a reconnaissance was conducted in California and parts of Oregon and Nevada in search of new deposits of uranium-bearing carbonaceous rocks. The principal localities found in California where uranium occurs in coal are listed here with. the uranium content of the coal: Newhall prospect, Los Angeles County, 0.020 percent; Fireflex mine, San Benito County, 0.005 percent; American licyaite mine, Amador County, 0.004 percent; and Tesla prospect, Alameda County, 0.003 percent. An oil-saturated sandstone near Edna, San Luis Obispo County, contains 0.002 percent uranium.

  5. Aquifer systems in the Great Basin region of Nevada, Utah, and adjacent states; a study plan

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Harrill, James R.; Welch, A.H.; Prudic, D.E.; Thomas, J.M.; Carman, R.L.; Plume, R.W.; Gates, J.S.; Mason, J.L.

    1983-01-01

    The Great Basin Regional Aquifer Study includes about 140,000 square miles in parts of Nevada, Utah, California, Idaho, Oregon , and Arizona within which 240 hydrographic areas occupy structural depressions formed primarily by basin-and-range faulting. The principal aquifers are in basin-fill deposits; however, significant carbonate-rock aquifers underlie much of eastern Nevada and western Utah. In October 1980, the U.S. Geological Survey started a 4-year study to: (1) describe the ground-water systems, (2) analyze the changes that have led to the systems ' present conditions, (3) tie the results of this and previous studies together in a regional analysis, and (4) provide means by which effects of future ground-water development can be estimated. A plan of work is presented that describes the general approach to be taken. It defines the major tasks necessary to meet objectives and defines constraints on the scope of work. The approach has been influenced by the diverse nature of ground water flow systems and the large number of basins. A detailed appraisal of 240 individual areas would require more resources than are available. Consequently, the general approach is to study selected ' typical ' areas and key hydrologic processes. Effort during the first three years will be directed toward describing the regional hydrology, conducting detailed studies of ' type ' areas and studying selected hydrologic processes. Effort during the final year will be directed toward developing a regional analysis of results. Special studies will include evaluation of regional geochemistry , regional hydrogeology, recharge, ground-water discharge, and use of remote sensing. Areas to be studied using ground-water flow models include the regional carbonate-rock province in eastern Nevada and western Utah, six valleys--Las Vegas, Carson, Paradise, Dixie, Smith Creek, and Stagecoach--Nevada, plus Jordan Valley, the Millford area, and Tule Valley in Utah. The results will be presented in a

  6. Refertilization of deep continental arc lithosphere: constraints from major element and trace element systematics in mantle xenoliths from the Sierra Nevada, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chin, E. J.; Lee, C.; Luffi, P. I.

    2010-12-01

    Thickening of continental arc lithosphere, either by underplating, magmatic inflation, or other tectonic processes, is an important stage in the maturation of primitive island arcs into Phanerozoic continental crust. The Sierra Nevada continental arc is one example of a mature arc that has experienced significant thickening and recent orogenic collapse. Previous studies of mantle xenoliths from the Sierras point to delamination of a dense mafic root that represented the residua of the evolved crust distilled out of a >90 km thickened lithospheric column. What has not received much attention, however, is how this lithospheric column has been compositionally modified over the lifespan of the Sierra Nevada arc. As the interface between the crust and mantle, the base of the thickened lithospheric column (upper mantle and lowermost crust) is potentially a zone of refertilization, wherein previously depleted mantle is replenished with fertile components from ascending melts and/or fluids. Refertilization of deep lithosphere not only influences the composition of arc magmas in their early stages, but also has implications for the stability of highly melt-depleted, refractory mantle that may become “rejuvenated” by such refertilization. In this study, we evaluate the role of refertilization in continental arc evolution by investigating upper mantle xenoliths from the Sierra Nevada. Cr# in spinel cores is chosen as a baseline index of melt depletion, and is compared to whole-rock major- and trace-element concentrations (Yb, Ti, Mg, Al) to assess the degree of refertilization. Whole-rock trace element patterns indicate depletions in high field strength elements and complementary enrichments in fluid mobile elements, suggesting that the deep Sierran lithosphere was refertilized by a melt containing a large component of slab-derived fluid. Although high degrees of melting (>15%) are recorded by Cr# in spinel, many Sierran peridotites contain diffuse bands comprised of

  7. Application of the Water Evaluation and Planning (WEAP) System for Integrated Hydrologic and Scenario-based Water Resources Systems Modeling in the Western Sierra Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mehta, V. K.; Purkey, D. R.; Young, C.; Joyce, B.; Yates, D.

    2008-12-01

    Rivers draining western slopes of the Sierra Nevada provide critical water supply, hydropower, fisheries and recreation services to California. Coordinated efforts are under way to better characterize and model the possible impacts of climate change on Sierra Nevada hydrology. Research suggests substantial end-of- century reductions in Sierra Nevada snowpack and a shift in the center of mass of the snowmelt hydrograph. Management decisions, land use change and population growth add further complexity, necessitating the use of scenario-based modeling tools. The Water Evaluation and Planning (WEAP) system is one of the suite of tools being employed in this effort. Unlike several models that rely on perturbation of historical runoff data to simulate future climate conditions, WEAP includes a dynamically integrated watershed hydrology module that is forced by input climate time series. This allows direct simulation of water management response to climate and land use change. This paper presents ABY2008, a WEAP application for the Yuba, Bear and American River (ABY) watersheds of the Sierra Nevada. These rivers are managed by water agencies and hydropower utilities through a complex network of reservoirs, dams, hydropower plants and water conveyances. Historical watershed hydrology in ABY2008 is driven by a 10 year weekly climate time series from 1991-2000. Land use and soils data were combined into 12 landclasses representing each of 324 hydrological response units. Hydrologic parameters were incorporated from a calibration against observed streamflow developed for the entire western Sierra. Physical reservoir data, operating rules, and water deliveries to water agencies were obtained from public documents of water agencies and power utilities that manage facilities in the watersheds. ABY2008 includes 25 major reservoirs, 39 conveyances, 33 hydropower plants and 14 transmission links to 13 major water demand points. In WEAP, decisions for transferring water at

  8. High K volcanism in the Sierra Nevada: A signal for the initiation of Walker Lane Faulting, and range uplift, not lithosphere delamination

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Putirka, K. D.; Busby, C. J.

