Science.gov

Sample records for adjacent sierra nevada

  1. Sierra Nevada

    Atmospheric Science Data Center

    2014-05-15

    ... San Joaquin Valley. The abundant fields of this productive agricultural area can be seen along the lower right; a large number of reservoirs that supply water for crop irrigation are apparent in the western foothills of the Sierras. Urban areas in ...

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Erman, Don C., (Edited By); SNEP team

    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.

  4. 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.

  5. Sierra Nevada snow melt from SMS-2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Breaker, L. C.; Mcmillan, M. C.

    1975-01-01

    A film loop from SMS-2 imagery shows snow melt over the Sierra Nevadas from May 10 to July 8, 1975. The sequence indicates a successful application of geostationary satellite data for monitoring dynamic hydrologic conditions.

  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. 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...

  8. 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...

  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. MISR Sees the Sierra Nevadas in Stereo

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    These MISR images of the Sierra Nevada mountains near the California-Nevada border were acquired on August 12, 2000 during Terra orbit 3472. On the left is an image from the vertical-viewing (nadir) camera. On the right is a stereo 'anaglyph' created using the nadir and 45.6-degree forward-viewing cameras, providing a three-dimensional view of the scene when viewed with red/blue glasses. The red filter should be placed over your left eye. To facilitate the stereo viewing, the images have been oriented with north toward the left.

    Some prominent features are Mono Lake, in the center of the images; Walker Lake, to its left; and Lake Tahoe, near the lower left. This view of the Sierra Nevadas includes Yosemite, Kings Canyon, and Sequoia National Parks. Mount Whitney, the highest peak in the contiguous 48 states (elev. 14,495 feet), is visible near the righthand edge. Above it (to the east), the Owens Valley shows up prominently between the Sierra Nevada and Inyo ranges.

    Precipitation falling as rain or snow on the Sierras feeds numerous rivers flowing southwestward into the San Joaquin Valley. The abundant fields of this productive agricultural area can be seen along the lower right; a large number of reservoirs that supply water for crop irrigation are apparent in the western foothills of the Sierras. Urban areas in the valley appear as gray patches; among the California cities that are visible are Fresno, Merced, and Modesto.

    MISR was built and is managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, for NASA's Office of Earth Science, Washington, DC. The Terra satellite is managed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology.

  11. 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.

  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. Sierra Nevada Mountain Range as seen from STS-58

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1994-01-01

    The Sierra Nevada Mountain Range can be seen in this north-looking high oblique view taken in October, 1993, by the STS-58 crew. Visible in the view to the west of the Sierra Nevada are the San Joaquin and Sacramento Valleys of central California. The San Francisco/Oakland Bay Area can be seen to the west of the valley at the extreme left of the photograph. To the east or right of the Sierra Nevada, the basin and Range Region of central and northern Nevada is visible. Mono Lake, Lake Tahoe and Pyramid lake are also visible in this scene. The long northwest/southeast trending Walker Lane Shear Zone, which lies just to the east (right) of the Sierra Nevada is also visible. Near the top of the view (near the horizon), the snow covered volcanic peak Mount Shasta can be seen.

  14. 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. PMID:17831451

  15. [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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Mercury in tadpoles collected from remote alpine sites in the southern Sierra Nevada mountains, California, USA.

    PubMed

    Bradford, David F; Kramer, Joanna L; Gerstenberger, Shawn L; Tallent-Halsell, Nita G; Nash, Maliha S

    2012-01-01

    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 region exceed thresholds of risk to piscivorous wildlife. Total mercury concentrations were measured in whole tadpoles of the Sierra chorus frog, Pseudacris sierra, two times at 27 sites from high elevations (2786-3375 m) in the southern Sierra Nevada. Median mercury concentrations were 14 ng/g wet weight (154 ng/g dry weight), which were generally low in comparison to tadpoles of 15 other species/location combinations from studies that represented both highly contaminated and minimally contaminated sites. Mercury concentrations in P. sierra were below concentrations known to be harmful in premetamorphic tadpoles of another species and below threshold concentrations for risk to predaceous wildlife. Concentrations in tadpoles were also lower than those observed in predaceous fish in the study region presumably because tadpoles in the present study were much younger (1-2 months) than fish in the other study (3-10 years), and tadpoles represent a lower trophic level than these fish. Mercury concentrations were not related to distance from the adjacent San Joaquin Valley, a source of agricultural and industrial pollutants. PMID:21505867

  4. 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.

  5. Seismic character of the crust and upper mantle beneath the Sierra Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-12-01

    Recent geophysical studies of the Southern Sierra Nevada suggest that the removal of a gravitationally unstable, eclogitic residue links to recent volcanism and uplift in the Eastern Sierra. The Sierra Nevada EarthScope Project (SNEP) investigates the extent of this process beneath Central and Northern Sierra Nevada. We present receiver functions, which provide estimates of crustal thickness and Vp/Vs and image the response of the crust and upper mantle to lithospheric removal. For completeness this study combines data from the 2005-2007 SNEP broadband experiment, EarthScope's BigFoot Array, regional backbone stations, and earlier PASSCAL deployments. We analyze transects of teleseismic receiver functions generated using a common-conversion-point stacking algorithm. These identify a narrow, "bright" conversion from the Moho at depths of ~25-35 km along the crest of the Eastern Sierra and adjacent Basin and Range northward to the Cascade Arc. Trade-off analysis using the primary conversion and reverberations shows a high Vp/Vs (~1.9) throughout the Eastern Sierra, which may relate to partial melt present in the lower crust. To the west the crust-mantle boundary vanishes beneath the western foothills. However, low frequency receiver functions do image the crust-mantle boundary exceeding 50 km depth along the foothills to the west and south of Yosemite National Park. Unusually deep, intraplate earthquakes (Ryan et al., this session) occur in the center of this region. The frequency dependence of the Moho conversion implies a gradational increase from crust to mantle wavespeeds over a significant depth interval. The transition from a sharp to gradational Moho probably relates to the change from a delaminated granitic crust to crust with an intact, dense, eclogitic residue. The spatial correlation and focal mechanisms of the deep earthquakes suggest that a segment of this still intact residue is currently delaminating.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Oroclinal bending of the southern sierra nevada batholith.

    PubMed

    McWilliams, M; Li, Y

    1985-10-11

    Structural, magmatic, and isotopic features of the southern Sierra Nevada batholith are deflected clockwise with respect to its central and northern parts. Directions of magnetization at three localities in the southern Sierra Nevada are progressively deflected; this is consistent with the hypothesis that the region was tectonically rotated in an orocline. No paleomagnetic deflection was observed northwest of the White Wolf-Kern Canyon fault system. Oroclinal bending ofa block bounded by the San Andreas, Garlock, and White Wolf-Kern Canyon faults may have occurred before about 16 x l0(6) years ago. The deformation may have been a response to shear at the western boundary of the North American plate caused by oblique subduction. PMID:17842695

  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. Color and 3D views of the Sierra Nevada mountains

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    A stereo 'anaglyph' created using the nadir and 45.6-degree forward-viewing cameras provides a three-dimensional view of the scene when viewed with red/blue glasses. The red filter should be placed over your left eye. To facilitate the stereo viewing, the images have been oriented with north toward the left. Some prominent features are Mono Lake, in the center of the image; Walker Lake, to its left; and Lake Tahoe, near the lower left. This view of the Sierra Nevadas includes Yosemite, Kings Canyon, and Sequoia National Parks. Mount Whitney, the highest peak in the contiguous 48 states (elev. 14,495 feet), is visible near the righthand edge. Above it (to the east), the Owens Valley shows up prominently between the Sierra Nevada and Inyo ranges. Precipitation falling as rain or snow on the Sierras feeds numerous rivers flowing southwestward into the San Joaquin Valley. The abundant fields of this productive agricultural area can be seen along the lower right; a large number of reservoirs that supply water for crop irrigation are apparent in the western foothills of the Sierras. Urban areas in the valley appear as gray patches; among the California cities that are visible are Fresno, Merced, and Modesto.

  13. 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.

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Tabular fracture clusters: Dynamic fracturing produced by volatile expulsion, Sierra Nevada Batholith, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riley, P.; Tikoff, B.