    2007-12-01

    K2O contents have long been recognized as a potential indicator of tectonic processes, and based upon models developed for the Andes (Kay and Kay, 1993) and Tibet (Turner et al., 1996), high-K volcanism has been related to lithosphere delamination, by partial melting of a K-metasomatized lower crust or upper mantle (Feldstein and Lange, 1999; Manley et al., 2000). However, new data from the central Sierra Nevada cast doubt on this K2O-delamination link. Instead, high-K volcanism is better explained as low degree partial melts (F), where low F magmas are preferentially erupted over thick crust, under conditions of high tensile stress. In the central Sierra, a high tensile stress regime was imposed at the onset of Walker Lane transtension, at the eastern edge of the Basin and Range province. We surmise that high K volcanism is similarly controlled by the onset of tensile stresses throughout the Sierra, recording the initial phase of Sierra Nevada uplift. These conclusions stem from several observations. First, K2O contents are highly correlated with Th (R=0.82), Ba (R=0.83), U (R=0.85), Rb (R=0.88) and Pb (R=0.83), and other highly incompatible elements, suggesting a general enrichment mechanism, such as low degree partial melitng. Second, volcanic rocks with the highest K have the highest La/Nb and the lowest 143Nd/144Nd, indicative of a mantle lithosphere source - inconsistent with delamination. Third, maximum K contents increase from north (near Lassen) to south, following in increase in crustal thickness and the (87Sr/86Sr) i of basement granitoids, suggestive of a crustal control on volcanism. Finally, field evidence in the central Sierra shows that the pulse of high K2O volcanism there was synchronous with the development of a pull-apart, along a series of right-stepping dextral transtensional faults, at the onset of Walker Lane faulting. Partial melting calculations verify that primitive magma compositions from Lassen to the southern Sierra, can all be

  9. The Eastern delta-fan deposits on the Granada Basin as tectonic indicators of the Sierra Nevada uplift (Betic Cordillera, South Spain)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roldán, Francisco Javier; Azañon, Jose Miguel; Mateos, Rosa Maria

    2014-05-01

    A geological mapping in detail of the Eastern sector of the Granada Basin (South Spain) reveals two different groups of Gilbert delta-fans related to the Sierra Nevada uplift. The first group, in the southern part and with a surface of 6 km2, has three major coarsening-upward sequences. They are composed of very coarse deposits, those of conglomerates, sands and silts. Progradational strata units to the basin have been observed. The dominantly fluvial facies association has locally developed shallow marine foreset deposits (partially with reef colonization) as well as topset red soils (Dabrio, et al., 1978; Braga et a., 1990; García-García, et al., 1999) . All the sequences are discordant over marine facies (calcarenites) dated over 8,26 Ma (Late Tortonian). The second group, in the northern part and with an extension of 12 km2, has similar characteristics, but some of the boulders have ostreids and lamellibranchs species which reveal their former position in a previous marine environment. The Sierra Nevada uplift caused the remobilization of these boulders, being transported by debris-flow inside the delta-fan bodies (García-García, et al., 2006). The dating of ostreids shells with Sr techniques reveals ages over 7,13, 6,61 and 5,45 Ma, from the lower to the upper delta-fan deposits, which are related to the three main sequences observed and with three major tectonic pulses during the Late Miocene. These interpretations are in agreement with apatite fision-track studies carried out in some boulders of these coarse delta-fan deposits (Clark and Dempster, 2013). They reveal a detailed record of Neogene denudation from the Sierra Nevada basement and with uplift periods between 5,45Ma- 2 Ma. The latest pulses affected the delta-fan sediments given rise to new fan systems in the Granada Basin (Alhambra Formation). The thoroughly study of the Miocene delta-fan sediments allows us to conclude that they were related to a sin-sedimentary tectonic activity linked to the

  10. Mutli-temporal Imaging Spectroscopy Analysis for the Identification of Coniferous Forest Mortality Related to Drought Stress in the Central Sierra Nevada, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tane, Z.; Roberts, D. A.; Koltunov, A.; Ramirez, C.; Ustin, S.; Roth, K. L.

    2015-12-01

    The ongoing drought in California has had a significant impact on the vegetation communities of California. As a result of the drought, there has been a notable increase in forest mortality throughout the state. In this presentation Airborne Visible / Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS) imagery acquired for the HyspIRI Preparatory Mission over the western Sierra Nevada Range in 2013 and 2014 was used to quantify the mortality of conifers in 2014. Data products provided by NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab (NASA-JPL) were re-sampled to a common 15meter pixel resolution, co-registered, and geo-referenced. Ecological cover type was first assessed using the random forest machine learning technique with training data produced from AVIRIS summer 2013 imagery and comparison with high-spatial resolution World View-2 imagery. Then, in areas identified as being primarily composed of needle-leaf tree cover, the change in fractional change in green vegetation cover was assessed using Multiple Endmember Spectral Mixture Analysis (MESMA) in fall 2013 and fall 2014 AVIRIS images. The source spectral library for the MESMA endmembers was created from AVIRIS-Next Generation (AVIRIS-NG) images taken over Sierra National Forest in 2014. False positives were further reduced using a spatio-temporal filtering approach. Final accuracy of the modeled areas of conifer mortality were assessed by comparison with 2015 WorldView-2 and WorldView-3 imagery over the study area, as well as with recently acquired field data within the southern Sierra Nevada. Early results support the need for increased fidelity data for providing timely information on ecosystem dynamics to land management agencies.

  11. Phosphorus forms and pools in high-elevation soils of the Sierra Nevada: Sensitivity to climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sickman, J. O.; Homyak, P. M.; Melack, J. M.

    2010-12-01

    High-elevation lakes in the Sierra Nevada are experiencing increased P supply, which is causing mild eutrophication and shifts toward greater nitrogen limitation of phytoplankton growth. The mechanisms underlying excess P-supply are not fully understood, but likely sources include increased atmospheric deposition of P and/or climate change effects on P cycling that enhance P release from soils and sediments. Since temperature, runoff patterns, and the timing of snowmelt strongly influence N biogeochemistry in high-elevation ecosystems, we hypothesize that climate change may influence the cycling of P in soils and result in increased P loading to lakes. We analyzed P pools in entisols and inceptisols in the Emerald Lake watershed, a representative high-elevation catchment, in Sequoia National Park. The distribution of P in soils was characterized by a Hedley sequential fractionation procedure and the effects of seasonal transitions were monitored by examining changes in labile and microbial P pools during winter, spring snowmelt, summer, and the autumn-winter transition. On average, 692 µg P/g of soil are available in the top 10 cm of soil and 547 µg P/g of soil are available in soils from 10-50 cm. In soils from the top 10 cm about 70% of the P is freely exchangeable or associated with Fe and Al, while in soils from 10-50 cm about 60% is exchangeable or bound to Fe and Al. Our measurements of microbial biomass soil P pools during seasonal transitions suggest that during the winter, microbial pools were 685 µg P/g of soil. During spring snowmelt, microbial P decreased to 250 µg P/g of soil, suggesting that hydrologic flushing and changes to soil redox affected soil P dynamics. Our data indicate that the majority of the P found in high-elevation soils is sensitive to changes in temperature, moisture, and runoff patterns and may account for some of the excess P contributing to eutrophication of high-elevation lakes.

  12. Physical Response of Winter Orographic Clouds over the Sierra Nevada to Airborne Seeding Using Dry Ice or Silver Iodide.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deshler, Terry; Reynolds, David W.; Huggins, Arlen W.

    1990-04-01

    Cloud seeding experiments devoted to physical measurements of the effects of seeding shallow stable winter orographic clouds have been conducted in the central Sierra Nevada of California from 1984 to 1986. Seeding was done by aircraft using either dry ice or silver iodide at temperatures between 6° and 14°C. Aircraft, radar, and surface instruments were used to measure the effects. A trajectory model was used to target seeded precipitation to the ground where the surface instruments were deployed. Results from these experiments are presented in two case studies and a summary analysis of all 36 experiments. Observations from the various measurement platforms conformed with results expected from seeding in 35 percent of the seedlines sampled with a research aircraft, 4 percent of those observed with radar, and 17 percent of these which passed over the surface instrumentation; however, the complete seeding chain was believed to be documented in only 2 of 36 experiments. The failures result from difficult technical and logistical problems, and from the variability of even simple cloud systems, particularly in the spatial and temporal distributions of liquid water and in the natural fluctuations in ice crystal concentrations. Based on the difficulty of these experiments and the magnitude of seeding effects observed, a statistical experiment would be a formidable undertaking.During the two experiments when seeding effects were detected by all measurement platforms the following effects were observed. A high concentration, 50-100 L1, of small compact ice crystals formed quickly along the seedline. Although aggregation was seldom observed, riming often began 5-10 min after seeding. The seeded ice crystals dispersed at 1 m s1 and cloud liquid-water evaporated in regions corresponding to the seedlines. Seeding in a non-echoing region occasionally produced echoes of 3-10 dBZ in portions of the seedlines. At the surface seeding effects arrived 35 to 60 min after seeding, 20

  13. Variations in Late Quaternary behavior along and among range-front faults of the Sierra Nevada, California

    SciTech Connect

    Clark, M.M. ); Gillespie, A.R. . Geological Sciences)

    1993-04-01

    Late Quaternary slip rates of the 11 or so recognized active range-front faults of the Sierra Nevada from Owens Lake northwestward to Carson Valley show enough variation with time and location that a proper understanding of slip behavior of these faults may require slip histories at many places for each. Late Quaternary traces of these normal faults vary in length from 13 to 45 km. Most faults trend more northerly than the [approximately]MW trend of the range front. The faults are separated by < 5 to > 20 km of apparently unfaulted terrain; many have echelon overlap. None of the faults has a significant component of strike slip, including those of Owens Valley. The largest late Quaternary slip rates (> 2 mm/yr) occur on the Hilton Creek fault at Long Valley and 20 km to the north on the Mono Lake fault. Slip rates > 1 mm/yr occur on at least one fault north of Mono Lake and in Round Valley, south of Long Valley. Farther south (Owens Valley) range-front faults have slip rates < 1 mm/yr and have notably discontinuous traces. Displacements of moraines across the Hilton Creek fault at 4 sites are compatible with slip rates that increase northward from the south end of the fault, but stay constant through time at a site. The slip rates are 0.1 to 0.4 mm/yr near the south end; 0.1 to 0.8 mm/yr at Hilton Lakes, 3 km to the northwest; 1.4 to 3 mm/yr at McGee Creek, 9 km farther northwest; and 1.1 to 2 mm/yr at Tobacco Flat, 5 km farther northwest in Long Valley and > 15 km from the north end of the fault. At McGee Creek, slip rate since 10--15 ka is 1.3--2.5 mm/yr; since 13--20 ka, 1.4--2.6 mm/yr; since 25--40 ka, 1.4--4.2 mm/yr, and since 65--140 ka, 1.1--3.5 mm/yr. The apparently uniform rate through time at McGee Creek (and also at Hilton Lakes and Tobacco Flat, but for fewer periods; the south end site is for only one period) is interesting, but not yet convincing, mainly because of uncertain dates.

  14. Examining spatial and temporal variability in snow water equivalent using a 27 year reanalysis: Kern River watershed, Sierra Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Girotto, M.; Cortés, G.; Margulis, S. A.; Durand, M. T.

    2014-12-01

    This work used a data assimilation framework to estimate spatially and temporally continuous snow water equivalent (SWE) from a 27 year reanalysis (from water year 1985 to 2011) of the Landsat-5 record for the Kern River watershed in the Sierra Nevada, California. The data assimilation approach explicitly treats sources of uncertainty from model parameters, meteorological inputs, and observations. The method is comprised of two main components: (1) a coupled land surface model (LSM) and snow depletion curve (SDC) model, which is used to generate an ensemble of predictions of SWE and fractional snow cover area (FSCA) for a given set of prior (uncertain) inputs, and (2) a retrospective reanalysis step, which updates estimation variables to be consistent with the observed fractional snow cover time series. The final posterior SWE estimate is generated from the LSM-SDC using the posterior estimation variables consistently with all postulated sources of uncertainty in the model, inputs, and observations. A reasonable agreement was found between the SWE reanalysis and in situ SWE observations and streamflow data. The data set was studied to evaluate factors controlling SWE spatial and temporal variability. Elevation was found to be the primary control on spatial patterns of peak-SWE and day-of-peak. The easting coordinate had additional explanatory power, which is hypothesized to be related to rain shadow effects due to the prevailing storm track directions. The spatial patterns were found to be interannually inconsistent. However, drier years and lower elevations were found more variable than wetter years and higher elevations, respectively. Only a very small percentage of the Kern River watershed had a significant trend in peak-SWE and day-of-peak. Trends deemed to be significant were found to be positive (peak-SWE is increasing and day-of-peak occurs later) at higher elevations, but negative (peak-SWE is decreasing and day-of-peak occurs earlier) at lower elevations

  15. Examining spatial and temporal variability in snow water equivalent using a 27 year reanalysis: Kern River watershed, Sierra Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Girotto, Manuela; Cortés, Gonzalo; Margulis, Steven A.; Durand, Michael

    2014-08-01

    This paper used a data assimilation framework to estimate spatially and temporally continuous snow water equivalent (SWE) from a 27 year reanalysis (from water year 1985 to 2011) of the Landsat-5 record for the Kern River watershed in the Sierra Nevada, California. The data assimilation approach explicitly treats sources of uncertainty from model parameters, meteorological inputs, and observations. The method is comprised of two main components: (1) a coupled land surface model (LSM) and snow depletion curve (SDC) model, which is used to generate an ensemble of predictions of SWE and fractional snow cover area (FSCA) for a given set of prior (uncertain) inputs, and (2) a retrospective reanalysis step, which updates estimation variables to be consistent with the observed fractional snow cover time series. The final posterior SWE estimate is generated from the LSM-SDC using the posterior estimation variables consistently with all postulated sources of uncertainty in the model, inputs, and observations. A reasonable agreement was found between the SWE reanalysis and in situ SWE observations and streamflow data. The data set was studied to evaluate factors controlling SWE spatial and temporal variability. Elevation was found to be the primary control on spatial patterns of peak-SWE and day-of-peak. The easting coordinate had additional explanatory power, which is hypothesized to be related to rain shadow effects due to the prevailing storm track directions. The spatial patterns were found to be interannually inconsistent. However, drier years and lower elevations were found more variable than wetter years and higher elevations, respectively. Only a very small percentage of the Kern River watershed had a significant trend in peak-SWE and day-of-peak. Trends deemed to be significant were found to be positive (peak-SWE is increasing and day-of-peak occurs later) at higher elevations, but negative (peak-SWE is decreasing and day-of-peak occurs earlier) at lower elevations

  16. An Assessment of Snowcover in 6 Major River Basins of Sierra Nevada and Potential Approaches for Long-term Monitoring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rice, R.; Bales, R. C.