    2010-10-01

    An undocumented type of fracture system - Tabular Fracture Clusters (TFCs) - occurs in the Cathedral Peak granodiorite, Sierra Nevada Batholith, CA. TFCs are linear zones of sub-parallel, densely spaced fractures, approximately 4-40 cm wide and 3-100 m long. TFCs occur in highest density adjacent to the Johnson granite porphyry, which intruded the Cathedral Peak granodiorite. Individual fractures in TFCs exhibit only opening-mode displacement. Microstructural analysis indicates that TFC fractures contain micro-breccia of angular clasts of host rock. Fine-grained zeolite and quartz are observed along many of the fractures within TFCs, all of which are absent in the host rock. The characteristics of TFCs suggest that they differ from previously documented fracture systems in the Sierra Nevada Batholith. The dense spacing, nature of the fractures, and association of TFCs with miarolitic cavities provide compelling evidence that TFCs formed in response to volatile overpressure from the adjacent Johnson granite porphyry. We attribute the formation of TFCs to dynamic fracturing, based on the clustered nature of the extension fractures and the geometric similarities of TFCs to other dynamic fracturing arrays.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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...

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. The Eocene to Oligocene Landscape of the Northern Sierra Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-12-01

    To gain a better understanding of the Cenozoic tectonic and landscape evolution of the northern Sierra Nevada, well-preserved Eocene to Oligocene sedimentary and volcanic units form the focus of a detailed stratigraphic study which incorporates geochemical and stable isotopic analyses. Widespread silicic ash-flow tuffs (31-28 Ma) crop out across the northern Sierra from near paleo-sea level at the eastern edge of the Great Valley across the modern crest of the range into Nevada. On the western flank of the northern Sierra, they cap Eocene prevolcanic fluvial sediments of the ancestral Yuba and Feather Rivers. The Eocene fluvial system was dominantly controlled by bedrock structure, consisting of two types of coeval valley morphologies: steep, narrow high-energy valley segments and broader, lower-gradient braided stream valley segments. The braided fluvial sequence contains four upward-fining cycles: coarse lower intervals consist of gravel-sand dunes and lateral accretion elements deposited within higher energy channels; upper fine intervals consist of 1-5 m thick lignite-bearing clay and silt marsh deposits. Full-valley width exposures of clay eliminate the possibility of autocyclic controls, indicating that the multiple upward-fining cycles reflect base-level change. Two distinctive overlying ash-flow tuffs were identified and correlated by trace and rare earth element composition of volcanic glass and lithologic criteria. Hydrated glass was used as a proxy for hydrogen isotopic composition of precipitation to determine the paleoelevation gradient in the Oligocene. The δD of ancient meteoric waters, which scales at a predictable rate with change in elevation, decreases steadily across a range-perpendicular transect, from -125‰ ± 1‰ in the west to -160‰ ± 4‰ in the east. This 35‰ decrease in the δD of precipitation is similar to the compositional gradient of the range today, and reflects an increase in ancient mean elevation along the transect. These

  7. 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

  8. Hydrogen Isotopes in Eocene River Gravels and Paleoelevation of the Sierra Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  9. 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. PMID:16825568

  10. Deuterium content of snow cores from Sierra Nevada area

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Friedman, I.; Smith, G.I.

    1970-01-01

    The relative deuterium content was measured on 37 snow cores collected in April 1969 in the Sierra Nevada. The deuterium content varies inversely with altitude of collection (approximately 40 per mil per 1000 meters) but is unrelated to latitude. The altitude relationship is particularly well defined west of the crest of the range but is not well defined east of the crest. However, samples from east of the crest tend to be depleted by about 10 to 15 per mil relative to samples collected at the same elevation west of the crest. We propose that the deuterium content of snow cores, collected so as to include the total winter's precipitation, can be used as a climatic indicator to compare the climate of one winter with that of another.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Trace metals in the roadside mountain soils of Sierra Nevada, Spain.

    PubMed

    Panek, E; Zawodny, Z

    1993-12-01

    The investigations were made to determine the total contents of Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu, Pb, Cd, Ni and Cr in the roadside soils and rocks of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in Spain. There were differences in both the age and lithology of the bed-rock in the study area. The surface soil layer is primarily enriched with lead in relation to the bed-rock, but zinc, manganese, and cadmium also occur.Lead, zinc and cadmium concentrations show a decrease with increasing distance from the road, whereas the levels of iron, manganese, copper, nickel and chromium do not show such a variation. The change in lead and zinc concentrations with increasing distance from the road is related to the topography of the area immediately adjacent to the road. On the descending slopes the concentrations of these metals remain unchanged or increase with the increasing distance from the road, whereas on the ascending slopes they show a clear decrease. PMID:24198142

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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...

  17. 76 FR 9595 - Notice of Public Meetings: Sierra Front Northwestern Basin Resource Advisory Council, Nevada

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-02-18

    ...In accordance with the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) and the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 (FACA), the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Sierra Front-Northwestern Great Basin Resource Advisory Council (RAC) will meet in Carson City, Nevada and Gerlach, Nevada. The meetings are open to the...

  18. 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.

  19. Stream Temperature Sensitivity to Climate Warming in California's Sierra Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Null, S.; Viers, J. H.; Deas, M.; Tanaka, S.; Mount, J.

    2010-12-01

    Water temperatures influence the distribution, abundance, and health of aquatic organisms in stream ecosystems. Improving understanding of climate warming on the thermal regime of rivers will help water managers better manage instream habitat. This study assesses climate warming impacts on unregulated stream temperatures in California’s west-slope Sierra Nevada watersheds from the Feather River to the Kern River. We used unregulated hydrology to isolate climate induced changes from those of water operations and land use changes. A 21 year timeseries of weekly instream flow estimates from WEAP21, a spatially explicit rainfall-runoff model were passed to RTEMP, a simplified model based on equilibrium temperature theory, to estimate stream temperatures using net heat exchange, coarse river channel geometry, and exposure time of water to atmospheric conditions. Air temperature was uniformly increased by 2○C, 4○C, and 6○C as a sensitivity analysis to bracket the range of likely outcomes for stream temperatures. Other meteorological conditions, including precipitation, were left unchanged from historical values. Overall, stream temperatures increased by an average of 1.6○C for each 2○C rise in air temperature, and increased most at middle elevations. Thermal heterogeneity existed within and between basins (Figure 1). The high watersheds of the southern Sierra Nevada and the Feather River watershed were less vulnerable to changes in the thermal regime of rivers from climate warming. Precipitation as rainfall instead of snowfall, and low flow conditions were two characteristics that drove water temperatures dynamics with climate warming. These results suggest the thermal regime of rivers will change with climate warming. Viable coldwater habitat will shift to higher elevations and will likely be reduced in California. Understanding potential changes to stream temperatures from climate warming will affect how fish and wildlife are managed, and must be

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Late holocene treeline fluctuations in the southern Sierra Nevada

    SciTech Connect

    Lloyd, A.H.; Graumlich, L.J. )

    1993-06-01

    The well documented importance of temperature as a direct and indirect control over tree growth at upper elevational treelines suggests that treeline and subalpine forests may be particularly sensitive to climate change. Sub-fossil wood preserved above current treeline in the southern Sierra Nevada records the past sensitivity of treeline with a rare degree of spatial and temporal precision. We use dendrochronologic dating of sub-fossil specimens of foxtail pine (Pinus balfouriana Grev. Balf.) beyond current treeline to analyze the movements of treeline over the past 3 millenia. Treeline at our study area is complex, consisting of both an upper and a lower, or inverted, treeline. Periods of treeline expansion consisted of both up- and down-slope movement of forests. Treeline was 50 m to 100 m above upper treeline and 20 m to 30 m below inverted treeline from approximately 100 B.C. to at least A-D. 1050. Outer ring dates indicate that the mortality of adults did not occur as a temporally coincident event, but rather that trees died over a period of several hundred years and were not replaced. The majority of trees show a pattern of extremely suppressed ring growth in the decades prior to their death, indicating that conditions were not favorable to tree growth. The timing of mortality of these sub-fossil trees suggests that this most recent treeline movement did not occur as a result of widespread, coincident mortality of adults, but rather was a result of lack of replacement of extremely old individuals. This interpretation is supported by analysis of age distributions in live stands at current treeline, which suggest that recruitment at treeline is an extremely rare event.

  15. 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.

  16. Improved Present Day Euler Vector for the Sierra Nevada Block Using GPS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Psencik, K. O.; Dixon, T. H.; Schmalzle, G.; McQuarrie, N.; McCaffery, R.