    2011-12-01

    Daily snow water equivalent (SWE) was reconstructed for 2000-2009 using canopy-corrected fractional snow covered area (fSCA) from MODIS and a temperature-index snowmelt calculation. The MODIS fractional SCA was based on the MODSCAG (MODIS Snow Covered Area and Grain size/albedo) model, and provides a daily estimate of SCA across complex terrain. The few ground-based index sites for snow measurement can in many years provide good statistical estimates of total seasonal runoff in the basin; but they do not form the basis for spatial estimates of snowpack and snowmelt distributed over the year. The latter are essential for a number of critical resource-management decisions, and are critical inputs to more physically based hydrologic forecasts. We analyzed the fraction of area that was snow covered, by 300-m elevation band, in the Tuolumne, Merced, San Joaquin, Kings, Kaweah, and Kern River basins on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada. These basins range in size from 2846 to 6142 km2, with snow occurring mainly above 1500 m. Our analysis provided estimates of when the snow-covered area was at a maximum, when the snow started melting, how fast it melted and when melt was nearly complete. The fractional snow-covered area (SCA) derived from satellite data was highest above 3600 m, often over 90%. SCA decreased with elevation, with values in the 1800-2100 m elevation peaking well below 50%. In some years SCA at this elevation was barely detectable. Snowcover depletion occurred at average rates of 15-17 m of elevation per day, which is equivalent to each 300-m elevation band melting out 2-4 weeks later. In addition, SWE from snowmelt increased 0.4-0.8 m per 1000 m. Assuming that snowmelt is sensitive to temperature, and that on average temperature decreases 6 oC per 1000 m elevation, each 2 oC of climate warming would shift the observed snowmelt patterns upslope by 300 m, or shift the snow-depletion dates in a given elevation band earlier by approximately 3 weeks. Daily

  17. Integrating multiple temporal scales of snowfall, soil, and plant processes at the Great Basin Desert - Sierra Nevada ecotone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loik, M. E.

    2012-12-01

    Snowfall is the dominant hydrologic input for high elevations and latitudes of the arid- and semi-arid western United States. Many climate models envision changes in California's Sierra Nevada snow pack characteristics, which would severely impact the storage and release of water for one of the world's largest economies. Climate change threatens the sustainability of this water supply through altered snowfall timing, reduced snowpack depth, changes in snow water equivalents, earlier snowmelt, and highly-uncertain but plausible scenarios of rain-on-snow events. Climate model scenarios envision reduced snow pack and earlier melt under a warmer climate, but how will these changes affect soil and plant water relations and ecosystem processes, such as carbon storage? To address this question, experiments utilize large-scale, long-term snow fences to manipulate snow depth and melt timing at a desert-montane ecotone in eastern California, USA. A combination of instantaneous gas exchange and water potential measurements, plant community surveys, annual ring growth increments, in situ instrumentation, and long-term snow course data were used to couple physical and biological processes at daily, monthly, annual, and decadal scales. At this site, long-term April 1 snow pack depth averages 1344 mm (1928-2011) with a CV of 48%. Snow fences increased equilibrium drift snow depth by 200%. Soil moisture pulses were shorter in duration and lower in magnitude in low- than medium- or high-snowfall years. Evapotranspiration (ET) in this arid location accounted for about 37 mol m-2 d-1 of water loss from the snow pack between January 1 and May 1; sublimation was 10% of ET for the same period. Despite considerable interannual variation in snow depth and total precipitation, plant water potential stayed relatively constant over eight consecutive years, but photosynthesis was highly variable. Over the long-term, changes in snow depth and melt timing have impacted growth of only three

  18. Eruption styles of Quaternary basalt in the southern Sierra Nevada Kern Plateau recorded in outcrop and mineral-scale stratigraphies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Browne, B. L.; Becerra, R. A.

    2015-12-01

    The Kern River Plateau in the southern Sierra Nevada contains Quaternary basalt (~0.1 km3) and rhyolite (~2 km3) that ascended through ~30 km of Mesozoic granitic crust. Basaltic vents include from oldest to youngest: Little Whitney Cone, Tunnel and South Fork Cones, and unglaciated Groundhog Cone. Little Whitney Cone is a 120-m-high pile of olivine-CPX-phyric scoria overlying two columnar jointed lava flows extending to the south and east. Tunnel Cone formed through a Hawaiian style eruption along a 400-m-long north-south trending fissure that excavated at least three 25-65-m-wide craters. Crater walls up to 12 meters high are composed of plagioclase-olivine-phyric spatter-fed flows that dip radially away from the crater center and crumble to form steep unconsolidated flanks. South Fork Cone is a 170-m-tall pile of plagioclase-olivine-phyric scoria that formed as a result of Strombolian to violent Strombolian eruptions. It overlies the South Fork Cone lava, the largest lava flow of the Kern Plateau (~0.05 km3), which flowed 7.5 km west into the Kern River Canyon. Scoria and ash fall deposits originating from South Fork Cone are found up to 2 km from the vent. Groundhog Cone is a 140-m-tall cinder and spatter cone breached on the north flank by a 0.03 km3 lava flow that partially buried the South Fork Cone lava and extends 5 km west to Kern River Canyon. Trends in mineral assemblage, texture, composition, and xenocryst abundance exist as a function of eruption style. Scoria and spatter deposits typically have (1) elevated olivine/plagioclase ratios, (2) oscillatory zoned (An63-An72) plagioclase phenocrysts surrounded by unzoned rims and (3) abundant xenocrysts, where up to 20% of plagioclase >200 micron diameter in some samples are granitoid xenocrysts with resorbed and/or reacted textures overprinted by abrupt compositional changes. In contrast, lava flow samples have (1) reduced olivine/plagioclase ratios and (2) plagioclase aggregates with oscillatory zoned

  19. Deformation of the late Miocene to Pliocene Inyo Surface, eastern Sierra region, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jayko, A.S.

    2009-01-01

    A middle and late Miocene erosion surface, the Inyo Surface, underlies late Miocene mafic flows in the White Mountains and late Miocene and (or) early Pliocene flows elsewhere in the eastern Sierra region. The Inyo Surface is correlated with an erosion surface that underlies late Miocene mafic flows in the central and northern Sierra Nevada. The mafic flows had outpourings similar to flood basalts, although of smaller volume, providing paleohorizontal and paleolowland indicators. The flows filed and locally topped the existing landscape forming broad plateau-like flats. Topographic relief in the region was characterized by weathered and rounded slopesp rior to late Miocene mafic magmatism. Relicts of the older landscape lie adjacent to late Miocene and early Pliocene basalt-covered lowlands that now occur within the crests of ranges that have 2500-3000 m relief and dramatically steep escarpments. Late Miocene mafic flows that lie on the crest of the Sierra Nevada adjacent to the White Mountains predate significant activity on the Sierra Nevada frontal fault zone. These deposits and accompanying erosion surfaces provide excellent strain markers for reconstructing part of the Walker Lane north of the Garlock fault and west of the Amargosa drainage, here referred to as the eastern Sierra region. The Inyo Surface is a compound erosional surface that records at least four major erosion events during the Cenozoic. These four surfaces were first recognized on the Kern Plateau and named from oldest to youngest, the Summit Upland, the Subsummit Plateau, the Chagoopa Plateau, and the Canyon. The three older surfaces have also been subsequently modifi ed by Pleistocene glaciation. The compound erosion surface, which is locally overlain by late Miocene mafic flows in the northern and central Sierra Nevada, is here referred to as the Lindgren Surface. Correlatives in the eastern Sierra region are found in the White Mountains, Inyo Mountains, Darwin Plateau, Coso Range, and

  20. Cold-Air Pools and Regional Warming in the Lake Tahoe Region, Central Sierra Nevada of California—Observations and Considerations regarding the Future of Climate-Change Refugia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dettinger, M. D.

    2015-12-01

    Naturally occurring climate refugia, specifically in the form of cold-air pools (CAPs) in mountain basins, are increasingly discussed as potential safe havens against some impacts of global warming on western ecosystems and cold-adapted species. A key concern in these discussions should be: How will CAPs react to regional warming? Several broad possibilities exist: CAPs may "resist" regional warming, remaining as cool as ever despite warming of their surroundings. CAPs may "reflect" regional warming, experiencing temperature increases that are roughly equal to the warming of their surroundings but that leave the CAP as cool relative to their surroundings as ever. Or CAPs might "disintegrate" in the face of regional warming, losing their special cool status relative to surroundings and in the process warming much more than their surroundings. An evaluation of historical observations of wintertime cold-air pooling in the Lake Tahoe basin and adjacent Truckee drainage offers examples of CAPs that have resisted regional warming (Tahoe) and that have reflected regional warming (Truckee). These two CAP responses to warming suggest that no single fate awaits all CAPs in the Sierra Nevada. Rather, different CAPs will likely evolve in different ways, depending on their topographic configurations (e.g., closed vs draining basins), topographic depths, CAP areas, and even (in the case of the Tahoe basin) thermal conditions at the base of the CAP. These CAP examples also suggest a need for research on the possibility of equivalent future responses by other, non-CAP climate refugia in a warming world.

  1. Forest management for water: a hydro-ecological modeling exercise of headwater catchments in the mixed-conifer belt of the Sierra Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saksa, P. C.; Bales, R. C.; Ray, R. L.

    2011-12-01

    Hydro-ecological modeling provides a cost-effective method for evaluating the effects of vegetation change on water cycling within a catchment. In mountain watersheds, change in forest vegetation not only has direct effects on transpiration rates, but also energy exchanges that influence patterns of snow ablation. In this study, treatment scenarios were implemented using the Regional Hydro-Ecological Simulation System (RHESSys) to estimate impacts on key elements of the hydrologic cycle affected by forest harvesting - snowpack accumulation, ablation, transpiration, and streamflow. Twelve headwater catchments (0.5 - 2.6 km2, 1460 - 2450m) in the mixed-conifer zone of the central Sierra Nevada, within the Sierra and Tahoe National Forests, were included for analysis. These research sites are part of the Sierra Nevada Adaptive Management Project (SNAMP), located in the headwaters of the American and Merced Rivers, and the Southern Sierra Critical Zone Observatory (CZO) in the Kings River basin. Two methods of forest harvesting were simulated in the study watersheds: 1) uniform canopy thinning, through reduction of Leaf Area Index (LAI) values and 2) strip-cut treatments, suggested as the best method for retaining snowpack. Results from this study compare the influence of vegetation on water cycle dynamics through the two harvesting treatments, initial vegetation densities, and individual catchment size. Model simulations for pre-treatment snow depth, soil moisture, and streamflow were validated with SNAMP and CZO in-situ measurements. Preliminary results show that a linear reduction of forest canopy reduces transpiration accordingly, but produces a non-linear increase in streamflow. Peak discharges also increased, occurring earlier in the spring and having more pronounced effects in the smaller catchments. Based on these results, harvesting thresholds required for obtaining increases in water yield are evaluated. Investigating the impact of forest management on these

  2. Lower Permian stratigraphy of east-central Nevada and adjacent Utah

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Barosh, Patrick James

    1964-01-01

    The Permian section near Ely, Nevada, consists of, in ascending order: Riepe Spring Limestone, a bluff-forming limestone with abundant corals, and Reipetown Sandstone, a buff to red very coarse-grained siltstone with minor carbonates, both formations of Steele (1960); Arcturus Formation, divisible into a Lower Member composed of alternating medium-bedded limestone and buff siltstone, and an Upper Member composed of alternating thin-bedded limestone and buff to red siltstone and gypsum; and Kaibab Limestone, a massive bioclastic limestone. The Wolfcamp-Leonard boundary occurs within the Arcturus Formation. West of Ely the Riepe Spring Limestone and Reipetown Sandstone thin and change into thin-bedded cherty limestone. These beds, plus the basal part of the Arcturus Formation, form the Carbon Ridge Formation at Dry Mountain at Eureka. At Dry Mountain, minor clastic chert occurs in the Arcturus Formation, and beyond to the west clastic chert replaces most of the limestone to form the conglomeratic Garden Valley Formation. The cherty limestone at the base of the Garden Valley is apparently equivalent to the upper part of the Carbon Ridge Formation at Carbon Ridge. Eastward in Utah the Riepe Spring Limestone is recognizable in the Confusion Range, but is almost unrecognizable in the Needle Range. The dolomite content in the Reipetown Sandstone usually increases to 25 percent of the formation in the Confusion and Needle ranges. The Arcturus Formation thins and undergoes moderate lithologic changes. It is equivalent to the rocks above a horizon 300 feet below Bed A of the Arcturus Formation as mapped in the Confusion Range by Hose and Repenning (1959, 1963).

  3. Reconnaissance of the Hot Springs Mountains and adjacent areas, Churchill County, Nevada

    SciTech Connect

    Voegtly, N.E.

    1981-01-01

    A geological reconnaissance of the Hot Springs Mountains and adjacent areas, which include parts of the Brady-Hazen and the Stillwater-Soda Lake Known Geothermal Resource Areas (KGRA's), resulted in a reinterpretation of the nature and location of some Basin and Range faults. This reconnaissance took place during June-December 1975. In addition, the late Cenozoic stratigraphy has been modified, chiefly on the basis of radiometric dates of volcanic rocks by US Geological Survey personnel and others. The Hot Springs Mountains are in the western part of the Basin and Range province, which is characterized by east-west crustal extension and associated normal faulting. In the surrounding Trinity, West Humboldt, Stillwater, and Desert Mountains, Cenozoic rocks overlie basement rocks of Paleozoic and Mesozoic age. A similar relation is inferred in the Hot Springs Mountains. Folding and faulting have taken place from the late Tertiary to the present.

  4. Summary geochemical maps, Hoover Wilderness and adjacent study area, Mono and Tuolumne counties, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chaffee, M.A.; Hill, R.H.; Sutley, S.J.