    2006-12-01

    We present a new surface velocity field for California and Nevada (UM-CANVAS) and use it to solve for a new angular velocity for the rigid Sierra Nevada-Great Valley block. We use all publicly available GPS data for this region, from both continuous (CGPS) and episodic campaign (EGPS) sites. All data were re-processed to create a consistent velocity field. Site velocities are referenced to both stable North America and the central Basin and Range. The Sierra Nevada block is a relatively long, narrow block, bounded on the west by the San Andreas Fault, on the east by a complex fault system comprising the Eastern California Shear Zone and the Walker Lane Belt, and on the south by the Garlock fault. The northern extent of the block is not well defined. The new data along with a strain accumulation algorithm may help to define this boundary. Published estimates for the motion of Sierra Nevada block include clockwise, counter-clockwise, and no rotation relative to stable North America; the new velocity data may also help to resolve this discrepancy. To better understand the motion of the Sierra Nevada block over time, we compare our model of present day motion to a geologic model of block motion over the last 2-3 Ma (McQuarrie and Wernicke, 2005). McQuarrie, N. and B. Wernicke, An Animated tectonic reconstruction of southwestern North America since 36 Ma. Geosphere, V.1; no.3; 147-172; 2005.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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....

  20. 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....

  1. 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....

  2. 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....

  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. 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.

  5. 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.

  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. 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...

  8. From Typology to Topography in Clarence King's "Mountaineering in the Sierra Nevada."

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hoekzema, Loren

    The book "Mountaineering in the Sierra Nevada" by Clarence King, a late-ninteenth-century American geologist, writer, art critic, and romantic, is discussed in this paper. In the writing and revision of this book, King was attempting a metamorphosis of landscape description into popular reading as he moved from being a symbolic writer to being a…

  9. 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

    ... Great Basin Resource Advisory Council (RAC), will meet in Carson City, Nevada. The meeting is open to the public. DATES AND TIMES: March 30-31, 2010, at the BLM Carson City District Office, 5665 Morgan...: 14X1109] Notice of Public Meeting: Sierra Front Northwestern Basin Resource Advisory Council,...

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. 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

  13. 75 FR 44942 - 2015 Resource Pool-Sierra Nevada Customer Service Region

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-07-30

    ...The Western Area Power Administration (Western), a Federal power marketing administration of the Department of Energy (DOE), published its 2004 Power Marketing Plan (Marketing Plan) for the Sierra Nevada Customer Service Region (SNR) in the Federal Register on June 25, 1999. The Marketing Plan specifies the terms and conditions under which Western will market power from the Central Valley......

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Dense Root Removal by Asymmetric Delamination in Sierra Nevada, California: Insights from Numerical Modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Valera, J.; Negredo, A. M.; Billen, M.

    2008-12-01

    Recent studies provide compelling evidence for an event of removal of lithospheric mantle in southern -and possibly central- Sierra Nevada (SN) mountains, California (Zandt et al., Nature, 431, 2004). A sequential history of foundering of the ultramafic root of the Sierra Nevada batholith, with a pronounced asymmetric flow, is proposed to explain a number of geophysical and geological observations, including a fast seismic velocity in the mantle located to the west of the SN crest, a gap in the Moho, recent subsidence and tilting of the Sierra Nevada, and a change in mineralogy of the xenolith population recorded at the surface. In the present study we focus on the quantitative evaluation of this conceptual model. We apply new thermo- mechanical algorithms, developed in MATLAB code, suitable to study the temporal evolution of laterally migrating lithospheric delamination. The motion equation, formulated in terms of the stream function, and the coupled thermal equation are solved applying finite difference techniques. Our physical modeling is shown to properly reproduce the first order features of the conceptual model for lithospheric delamination in the Sierra Nevada. We investigate the evolution of a dense ultramafic root, which brings about a Rayleigh-Taylor gravitational instability. Following our preliminary results, the presence of a fluid-weakened lithosphere, located just east of Sierra Nevada, is required to reproduce the asymmetric development of this instability, as previously proposed by Zandt et al. (2004). This weak rheology zone, which is modeled by means of a reduced viscosity, is shown to enable the ascent of asthenospheric material and westward propagation of delamination. Our predictions are also consistent with the previous inference of the V-shaped cone of crust being dragged down into the downwelling mantle (i.e., the Moho gap). Present results highlight that viscous drag is also likely responsible for present-day surface subsidence.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Revisiting Emplacement Depths of the Fine Gold Intrusive Suite, West-Central Sierra Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Head, D.; Lackey, J.

    2013-12-01

    The Fine Gold Intrusive Suite (FGIS) is a large intrusive complex in the west central portion of the Sierra Nevada Batholith. Portions of the Sierra Nevada Batholith have been well studied for plutonic pressure and crystallization histories (e.g., Ague and Brimhall, 1988, GSAB), whereas the regional depth of emplacement of the FGIS is not well characterized, and in previous work pressure estimates were not corrected for crystallization temperatures. An accurate sense of barometric gradient in the FGIS is important to evaluate the roles of pre-batholithic structural breaks in controlling magma emplacement levels, and also to reconstruct erosional levels within the Sierra Nevada as a whole. In this study, samples from the FGIS, all from the Bass Lake Tonalite, were petrographically characterized to identify those samples that contain mineral assemblage and crystallization textures appropriate for application of the Aluminum-in-Hornblende barometer of Hammarstrom and Zen (1986) re-calibrated by Anderson and Smith (1995). Analysis of these samples and use of the barometer results in both pressure and temperature of crystallization. FGIS amphiboles are typical magnesio-hornblende on average: K0.2Na0.1Ca1.8[Mg2.4(Al,Fe3+)(0.2-0.6)]Si6.7Ti0.1Al1.3O22(OH)2. Plagioclase compositional ranges are Ab(54-69)An(30-45)Or(0-1). Bass Lake Tonalite data of Ague and Brimhall (1988) were re-calculated for typical plagioclase composition in the Bass Lake Tonalite (Ab62An37Or1), yielding slightly higher crystallization pressures (3.3 to 5.8 kbar) than the original range (2.4 to 4.5 kbar). New FGIS crystallization pressures of 2.6 to 3.5 kbar match the recalculated data well, thus providing larger coverage for estimates of emplacement depth. Apparent temperatures from adjacent amphibole and plagioclase rims were found to be 691 to 767°C. When all barometric data are considered together, and uncertainties of the calibration are factored in, we find that FGIS crystallization pressures

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. Aircraft measurements of the impacts of pollution aerosols on clouds and precipitation over the Sierra Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosenfeld, Daniel; Woodley, William L.; Axisa, Duncan; Freud, Eyal; Hudson, James G.; Givati, Amir

    2008-08-01

    Recent publications suggest that anthropogenic aerosols suppress orographic precipitation in California and elsewhere. A field campaign (SUPRECIP: Suppression of Precipitation) was conducted to investigate this hypothesized aerosol effect. The campaign consisted of in situ aircraft measurements of the polluting aerosols, the composition of the clouds ingesting them, and the way the precipitation-forming processes are affected. SUPRECIP was conducted during February and March of 2005 and February and March of 2006. The flights documented the aerosols and orographic clouds flowing into the central Sierra Nevada from the upwind densely populated industrialized/urbanized areas and contrasted them with the aerosols and clouds downwind of the sparsely populated areas in the northern Sierra Nevada. SUPRECIP found that the aerosols transported from the coastal regions are augmented greatly by local sources in the Central Valley resulting in high concentrations of aerosols in the eastern parts of the Central Valley and the Sierra foothills. This pattern is consistent with the detected patterns of suppressed orographic precipitation, occurring primarily in the southern and central Sierra Nevada, but not in the north. The precipitation suppression occurs mainly in the orographic clouds that are triggered from the boundary layer over the foothills and propagate over the mountains. The elevated orographic clouds that form at the crest are minimally affected. The clouds are affected mainly during the second half of the day and the subsequent evening, when solar heating mixes the boundary layer up to cloud bases. Local, yet unidentified nonurban sources are suspected to play a major role.

  6. Temporal Slip Variation of the Sierra Nevada Frontal Fault System and Effects on Landscape Evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kemp, C. D.; Wakabayashi, J.

    2008-12-01

    Temporal variability of vertical separation- and slip-rates determined by new geochronologic and geomorphic studies provides data to better understand the tectonic and geomorphic evolution of the Sierra Nevada. The Quincy and Lake Almanor region of the northern Sierra Nevada hosts ideal field relations to examine both long- and short-term slip- and vertical-separation rates of the Eastern Sierra Frontal Fault system (Frontal Fault system) and their relation to landscape evolution. We report initial results of the study. Geochronology provides key data to determine 1) the rate of uplift-related stream incision 2) the rate of vertical separation of the Frontal Fault system 3) the northern Sierra Nevada landscape response to temporal rate variations. Forty-one Late Cenozoic volcanic deposits yield K-Ar conventional and Ar-Ar incremental heating ages between .15 Ma and 3.3 Ma; another ten Ar-Ar ages of rocks from the Mehrten and Yana Formations are pending and the expected age range for these samples is ~2.8 Ma to ~5 Ma respectively. The present northern Sierra Nevada landscape is characterized by high plateau-like ridges capped by Yana or Mehrten volcanics above deeply incised canyons. Field and geomorphic relations reveal a reverse stratigraphic sequence of terrace-like remnants of basaltic or andesitic composition in the North Fork Feather River canyon. Ar-Ar ages of the inset volcanics indicate rapid incision since 2.8 Ma with rates of incision increasing into the present. Similarly, field and geomorphic relations of older rocks reveal incipience and evolution of relief generation. Rocks of the ~5 Ma Mehrten Formation are occasionally underlain by Eocene to Miocene "auriferous" gravels deposited by trans-Sierran paleochannels; field relations of the Mehrten Fm. and gravels indicate low-relief paleotopography at Miocene-Pliocene time. Likewise, the Yana Fm. indicates similar paleotopography at 2.8 Ma thus constraining timing of relief production to post

  7. 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...

  8. Crustal and upper mantle structure of the northern and central Sierra Nevada.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mavko, B.B.; Thompson, G.A.

    1983-01-01

    Teleseismic data were recorded within the Sierra Nevada to look for lateral variations in the upper mantle. The data were collected at both temporary and permanent stations, and P wave residuals were computed. After correcting the P residual data for crustal and topographic effects, there is still a variation of as much as 0.5-0.6 s from the N end of the Sierra Nevada to Mono Lake, located E of the central part of the range. In addition, there are significant variations in travel time patterns, depending on the azimuth of wave arrivals. Two simple modeling approaches have been used to infer the upper mantle velocity structure from the observed variations in travel time. -from Authors

  9. 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. PMID:23974164

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Hydrologic response and watershed sensitivity to climate warming in California's Sierra Nevada.

    PubMed

    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 degrees, 4 degrees, and 6 degrees 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Constraining age of delamination with thermal models: a multidisciplinary view of the Sierra Nevada, CA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levandowski, W.; Jones, C. H.; Oliver, G. C.

    2013-12-01

    Geomorphic, xenolith and seismic evidence suggest that the Sierra Nevada has risen ~1 km since the Miocene in response to removal of cold, dense lower lithosphere. A high wavespeed body beneath the Tulare Basin, southwest of the Sierra, has been proposed to be the downwelling lithospheric root, and isopachs demonstrate latest Pliocene acceleration of subsidence. Nevertheless, a removed mass sufficient to cause 1 km of Sierran uplift would generate ~250% of observed subsidence, potentially vitiating the lithospheric removal hypothesis, and redating of xenoliths has called temporal constraints into question. We first estimate upper mantle densities from seismic velocities, finding that the modern load on the Tulare lithosphere accounts for observed post-Pliocene subsidence. Next, we couple a characterization of material that may have been removed from the Sierra with a 3-dimensional, finite Nusselt number thermal model. We constrain the amount of time required for sufficient thermal equilibration, such that the mass anomaly of this removed material and the modern anomaly responsible for Tulare subsidence are equal; 4-10 Ma suffice. Finally, new seismic anisotropy images from joint analysis of split direct-S and SKS waves show the convective wake of material delaminating from the southern Sierra SSW to beneath the Tulare basin. Taken together, our results support the existing hypothesis that a lithospheric root has been removed from beneath the Sierra and is now found beneath the southern Great Valley.

  1. Recent Results of Ambient Ozone Monitoring in Southern Sierra Nevada and White Mountains, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burley, J. D.; Bytnerowicz, A.; Cisneros, R.; Schweizer, D.

    2014-12-01

    Ambient ozone has been monitored in the southern Sierra Nevada and White Mountains of California as 2-week average concentrations with Ogawa passive samplers and as 1-hour average concentrations with 2B Technologies UV absorption monitors. Our summer season investigations have included: (1) an elevational transect (1,237 to 4,342 masl) consisting of 5 sites in the White Mountains (2009 -2014); (2) a west to east southern Sierra Nevada transect consisting of 9 sites at elevations between 510 and 3,490 masl (2012 and 2013); and (3) two sites at the Devils Postpile National Monument at 2,130 masl (2007 - 2014). In the White Mountains average ozone concentrations increased with elevation, reaching the highest values at White Mountain Summit. A strongly pronounced diurnal distribution of ozone was observed at the low elevation site in Bishop (OVS), with low values at night and in the early morning and highest concentrations during mid-day. High elevation sites (Crooked Creek, Barcroft Station and Summit) were characterized by flat ozone curves with similar concentrations during daytime and nighttime, typically around 50 ppb. During the 2013 summer season, two-week averages from passive samplers ranged from 32 to 60 ppb for all White Mountains sites with the highest values at the Summit and the lowest at OVS. Along the southern Sierra Nevada transect, average concentrations in summer 2013 ranged from 36.5 to 54.0 ppb with the highest value recorded at the highest elevation eastern site, Piute Pass, and the lowest at low-elevation and western Shaver Lake site. Prather, Mountain Rest and Shaver Lake sites had the most exceedances of 8 h federal health standard of 75 ppb and the California health standard of 70 ppb. The Devils Postpile site was characterized by low ozone concentrations at night and in the early morning, and late afternoon maxima. In 2007 and 2008 the ozone values measured at Devils Postpile occasionally exceeded the federal health standard, with more

  2. Spatiotemporal patterns of fault slip rates across the Central Sierra Nevada frontal fault zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rood, Dylan H.; Burbank, Douglas W.; Finkel, Robert C.

    2011-01-01

    Patterns in fault slip rates through time and space are examined across the transition from the Sierra Nevada to the Eastern California Shear Zone-Walker Lane belt. At each of four sites along the eastern Sierra Nevada frontal fault zone between 38 and 39° N latitude, geomorphic markers, such as glacial moraines and outwash terraces, are displaced by a suite of range-front normal faults. Using geomorphic mapping, surveying, and 10Be surface exposure dating, mean fault slip rates are defined, and by utilizing markers of different ages (generally, ~ 20 ka and ~ 150 ka), rates through time and interactions among multiple faults are examined over 10 4-10 5 year timescales. At each site for which data are available for the last ~ 150 ky, mean slip rates across the Sierra Nevada frontal fault zone have probably not varied by more than a factor of two over time spans equal to half of the total time interval (~ 20 ky and ~ 150 ky timescales): 0.3 ± 0.1 mm year - 1 (mode and 95% CI) at both Buckeye Creek in the Bridgeport basin and Sonora Junction; and 0.4 + 0.3/-0.1 mm year - 1 along the West Fork of the Carson River at Woodfords. Data permit rates that are relatively constant over the time scales examined. In contrast, slip rates are highly variable in space over the last ~ 20 ky. Slip rates decrease by a factor of 3-5 northward over a distance of ~ 20 km between the northern Mono Basin (1.3 + 0.6/-0.3 mm year - 1 at Lundy Canyon site) to the Bridgeport Basin (0.3 ± 0.1 mm year - 1 ). The 3-fold decrease in the slip rate on the Sierra Nevada frontal fault zone northward from Mono Basin is indicative of a change in the character of faulting north of the Mina Deflection as extension is transferred eastward onto normal faults between the Sierra Nevada and Walker Lane belt. A compilation of regional deformation rates reveals that the spatial pattern of extension rates changes along strike of the Eastern California Shear Zone-Walker Lane belt. South of the Mina Deflection

  3. Spatiotemporal Patterns of Fault Slip Rates Across the Central Sierra Nevada Frontal Fault Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rood, D. H.; Burbank, D.; Finkel, R. C.