    1984-01-01

    The Hoover Wilderness and the adjacent Hoover Extension (East), Hoover Extension (West), and Cherry Creek A Roadless Areas (the adjacent study area) encompass approximately 153,900 acres (241 mi2; 623 km2) in the Inyo, Stanislaus, and Toiyabe Naitonal Forests, Mono and Tuolumne Counties, Calif. These two areas lie along and mostly east of the crest of the Sierra Nevada, along the north and east sides of Yosemite National Park. Elevations vary from a high of 12,446 ft (3,793 m) on the crest of the Sierra Nevada to a low of about 6,500 ft (1,981 m) near the Bridgeport Ranger Station. Access to the Hoover Wilderness and adjacent study area is by U.S. Highway 395, California State Highways 108 (Sonora Pass) and 120 (Tioga Pass), and by other paved and graded roads that lead off of these U.S. and State highways.

  5. The application of Heat Capacity Mapping Mission (HCMM) thermal data to snow hydrology. [Salt Verde Watershed and the southern Sierra Nevada

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barnes, J. C. (Principal Investigator); Bowley, C. J.; Smallwood, M. D.; Willand, J. H.

    1981-01-01

    The application of HCMM thermal infrared data to snow hydrology and the prediction of snowmelt runoff was evaluated. Data for the Salt Verde watershed in central Arizona and the southern Sierra Nevada in California were analyzed and compared to LANDSAT and NOAA satellite data, U-2 thermal data, and other correlative data. It was determined that HCMM thermal imagery provides data as accurate for snow mapping as does visible imagery, and that in comparison with the reslution of other satellite imagery, it may be the most useful. Data from the HCMM thermal channel, with careful calibration, provides useful snow surface temperature data for hydrological purposes. An approach to an automated method of analysis is presented.

  6. Application of ERTS-1 imagery and underflight photography in the detection and monitoring of forest insect infections in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hall, R. C. (Principal Investigator); Wert, S. L.; Koerber, T. W.

    1974-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. Analysis of ERTS-1 imagery with underflight aerial photo support including U-2, in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, indicates promising possibilities of detecting and monitoring forest insect outbreaks visually with some mechanical support utilizing the VP-8 image analyzer. Visually, it is possible at a scale of 1:1,000,000 to discriminate between large areas of damaged and undamaged forests; timbered and non-timbered areas; pasture land and cultivated fields; desert and riparian vegetation. At a scale of 1:80,000 it is possible to distinguish among three classes of tree mortality; defoliated and undefoliated areas; non-host mixed conifers; and mountain meadows, rock domes, lakes and glaciers. Machine tests showed significant differences in image densities among various bands and mortality areas.

  7. Influence of the state of stress on the brittle-ductile transition in granitic rock: Evidence from fault steps in the Sierra Nevada, California

    SciTech Connect

    Buergmann, R.; Pollard, D.D. )

    1992-07-01

    Left-lateral strike-slip faults in the Lake Edison granodiorite (central Sierra Nevada, California) are composed of an echelon segments. Relative displacement across the faults apparently are transferred between segments by ductile shearing at right steps, and by extensional fracturing at left steps. The granodiorite within right steps displays mylonitic foliation, and thin sections show textures in quartz associated with dislocation glide, recovery processes, and dynamic recrystallization, whereas textures in feldspar are related to fracturing. Only centimeters outside the right steps, the rock fabric is approximately isotropic and deformation is accommodated by mineralized opening-mode fractures. The stress field calculated for the right-step geometry, when a boundary element model is used, shows an increase in mean compressive stress of up to 25 MPa within the step relative to that outside. This difference in stress apparently produced the contrasting behaviors of the granitic rock. Experimentally derived power-law flow laws do not predict these behaviors.

  8. Temporal trend of the snow-related variables in Sierra Nevada in the last years: An analysis combining Earth Observation and hydrological modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pérez-Luque, Antonio J.; Herrero, Javier; Bonet, Francisco J.; Pérez-Pérez, Ramón

    2016-04-01

    Climate change is causing declines in snow-cover extent and duration in European mountain ranges. This is especially important in Mediterranean mountain ranges where the observed trends towards precipitation and higher temperatures can provoke problems of water scarcity. In this work, we analyzed temporal trends (2000 to 2014) of snow-related variables obtained from satellite and modelling data in Sierra Nevada, a Mediterranean high-mountain range located in Southern Spain, at 37°N. Snow cover indicators (snow-cover duration, snow-cover onset dates and snow-cover melting dates) were obtained by processing images of MOD10A2 MODIS product using an automated workflow. Precipitation data were obtained using WiMMed, a complete and fully distributed hydrological model that is used to map the annual rainfall and snowfall with a resolution of 30x30 m over the whole study area. It uses expert algorithms to interpolate precipitation and temperature at an hourly scale, and simulates partition of precipitation into snowfall with several methods. For each snow-related indicator (snow-covers and snowfall), a trend analysis was applied at the MODIS pixel scale during the study period (2000-2014). We applied Mann-Kendall test and Theil-Sen slope estimation in each of the pixels comprising Sierra Nevada. The trend analysis assesses the intensity, magnitude and degree of statistical significance during the period analysed. The spatial pattern of these trends was explored according to elevation ranges. Finally, we explored the relationship between trends of snow-cover related indicators and precipitation trends. Our results show that snow-cover has undergone significant changes in the last 14 years. 80 % of the pixels covering Sierra Nevada showed a negative trend in the duration of snow-cover. We also observed a delay in the snow-cover onset date (68.03 % pixels showing a positive trend in the snow-cover onset date) and an advance in the melt date (80.72 % of pixels followed a

  9. Toxic and Essential Element Concentrations in Iberian Ibex (Capra pyrenaica) from the Sierra Nevada Natural Park (Spain): Reference Intervals in Whole Blood.

    PubMed

    Ráez-Bravo, Arián; Granados, José Enrique; Cano-Manuel, Francisco Javier; Soriguer, Ramón C; Fandos, Paulino; Pérez, Jesús M; Pavlov, Igor Y; Romero, Diego

    2016-03-01

    Iberian ibex (Capra pyrenaica) blood samples from the Sierra Nevada Natural Park (Spain) were analyzed to establish concentrations of toxic and essential elements. Samples (whole blood from 32 males and 34 females) were taken from wild animals and the concentrations of inorganic elements considered as (1) non-essential and toxic (Pb, Cd and As), (2) essential but potentially toxic (Cu, Zn and Mn) and (3) occasionally beneficial (B, Cr, Al and Ni), as well as (4) essential minerals (Ca, Na, K, P, Mg, S, Co and Fe), were analyzed. The low concentration of Pb and Cd indicated that there is no heavy metal contamination in this geographical area for these elements. The concentration of elements in this ibex population was defined for different genders and ages. Significant differences between genders were only found for Mg and Cu, while significant differences in concentrations of Ca, Cr, Fe, Mn, P, S and Zn were found between ages.

  10. Relationships of inside and outside bark diameters for young-growth mixed-conifer species in the Sierra Nevada. Forest Service research note (final). [Firs, cedars, pines

    SciTech Connect

    Dolph, K.L.