    2010-12-01

    We examine patterns in fault slip rates through time and space across the transition from the Sierra Nevada to the Eastern California Shear Zone-Walker Lane belt. At each of four sites along the eastern Sierra Nevada frontal fault zone between 38-39° N latitude, geomorphic markers, such as glacial moraines and outwash terraces, are displaced by a suite of range-front normal faults. Using geomorphic mapping, surveying, and Be-10 surface exposure dating, we define mean fault slip rates, and by utilizing markers of different ages (generally, ~20 ka and ~150 ka), we examine rates through time and interactions among multiple faults over 10-100 ky timescales. At each site for which data are available for the last ~150 ky, mean slip rates across the Sierra Nevada frontal fault zone have probably not varied by more than a factor of two over time spans equal to half of the total time interval (~20 ky and ~150 ky timescales): 0.3 ± 0.1 mm/yr (mode and 95% CI) at both Buckeye Creek in the Bridgeport basin and Sonora Junction; and 0.4 +0.3/-0.1 mm/yr along the West Fork of the Carson River at Woodfords. Our data permit that rates are relatively constant over the time scales examined. In contrast, slip rates are highly variable in space over the last ~20 ky. Slip rates decrease by a factor of 3-5 northward over a distance of ~20 km between the northern Mono Basin (1.3 +0.6/-0.3 mm/yr at Lundy Canyon site) and the Bridgeport Basin (0.3 ± 0.1 mm/yr). The 3-fold decrease in the slip rate on the Sierra Nevada frontal fault zone northward from Mono Basin reflects a change in the character of faulting north of the Mina Deflection as extension is transferred eastward onto normal faults between the Sierra Nevada and Walker Lane belt. A compilation of regional deformation rates reveal that the spatial pattern of extension rates changes along strike of the Eastern California Shear Zone-Walker Lane belt. South of the Mina Deflection, extension is accommodated within a diffuse zone of

  4. 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.

  5. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    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. We tested the hypothesis that contaminant concentrations in a high-elevation portion of the Sierra Nevada decrease with distance from the adjacent San Joaquin Valley. We sampled air, sediment, and tadpoles twice at 28 water bodies in 14 dispersed areas in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks (2785 – 3375 m elevation; 43 – 82 km from Valley edge). We detected up to 15 chemicals frequently in sediment and tadpoles, including current- and historic-use pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Only β-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 β-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. PMID:20821540

  7. Relief and drainage evolution during the exhumation of the Sierra Nevada (SE Spain): Is denudation keeping pace with uplift?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Azañón, J. M.; Galve, J. P.; Pérez-Peña, J. V.; Giaconia, F.; Carvajal, R.; Booth-Rea, G.; Jabaloy, A.; Vázquez, M.; Azor, A.; Roldán, F. J.

    2015-11-01

    We have performed a geomorphic analysis of the Sierra Nevada, the highest range of the Betic Cordillera (SE Spain), with the aim to elucidate its late Miocene to present-day exhumation history. The qualitative and quantitative analysis is based on filtered topography, local relief, swath-profile analysis, anomalies on stream orientation, bulk erosion volume, hypsometry, and steepness index (ksn). All these parameters are intimately linked to river incision and development of drainage pattern, having been calculated to assess the role of folding and faulting on the evolution of the Sierra Nevada. Moreover, uplift rates in the core of the Sierra Nevada have been deduced from an extrapolation of the position of Late Tortonian to Pliocene coastline deposits. These data have been compared to apatite (U-Th)/He, fission-track and 10Be cosmogenic data from SE Spain in order to evaluate the consistency among uplift, thermal histories and denudation rates. Our preferred tectonic scenario is one that favors fast exhumation of the western Sierra Nevada in a NW-SE overall compressive setting produced by the convergence between the Nubia and Africa plates. Sub-perpendicular to this compression, a westward 4 mm/year extensional hanging-wall displacement promotes uplift and unroofing of the western part of Sierra Nevada.

  8. 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

  9. Using Seismic Refraction to Assess the Crustal Thickness of the Great Basin and Sierra Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heimgartner, M. N.; Louie, J. N.; Scott, J. B.; Thelen, W.; Pullammanappallil, S.; Lopez, C. T.; Coolbaugh, M. F.

    2006-12-01

    In order to assess the crustal thickness of the Great Basin in poorly constrained areas, we have completed three long-range seismic refraction experiments: the 2002 Northern Walker Lane (NWL) transect, extending from central Nevada to the eastern Sierras; the 2004 Idaho-Nevada-California (INC) experiment, running from central Nevada into Fresno, California; and the 2005 Northern-Nevada-Utah transect (NNUT), stretching from central Nevada through eastern Utah. Our refraction experiments will contribute toward a more accurate crustal model for the northern Great Basin where little previous seismic refraction control exists. The INC and NNUT experiments used a dense spacing of 400 portable seismographs and 4.5-Hz geophones. The instruments were able to record events ranging from large mine blasts to small local earthquakes. Our instruments sensed blast first arrivals out to distances of approximately 400 km. We obtained 99% data recovery and clear first arrivals across the Sierra Nevada and the northern Great Basin regions. From our INC transect, we observe an unexpectedly deep crustal root beneath the northern Sierra Nevada range (>50 km down to a Moho velocity of 7.8 km/s). From the NWL experiment, we observe anomalously thin crust over a limited region approximately 100 km wide, near Battle Mountain, NV, with a crustal thickness of 19-23 km and a southern extent limited by the INC transect. This area of thin crust correlates with regional gravity data. Our NNUT refraction experiment will better constrain crustal thickness and provide insight into the crustal-scale tectonics of the northeastern Great Basin, including the Wasatch Front and eastern Utah. These experiments are a successful demonstration that crustal refraction profiles can be obtained using mine blasts and a dense array of portable seismographs. Costly refraction shots were not needed to find crustal thicknesses, where mine blasts could be recorded. In addition, local earthquakes (approximately M2

  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. Age, origin, and significance of an unconformity that predates island-arc volcanism in the northern Sierra Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Varga, Robert J.; Moores, Eldridge M.

    1981-11-01

    The paleogeographic position of rocks of the northern Sierra Nevada relative to North America has long been the topic of debate. A detailed study of the Lakes Basin region of the northern Sierra Nevada substantiates that the Shoo Fly Complex, of early Paleozoic age, was folded and unconformably overlain by an island-arc sequence in late Paleozoic time. Microfossils recovered during the study represent the first in situ fauna ever collected from the Shoo Fly Complex and provide an Ordovician-Silurian lower limit on the early deformation. Late Jurassic (Nevadan) deformation strongly affected all rocks in the region. Regional considerations suggest that mid-Paleozoic deformation may have been widespread in the Sierra Nevada and could indicate an early phase of an eastward-prograding suture that ultimately resulted in emplacement of the Roberts Mountain allochthon of the Great Basin. *Present address: Union Oil Research Center, Box 76, Brea, California 92621

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  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. 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.

  17. Landscape Evidence of Fault Zone Architecture in the Southern Sierra Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krugh, W. C.; Halling, M.; Garcia Ruvalcaba, A. E.; Nguyen, V. C.; Odina, R. M.; Uribe, Z.

    2014-12-01

    In equilibrium, Earth's landscape reflects a balance between rock uplift and erosion. This balance causes geomorphic landforms, such as hillslopes, watersheds, and stream channels, to maintain steady-state geometries that reflect the rate of rock uplift, the erodibility of the underlying bedrock, climate, and the surface processes that formed them. Departure from equilibrium, due to changes in these boundary conditions, causes the landscape to adjust until a new steady-state geometry is established. Geomorphic features can therefore be used as indicators of tectonic activity in areas where the underlying geology, climate, and dominant surface processes can reasonably be assumed to be uniform. In this study, Revs-Up participants utilized ArcGIS® and Matlab® software to characterize key geomorphic features in the southern Sierra Nevada Mountains of eastern California. Watershed boundaries and river longitudinal profiles were extracted from USGS 10m digital elevation models and used to plot watershed slope vs. area relationships. These plots were then used to determine profile concavity and channel steepness index values for watersheds along the southern Sierra Nevada Frontal Fault Zone (SNFFZ). Initial results show a northward increase in the complexity of river longitudinal profiles as well as a northward increase in channel steepness indices. Normalized channel steepness index values are highest within watersheds located along a prominent left step in the Sierra Nevada rangefront. Combined with field data and low-temperature thermochronometry, these results may help to constrain spatial variations in rock uplift associated with the long-term evolution of the southern SNFFZ.