    1984-09-01

    The linear relationship of inside to outside bark diameter at breast height provides a basis for estimating diameter inside bark from diameter outside bark. Estimates of diameter inside bark and past diameter outside bark are useful in predicting growth and yield. During field seasons 1979-1982, data were obtained from stem analysis of 931 trees in young-growth stands of the mixed-conifer type on the westside Sierra Nevada of California. Species included were coast Douglas-fir, California white fir, incense-cedar, sugar pine, ponderosa pine, and Jeffrey pine. This note provides equations for estimating inside bark diameters, double bark thickness, and past outside bark diameters for each of the species studied.

  11. Toxic and Essential Element Concentrations in Iberian Ibex (Capra pyrenaica) from the Sierra Nevada Natural Park (Spain): Reference Intervals in Whole Blood.

    PubMed

    Ráez-Bravo, Arián; Granados, José Enrique; Cano-Manuel, Francisco Javier; Soriguer, Ramón C; Fandos, Paulino; Pérez, Jesús M; Pavlov, Igor Y; Romero, Diego

    2016-03-01

    Iberian ibex (Capra pyrenaica) blood samples from the Sierra Nevada Natural Park (Spain) were analyzed to establish concentrations of toxic and essential elements. Samples (whole blood from 32 males and 34 females) were taken from wild animals and the concentrations of inorganic elements considered as (1) non-essential and toxic (Pb, Cd and As), (2) essential but potentially toxic (Cu, Zn and Mn) and (3) occasionally beneficial (B, Cr, Al and Ni), as well as (4) essential minerals (Ca, Na, K, P, Mg, S, Co and Fe), were analyzed. The low concentration of Pb and Cd indicated that there is no heavy metal contamination in this geographical area for these elements. The concentration of elements in this ibex population was defined for different genders and ages. Significant differences between genders were only found for Mg and Cu, while significant differences in concentrations of Ca, Cr, Fe, Mn, P, S and Zn were found between ages. PMID:26687500

  12. Using sensitive montane amphibian species as indicators of hydroclimatic change in meadow ecosystems of the Sierra Nevada, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peek, R.; Viers, J.; Yarnell, S. M.

    2012-12-01

    Climate change can affect sensitive species and ecosystems in many ways, yet sparse data and the inability to apply various climate models at functional spatial scales often prevents relevant research from being utilized in conservation management plans. Climate change has been linked to declines and disturbances in a multitude of species and habitats, and in California, one of the greatest climatic concerns is the predicted reduction in mountain snowpack and associated snowmelt. These decreases in natural storage of water as snow in mountain regions can affect the timing and variability of critical snowmelt runoff periods—important seasonal signals that species in montane ecosystems have evolved life history strategies around—leading to greater intra-annual variability and diminished summer and fall stream flows. Although many species distribution models exist, few provide ways to integrate continually updated and revised Global Climate Models (GCMs), hydrologic data unique to a watershed, and ecological responses that can be incorporated into conservation strategies. This study documents a novel and applicable method of combining boosted regression tree (BRT) modeling and species distributions with hydroclimatic data as a potential management tool for conservation. Boosted regression trees are suitable for ecological distribution modeling because they can reduce both bias and variance, as well as handle sharp discontinuities common in sparsely sampled species or large study areas. This approach was used to quantify the effects of hydroclimatic changes on the distribution of key riparian-associated amphibian species in montane meadow habitats in the Sierra Nevada at the sub-watershed level. Based on modeling using current species range maps in conjunction with three climate scenarios (near, mid, and far), extreme range contractions were observed for all sensitive species (southern long-toed salamander, mountain yellow-legged frog, Yosemite toad) by the year

  13. Geochronology and Structural Studies in the Northern Ritter Range: Implications for the Tectonic History of Mesozoic Sierra Nevada Arc

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Black, C. J.; Whitesides, A. S.; Anderson, J. L.; Culbert, K. N.; Vandeveer, M.; Cox, I. V.; Cardamone, J.; Torrez, G.; Quirk, M.; Memeti, V.; Cao, W.; Paterson, S. R.

    2010-12-01

    Field mapping in the Northern Ritter Range pendant, central Sierra Nevada reveals four different lithotectonic units. Unit 1, east of Gem Lake, consists of Paleozoic passive margin metasedimentary rocks. Unit 2 lies unconformably above and west and is composed of Late Triassic to Middle Jurassic rhyolitic to andesitic, clast-rich, metavolcanic rocks that are typically massive, thick bedded, relatively homogeneous. Breccias and millimeter sized plagioclase phenocrysts are common in these beds. Unit 3 west of and structurally higher than unit 2 and is composed of thinly bedded metavolcanic and metasedimentary rocks of same age. Unit 2 and Unit 3 both steeply dipping and NW striking bedding and bedding parallel foliations. Unit 4 is composed of less deformed, Cretaceous, rhyolitic to andesitic breccias and rare volcaniclastic units that are west of and unconformably above unit 3. All units are now separated by faults. The Cretaceous dextral, oblique Gem Lake shear zone reactivated the uncomformity between units 1 and 2. West of the shear zone, both the shearing and strain intensity gradually decrease, the later from >60% to 40% shortening. Unit 2 and 3 are separated by a thrust fault, with local pseudotachelite now overprinted by ductile deformation. Unit 3 and 4 are now juxtaposed along a deformed unconformity west of which strain decreases to shortening values > 30%. These host rocks are intruded by granitic to dioritic plutons preserving a wide range of internal characteristics and emplacement styles. The oldest pluton is the 100 Ma Rush Creek Granodiorite, which intruded into unit 2. The Kuna Crest (KC, 94.6 Ma), the Waugh Lake (WL, 93.6 Ma), and the Thousand Island Lake leucogranodiorites (TIL) (~94 Ma) all intrude into the unit 3. The TIL cut the unconformity between units 3 and 4. The WL pluton is possibly cut by movement between units 2 and 3. The typically NW striking steeply dipping bedding in host rock units is dramatically deflected to EW orientations

  14. Hydrogeochemical studies of historical mining areas in the Humboldt River basin and adjacent areas, northern Nevada

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nash, J. Thomas

    2005-01-01

    The study area comprises the Humboldt River Basin and adjacent areas, with emphasis on mining areas relatively close to the Humboldt River. The basin comprises about 16,840 mi2 or 10,800,000 acres. The mineral resources of the Humboldt Basin have been investigated by many scientists over the past 100 years, but only recently has our knowledge of regional geology and mine geology been applied to the understanding and evaluation of mining effects on water and environmental quality. The investigations reported here apply some of the techniques and perspectives developed in the Abandoned Mine Lands Initiative (AMLI) of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), a program of integrated geological-hydrological-biological-chemical studies underway in the Upper Animas River watershed in Colorado and the Boulder River watershed in, Montana. The goal of my studies of sites and districts is to determine the character of mining-related contamination that is actively or potentially a threat to water quality and to estimate the potential for natural attenuation of that contamination. These geology-based studies and recommendations differ in matters of emphasis and data collection from the biology-based assessments that are the cornerstone of environmental regulations.

  15. Do Small Mammals and Vegetation Metacommunity Dynamics Determine the Extent and Pattern of Treeline in the High Elevation Zone of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klinger, R. C.; Chase, J. T.

    2014-12-01

    There has been a general expectation that warming temperatures will facilitate transformation of high elevation meadows to woody dominated communities. We have been using observational and experimental approaches to analyze potential state changes of meadows and the role seed and seedling predation play in conifer expansion in the high elevation zone of the Sierra Nevada mountain range of the western United States. The observational component consists of 256 plots spanning 3 degrees of latitude and an elevation range from 3000 m to 4000 m. The experimental component consists of mammal seed predator exclosures (N = 252) allocated among three arrays at each of two sites separated by > 100 km. Three cohorts of seeds at five seed densities (1, 2, 3, 5 and 10 seeds per 0.25 m2) and one seedling cohort were placed within and immediately outside the exclosures at each site. Trend surface and distance decay analyses of community composition indicate vegetation communities in the high elevation zone have not assembled predictably along environmental or spatial gradients. Rather, we have found strong support for neutral dynamics, implying that communities assemble more stochastically as a result of dispersal limitation or priority effects. Density of mature and sapling conifers decrease as a function of distance from conifer patches, but seedling density has no relationship with distance from conifer patches. Germination of seeds outside of the exclosures was 19% compared to 65% within, and these were mainly at densities of 1 seed per 0.25 m2. None of the seeds that germinated outside the exclosures survived more than 1.5 years compared to 23% within the exclosures. Virtually all of the seedlings planted outside the exclosures were removed within a year. Collectively, these findings indicate a highly patchy rather than uniform pattern of treeline extension in the high elevation zone of the Sierra Nevada. Moreover, smaller mammals appear to be playing a critical role in

  16. Fuel buildup and potential fire behavior after stand-replacing fires, logging fire-killed trees and herbicide shrub removal in Sierra Nevada forests

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McGinnis, Thomas W.; Keeley, Jon E.; Stephens, Scott L.; Roller, Gary B.

    2010-01-01

    Typically, after large stand-replacing fires in mid-elevation Sierra Nevada forests, dense shrub fields occupy sites formerly occupied by mature conifers, until eventually conifers overtop and shade out shrubs. Attempting to reduce fuel loads and expedite forest regeneration in these areas, the USDA Forest Service often disrupts this cycle by the logging of fire-killed trees, replanting of conifers and killing of shrubs. We measured the effects of these treatments on live and dead fuel loads and alien species and modeled potential fire behavior and fire effects on regenerating forests. Sampling occurred in untreated, logged and herbicide-treated stands throughout the Sierra Nevada in four large fire areas 4–21 years after stand-replacing fires. Logging fire-killed trees significantly increased total available dead fuel loads in the short term but did not affect shrub cover, grass and forb cover, alien species cover or alien species richness. Despite the greater available dead fuel loads, fire behavior was not modeled to be different between logged and untreated stands, due to abundant shrub fuels in both logged and untreated stands. In contrast, the herbicide treatment directed at shrubs resulted in extremely low shrub cover, significantly greater alien species richness and significantly greater alien grass and forb cover. Grass and forb cover was strongly correlated with solar radiation on the ground, which may be the primary reason that grass and forb cover was higher in herbicide treated stands with low shrub and tree cover. Repeat burning exacerbated the alien grass problem in some stands. Although modeled surface fire flame lengths and rates of spread were found to be greater in stands dominated by shrubs, compared to low shrub cover conifer plantations, surface fire would still be intense enough to kill most trees, given their small size and low crown heights in the first two decades after planting.

  17. Thermal alteration of soil physico-chemical properties: a systematic study to infer response of Sierra Nevada climosequence soils to forest fires

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Araya, Samuel N.; Meding, Mercer; Asefaw Berhe, Asmeret

    2016-07-01

    Fire is a common ecosystem perturbation that affects many soil properties. As global fire regimes continue to change with climate change, we investigated thermal alteration of soils' physical and chemical properties after they are exposed to a range of temperatures that are expected during prescribed and wildland fires. For this study, we used topsoils collected from a climosequence transect along the western slope of the Sierra Nevada that spans from 210 to 2865 m a.s.l. All the soils we studied were formed on a granitic parent material and had significant differences in soil organic matter (SOM) concentration and mineralogy owing to the effects of climate on soil development. Topsoils (0-5 cm depth) from the Sierra Nevada climosequence were heated in a muffle furnace at six set temperatures that cover the range of major fire intensity classes (150, 250, 350, 450, 550 and 650 °C). We determined the effects of heating temperature on soil aggregate strength, aggregate size distribution, specific surface area (SSA), mineralogy, pH, cation exchange capacity (CEC), and carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) concentrations. With increasing temperature, we found significant reduction of total C, N and CEC. Aggregate strength also decreased with further implications for loss of C protected inside aggregates. Soil pH and SSA increased with temperature. Most of the statistically significant changes (p < 0.05) occurred between 350 and 450 °C. We observed relatively smaller changes at temperature ranges below 250 °C. This study identifies critical temperature thresholds for significant physico-chemical changes in soils that developed under different climate regimes. Our findings will be of interest to studies of inferences for how soils are likely to respond to different fire intensities under anticipated climate change scenarios.

  18. Case study of spatial and temporal variability of snow cover, grain size, albedo and radiative forcing in the Sierra Nevada and Rocky Mountain snowpack derived from imaging spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seidel, Felix C.; Rittger, Karl; McKenzie Skiles, S.; Molotch, Noah P.; Painter, Thomas H.

    2016-06-01

    Quantifying the spatial distribution and temporal change in mountain snow cover, microphysical and optical properties is important to improve our understanding of the local energy balance and the related snowmelt and hydrological processes. In this paper, we analyze changes of snow cover, optical-equivalent snow grain size (radius), snow albedo and radiative forcing by light-absorbing impurities in snow and ice (LAISI) with respect to terrain elevation and aspect at multiple dates during the snowmelt period. These snow properties are derived from the NASA/JPL Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS) data from 2009 in California's Sierra Nevada and from 2011 in Colorado's Rocky Mountains, USA. Our results show a linearly decreasing snow cover during the ablation period in May and June in the Rocky Mountains and a snowfall-driven change in snow cover in the Sierra Nevada between February and May. At the same time, the snow grain size is increasing primarily at higher elevations and north-facing slopes from 200 microns to 800 microns on average. We find that intense snowmelt renders the mean grain size almost invariant with respect to elevation and aspect. Our results confirm the inverse relationship between snow albedo and grain size, as well as between snow albedo and radiative forcing by LAISI. At both study sites, the mean snow albedo value decreases from approximately 0.7 to 0.5 during the ablation period. The mean snow grain size increased from approximately 150 to 650 microns. The mean radiative forcing increases from 20 W m-2 up to 200 W m-2 during the ablation period. The variability of snow albedo and grain size decreases in general with the progression of the ablation period. The spatial variability of the snow albedo and grain size decreases through the melt season while the spatial variability of radiative forcing remai