  18. 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

  19. Effects of varying fire regimes on annual grasslands in the southern Sierra Nevada of California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Parsons, David J.; Stohlgren, Thomas J.

    1989-01-01

    Effects of up to three successive spring and fall burns on composition and biomass of the predominantly non-native grasslands of the southern Sierra Nevada foothills were evaluated. Fall and spring burning regimes increased the number and biomass of both alien and native forb species. No native grass species became established following the treatments. Thus, whereas the biomass of alien grass species can be reduced by repeated burning, they will be replaced by increases in both alien and native forbs. Changes seen following one or two burns (spring or fall) were not sustained following cessation of burning treatment.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. The eastern front of the Sierra Nevada; prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruption

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rinehart, C.D.; Smith, W.C.

    1981-01-01

    On Sunday morning, May 25, 1980, the weather at Mammoth Lakes, Calif., was sunny and brisk. Suddenly, just before 9:33 a.m, the world became a jarring, lurching, unstable place. Along the front of the Sierra Nevada, the muffled thunder of rockfalls and avalanches prolonged the confusion of sound and motion and added the spectacle of large, rising dust clouds. Three geysers, one 30 ft high, suddenly roared into the air at Hot Creek, although none survived more than a few hours. Some new boiling pools appeared, while many existing hot springs and pools became hotter and more active. 

  3. Tomographic observations connecting convective downwellings with lithospheric source regions, Sierra Nevada, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reeg, H.; Jones, C. H.; Gilbert, H.; Owens, T. J.; Zandt, G.

    2008-12-01

    Considerable speculation has focused on the possible existence of convective downwellings associated with the Sierra Nevada, California. The 2005-2007 Sierra Nevada Earthscope Project (SNEP) occupied ~100 sites within the broader EarthScope Transportable Array using EarthScope FlexArray equipment. We observed 2000 events at 95 SNEP stations and 164 TA, permanent, and pre-SNEP Sierran experiment stations, yielding over 81,000 teleseismic P-wave arrival times picked with G. Pavlis's dbxcor waveform picking algorithm. We selected 27,000 arrivals for inversion both to equalize representation of different backazimuths and accommodate computational limitations. Using a teleseismic inversion code developed by S. Roecker that uses wavespeed gradients between nodes and calculates 3-D raypaths using a finite- difference algorithm, we find that we can recover lateral variations in wavespeed with very high resolution but the extent of sharp anomalies can become smeared vertically as far as one node spacing (~50 km). As expected, we image the large high-velocity anomalies previously seen in California, including the Isabella Anomaly (San Joaquin Valley) between about 70 and 250 km depth, the Redding anomaly under the eastern Sacramento Valley above about 200 km depth, and a Foothills Anomaly near the Moho under much of the western Sierra. The Foothills anomaly extends between the Redding and Isabella anomalies. At each end of the Foothills anomaly, the high-velocity body bends down to connect with the deeper, more vertical anomaly at its end. This is most striking at the north end, where a peculiar convex-upward portion of the anomalies appears to represent interaction of a convective downwelling like that at the south end of the Sierra with the clearly visible Gorda plate. This suggests that some active foundering of lithospheric material occurs in these locations. The eastern, high Sierra are underlain by lower velocity mantle; this mantle increases in velocity from south to

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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. PMID:11353716

  7. Deuterium content of snow as an index to winter climate in the Sierra Nevada area

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Friedman, I.; Smith, G.I.

    1972-01-01

    The winter of 1968-69 produced two to three times the amount of precipitation in the Sierra Nevada area, California and Nevada, as the winter of 1969-70. The deuterium content in snow cores collected at the end of each winter at the same sites, which represents the total snowfall of each interval, shows a depletion in 1968-69 of approximately 20 per mil. The higher snowfall in 1968-69 and the depletion of deuterium can be explained by an uncommonly strong westward flow of cold air over and down the western slopes of the Sierras, which interacted with an eastward flow of moist Pacific air that overrode and mixed with the cold air; this resulted in precipitation that occurred in greater than normal amounts and at a lower than normal temperature. Pluvial periods of the Pleistocene may have had the same shift in air-mass trajectory as the wet 1968-69 year. Snow cores collected in the normal 1970-71 winter have deuterium concentrations that resemble those of the normal 1969-70 winter. Small and nonsystematic differences in samples from these two normal winters are due to variations in climatic character as well as to factors inherent in the sampling sites.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Magma accumulation rates and thermal histories of plutons of the Sierra Nevada batholith, CA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davis, Jesse W.; Coleman, Drew S.; Gracely, John T.; Gaschnig, Richard; Stearns, Michael

    2012-03-01

    Zircon U-Pb geochronology results indicate that the John Muir Intrusive Suite of the central Sierra Nevada batholith, California, was assembled over a period of at least 12 Ma between 96 and 84 Ma. Bulk mineral thermochronology (U-Pb zircon and titanite, 40Ar/39Ar hornblende and biotite) of rocks from multiple plutons comprising the Muir suite indicates rapid cooling through titanite and hornblende closure following intrusion and subsequent slow cooling through biotite closure. Assembly of intrusive suites in the Sierra Nevada and elsewhere over millions of years favors growth by incremental intrusion. Estimated long-term pluton assembly rates for the John Muir Intrusive Suite are on the order of 0.001 km3 a-1 which is inconsistent with the rapid magma fluxes that are necessary to form large-volume magma chambers capable of producing caldera-forming eruptions. If large shallow crustal magma chambers do not typically develop during assembly of large zoned intrusive suites, it is doubtful that the intrusive suites represent cumulates left behind following caldera-forming eruptions.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Evaluation of west-east migration in the Cretaceous Sierra Nevada batholith

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beck, C. L.; Frazer, R. E.; Coleman, D. S.

    2011-12-01

    Existing interpretation of geochronologic data for subduction-related plutonic rocks in the western United States suggests that the locus of magmatism migrated from west to east during the Cretaceous, perhaps in response to flattening of the subducting slab. However, Sierran rocks generally lack the high-precision geochronology necessary for a rigorous evaluation of arc migration. New U-Pb ages for the Tuolumne and John Muir intrusive suites in the eastern Sierra Nevada call into question ages determined by old, low-precision U-Pb zircon and K-Ar biotite and hornblende methods. We present new data for intrusive rocks of the western Sierra Nevada batholith (the Bass Lake Tonalite and Dinkey Creek and Mt. Givens granodiorites) combined with existing detailed geochronology for plutonic rocks of the Tuolumne and John Muir intrusive suites, and suggest that there is no simple pattern of arc migration preserved in the Cretaceous of the central Sierra Nevada. In the central Sierra Nevada (~37-38 N) Cretaceous plutonic rocks (from west to east) include the ~2000 km2 Bass Lake Tonalite, the ~600 km2 Dinkey Creek Granodiorite, the 1500 km2 Mt. Givens Granodiorite, and the John Muir and Tuolumne intrusive suites. Existing low-precision U-Pb zircon ages for the western tonalites and granodiorites suggest a range of ~124 to 90 Ma, and have been used to calculate an eastern migration of the arc of ~2.7 mm a-1; however the age data are of questionable reliability and are sometimes at odds with field relations. We are obtaining new U-Pb zircon ages for samples of the Bass Lake, Dinkey Creek and Mt. Givens plutons, and will combine them with our data from the Tuolumne and John Muir intrusive suites to test the hypothesis of eastward arc migration. Field relations indicate that the Bass Lake Tonalite and Mt. Givens Granodiorite are composite intrusions with as much or more petrologic diversity as the well-documented intrusive suites in the eastern Sierra Nevada. Preliminary data for

  20. Coherent Cloudiness Variability from Sierra Nevada to the Sea in California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sumargo, E.; Cayan, D. R.

    2015-12-01

    Cloud variability serves as the principal modulator of incoming solar radiation. These cloud effects are particularly important in mountain settings such as the Sierra Nevada in California, because the solar irradiance is a primary input to the snowpack energy balance. An important, unanswered question is whether the mountain clouds over the Sierra Nevada are only one part of a larger-scale system or whether they vary distinctly from cloud patterns upstream over the Central Valley and coastal areas. To address this question we investigate cloud variability over California using 19 years (1996-2014) of GOES visible albedo product with 4-km spatial and 30-minute temporal resolutions. Two domains are considered: high elevations in which only higher (>800m) elevations are included, thus excluding the coast and valley clouds, and all elevations which includes all elevations from the offshore North Pacific to Nevada. Our focus is on the spring and early summer period, which is crucial because it includes much of the snowmelt runoff from the Sierra Nevada. Inter-annual variation of cloudiness, represented by the coefficient of variation of cloud albedo, reveals the highest relative variability from California coasts and lowlands in the winter and spring to highlands and mountains in the summer and autumn. This pattern also occurs across shorter to longer time-scales, with coefficient of variation ranging from 30-180% on daily scale to 5-40% on seasonal scale. Considering the spatial structure of anomalous cloudiness, rotated EOF (REOF) analyses of de-seasonalized daily cloud albedo in the high elevation domain yields patterns and temporal variations that are well correlated with those from the all elevation domain. This indicates that, to a large degree, the mountain clouds co-vary with those over the Central Valley and the California coast, even though the valley and coastal clouds include low stratus clouds. The monthly standard deviations of the amplitudes of the time

  1. 77 FR 45 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 90-Day Finding on a Petition To List Sierra Nevada...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-01-03

    ... facilitate invasion by coyotes and nonnative red fox, resulting in increased competition, predation, and... dogs, and increased coyote predation due to recreation activities, logging, and fire suppression... domestic dogs may be a threat to Sierra Nevada red fox. Coyote Predation--Information Provided in...

  2. 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...

  3. 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...

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Understanding complex teleseismic wave propagation in the Sierra Nevada through vertical-component P-wave receiver functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bernardino, M. J.; Jones, C. H.

    2013-12-01

    Past seismic studies attempting to image the lithosphere underneath the Sierra Nevada and to constrain the geometry of the upper mantle Isabella anomaly, a high wave-speed body underneath the western foothills of the range, have observed complex behavior in teleseismic and regional waveforms recorded at stations within the range. Notably, a 1993 teleseismic mini-array recorded multipath P-wave arrivals, topographic reflections, and scattered energy ~25 km west of the Sierran crest. These effects suggest wave propagation through strongly heterogeneous lithosphere complicated by near-surface phenomena. Multipathing and other complex wave propagation are indicative of strong variations in wavespeed, which in turn reflect structural complexity important in understanding the genesis of the Isabella anomaly. However, determining the extent of such propagative behavior in and underneath the Sierra Nevada has not been studied. We investigate the behavior of teleseismic P-waves using vertical-component receiver functions in an effort to better understand the extent of complex waveforms as a first tool in better constraining the geographic region(s) where sufficiently complex lithospheric structure exists. We expect that the presence of sufficiently high velocity gradients should result in P-wave multipath arrivals from events that skirt the perimeter of the Isabella anomaly from certain backazimuths. We deconvolve regionally beamed vertical P-waveforms from individual vertical component P-waves. This effectively recovers variability in the P waveforms that is normally lost in typical single-station radial- and transverse-component receiver function analyses. Vertical P-wave beams are constructed using dbxcor, a waveform correlation algorithm developed by G. Pavlis. Seismic data for the northern and central Sierra Nevada are from the 2005-2007 Sierra Nevada Earthscope Project (SNEP) and further supplemented by many permanent and temporary stations including the Earthscope

  8. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flohr, Marta J. K.; Huebner, J. Stephen

    1992-12-01

    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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Interpretation of the Isabella High Wave-Speed Anomaly as the Partially Delaminated High-Density Root of the Southern Sierra Nevada Batholith, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saleeby, J.; Le Pourhiet, L.

    2012-12-01

    High resolution tomography of the Sierra Nevada Earthscope Project (Reeg, 2008 & Jones et al., 2012) shows that the core area of the Isabella anomaly (Vp+4-6%) resembles a prolate antiformal slab that plunges steeply SE into the upper mantle to ~200 km depth, extending down from a zone of lower crustal attachment that runs along the southwestern Sierra Nevada and adjacent eastern San Joaquin basin. Receiver function, refraction and tomography also show that areas to the east and south of lower crustal attachment consist of ascended asthenosphere lying directly beneath tectonized Moho. The lower-velocity envelope of the anomaly (Vp+1-4%) extends to 250-300 km depths and covers cross-sectional areas locally in excess of 2x of the higher Vp core. We have leveraged lithospheric structure and geologic history against thermal-mechanical modeling in pursuit of an integrated story for the physical and geologic processes that are governing the development of the anomaly. Initial structure is constrained by mantle xenoliths, differentially exhumed lower crustal exposures, and deep cores in the basin. The initial state further recognizes that: 1. the sub-Sierra Nevada batholith mantle lithosphere, including a substantial thickness (35-40 km) of eclogitic (arclogite) cumulates that were produced during high magma flux arc activity, was cooled to a conductive geotherm by flat slab subduction at the end of the Cretaceous; and 2. the gravitationally metastable mantle lithosphere was thermally mobilized from beneath in the Neogene by the opening of a slab window, which also imposed a state of modest regional extension. We have resolved a class of models that successfully predicts the structure of the anomaly, the timing and kinematics of related lithospheric separation and focused extensional tectonism, the timing and source characteristics of related volcanism, and the spatial/temporal patterns of observed subsidence and uplift transients. A general aspect of most of our model

  13. Idealized WRF Simulations of Flow around the Sierra Nevada and Implications for Paleoaltimetry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wheeler, L.; Galewsky, J.

    2014-12-01

    Isotope-based evidence for the timing of the uplift of the Sierra Nevadas comes to conflicting conclusions with those from other lines of geologic evidence. The geologic evidence suggests that the Sierras uplifted >1 km 8 to 3.5 Ma, whereas isotope-based evidence suggests that there has been no significant uplift in the last 16 Ma. Recent studies have demonstrated that air trajectories in the Sierras are not consistent with the underlying two-dimensional assumptions used in the isotope-based approach and therefore the technique may not be applicable to the region. We suggest that due to the three-dimensionality of the Sierras, determining paleoaltimetery from lee-side isotope-based proxy records may not be applicable and that the complexity of the terrain accounts for the discrepancies between the geologic and isotope proxy records. Using idealized three-dimensional WRF v3.5.1 simulations of smoothed complex terrain we constrain and quantify the sensitivity of air masses to low-level flow deflection around a ridge with laterally varying elevation. The simulations are run in a domain of 560 points in the x direction and 250 points in the y direction with 4 km grid spacing and 121 unevenly spaced vertical points in a 30-km-high domain with open lateral boundaries with constant horizontal and vertical diffusion. Rayleigh damping is applied to the upper 15 km of the domain. The topography consists of a single idealized Sierran-type ridge with laterally varying elevation that encompasses both high and low values for the nondimensional number Nh/U, where N is the buoyancy frequency, h is the mountain height, and U is the horizontal wind speed. Our results indicate that flow is not two-dimensional as is assumed in interpretations of isotope-based proxies. Instead streamlines and trajectory paths are deflected around the highest topography and over the lower parts of the range. Although lee-side isotope-based paleoaltimetry sites may not be applicable to the Sierras, the

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  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. 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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Savage, J. C.; Simpson, R. W.

    2013-09-01

    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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Sources and evolution of cloud-active aerosol in California's Sierra Nevada Mountains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roberts, G. C.; Corrigan, C.; Noblitt, S.; Creamean, J.; Collins, D. B.; Cahill, J. F.; Prather, K. A.; Collett, J. L.; Henry, C.

    2011-12-01

    To assess the sources of cloud-active aerosol and their influence on the hydrological cycle in California, the CalWater Experiment took place in winter 2011 in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. During this experiment, we coupled the capabilities of demonstrated miniaturized instrumentation - cloud condensation nuclei (CCN), water condensation nuclei (WCN) and microchip capillary electrophoresis (MCE) - to provide direct chemical measurements of cloud active aerosols. Ion concentrations of CCN droplets attribute the anthropogenic, marine and secondary organic contributions to cloud-active aerosols. Detailed spectra from an Aerosol-Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometer provide additional information on the sources of aerosol. Storm fronts and changes in atmospheric boundary layer brought aerosol and anions associated with Central Valley pollution to the field site with CCN concentrations reaching several thousand cm-3. Hygroscopicity parameters indicate aging of the organic fraction during aerosol transport from the Central Valley to the mountains. Otherwise, CCN concentrations were low when high pressure systems prevented boundary layer development and intrusion of the Central Valley pollution to the site. MCE results show that nitrates and sulfates comprise most of the fraction of the aerosol anion mass (PM1). During the passage of storm fronts, which transported pollution from the Central Valley upslope, nitrate concentrations peaked at several μ g m-3. Low supersaturation CCN concentrations coincide with increases in aerosol nitrate, which suggests that nitrate has a role in cloud formation of giant CCN and, furthermore, in precipitation processes in the Sierra Nevada. CCN spectra show large variations depending on the aerosol sources and sometimes exhibit bi-modal distributions with minima at 0.3% Sc -- similar to the so-called 'Hoppel minima' associated to number size distributions. During these bi-modal events, sulfate also increases supporting the

  8. 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

  9. Forest management effects on snow, runoff and evapotranspiration in Sierra Nevada mixed-conifer headwater catchments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ray, R. L.; Saksa, P. C.; Bales, R. C.; Conklin, M. H.

    2012-12-01

    We used intensive field measurements and data-intensive hydro-ecological modeling to investigate the impact of forest vegetation management on the sensitivity of snow accumulation, evapotranspiration and discharge at seven headwater catchments in the Sierra Nevada. Catchments are located in dense mixed-conifer forest, at elevations of 1500 - 2100 m, and receive a mix of rain and snow precipitation. Management scenarios for reducing forest density by uniform thinning and forest clearings were implemented in the Regional Hydro-ecological Simulation System (RHESSys). Results obtained using inherent model equations to separate total precipitation into snow and rain underestimated snow water content in some of the catchments, requiring manual input of snow and rain for accurate simulations. Modeling precipitation phase accurately was critical for the current forest condition, as the change in vegetation has differing effects on rain, snow and snowmelt. Results using RHESSys show that light, uniform thinning alone (<20% canopy) may not be enough to change water yield significantly, but this threshold of canopy reduction is lowered by creating gaps in the forest alone or in combination with uniform thinning, and has potential to measurably increase water yield beyond background variation. Clarifying these specific impacts of forest vegetation on snow processes and water yield is essential for simulating forest management in the Sierra Nevada and it shows the forest structure has significant influence on the catchment water balance. However, modifying forest canopy density and canopy cover to calculate average levels of snow water equivalent at a basin-scale may not be detailed enough to incorporate all the complex forest structure effects on snow processes in mountain watersheds.

  10. Thermal and Hydrologic Attributes of Rock Glaciers and Periglacial Talus Landforms; Sierra Nevada, California, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

    To explore thermal regimes and hydrologic capacity of rock glaciers and related periglacial talus landforms, we deployed mini-thermochrons in and around potentially ice-embedded features of the Sierra Nevada. Results from studies at 13 rock glaciers and 8 taluses indicate that outlet springs from these landforms generally do not desiccate but persist year-round as ice (frozen) in winter and flowing water in the warm season. Temperatures of water (liquid and ice) in rock-glacier outlet springs had an annual mean of -0.2°C and mean of 0.6°C during the warm season with very low diurnal fluctuation. These and other attributes suggest the existence of internal ice and/or permafrost supplying the springs. Air temperatures of rock-glacier matrices (1 m below the surface) versus surface air corroborate the periglacial nature of internal environments: annual air temperatures of matrices were below freezing (mean, -0.8°C). Compared to surface air, especially during the warm season, matrix air temperatures were significantly colder and fluctuated less. Talus landforms followed a similar pattern, although water- and matrix air temperatures were warmer, and contrasts with surface air were not as strong as for rock glaciers. For rock glaciers and talus slopes, matrix air temperatures showed resistance (buffering) to changes in external air temperatures. Unique geomorphic conditions of rock glaciers and periglacial taluses in the Sierra Nevada appear to maintain cool-buffered thermal regimes at least partly decoupled from external air. Springs support persistent wetlands and lakes at their snouts, retaining water in otherwise semi-arid high cirques, and contribute as hydrologic reserves and critical habitat for alpine biota. Daily and seasonal lags and buffering effects suggest that ice within these landforms might resist surface warming on the longer term, which could make these landforms increasingly important as regional climates change.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Structural development of Saddlebag Lake pendant, eastern Sierra Nevada, California: Implications for crustal evolution

    SciTech Connect

    Schweickert, R.A.; Lahren, M.M. . Dept. of Geological Sciences)

    1993-04-01

    Saddlebag Lake pendant provides an important window into the structural development of wallrocks of the Sierra Nevada batholith, and provides constraints on a number of regional tectonic events. Sixteen mappable stratigraphic units crop out within ten major thrust sheets. Stratigraphic cutoffs and estimated 35-degree average ramp angles yield minimum total thrust displacements of 25 km. Adding displacements required by flats, thickness variations among stratigraphic units, internal folds, and internal strains within thrust sheets yields an estimate of 50--60 km of shortening. Although only estimates, these figures indicate that a significant zone of Triassic and Jurassic( ) contractional deformation exists within the pendant, offering little support for extensional tectonic scenarios for Sierran wallrocks that have been proposed. In addition, map and structural relations preclude the existence of intrabatholithic breaks with proposed dextral displacements of up to 210 km, along the eastern edge of the pendant. The authors conclude that this part of the eastern Sierra experienced only the following tectonic events: (1) Antler deformation; (2) Permo-Triassic( ) Golconda thrusting; (3) large-magnitude Late Triassic thrusting during arc volcanism and plutonism; (4) Late Jurassic or Early Cretaceous east-vergent thrusting, folding, and cleavage development. Evidence also exists along the western edge of the pendant for pre-90 Ma dextral shear following the above events. They infer that the latter event may signal development of the Mojave-Snow Lake fault west of Saddlebag Lake pendant.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Late Miocene to Quaternary Transition in Magmatism and Tectonics, Sierra Nevada - Basin and Range Boundary, Northern California-Western Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prytulak, J.; Cousens, B. L.; Henry, C. D.

    2001-12-01

    During the late Miocene and early Pliocene, the Ancestral Cascades Arc (ARC) in northern CA and western NV shut off as the Mendocino triple junction migrated northward. At the same time, Basin and Range extension migrated westward into the Sierra Nevada block, with major episodes at 12 and 3 Ma. These tectonic events are reflected in a complex transition in magmatic composition and style. We are using geochemical, isotopic, and 40Ar/39Ar data to evaluate magma petrogenesis, the timing of volcanism, and the relationship between volcanism and tectonism in this poorly understood region of Mio-Pliocene arc volcanism. The ARC erupted highly porphyritic, pyroxene- or hornblende-plagioclase andesites to dacites, termed the Kate Peak Formation, from numerous stratovolcano complexes over basement rocks of the Sierra Nevada Batholith. Our new and published dating indicate activity from \\sim16 to 4 Ma. Immediately west of Reno, sequences dominated by poorly-phyric, olivine- and pyroxene-basaltic andesite, commonly termed Lousetown Formation, began to erupt as early as 10 Ma and continued to \\sim1 Ma. Early episodes, at 10.3 and 4 Ma, were contemporaneous with continued arc magmatism. Further, post-arc mafic volcanism continued in the area north of Lake Tahoe between 2.9 and 1.2 Ma. Although the change from hydrous intermediate rocks to \\sim anhydrous mafic rocks suggests a fundamental change in magmatic sources and tectonic setting, the mafic rocks have normalized incompatible element patterns and radiogenic isotope compositions that include a strong subduction component that is virtually indistinguishable from that in ARC intermediate lavas. Thus mafic and intermediate magmas, including post-arc magmas, share a common, fluid-modified, mantle wedge source. Additionally, the timing of mafic magmatism coincides only imprecisely with extension. No mafic magmas erupted before the beginning of extension at any location, but the earliest activity followed extension by \\sim2Ma

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Stability and change in minerotrophic peatlands, Sierra Nevada of California and Nevada. Forest Service research paper (Final)

    SciTech Connect

    Bartolome, J.W.; Erman, D.C.; Schwarz, C.F.

    1990-02-01

    Minerotrophic peatlands or fens in California's Sierra Nevada are small wet meadows surrounded by mixed conifer forest. The dynamics of vegetation change at the meadow edge and the ages and development of fens were investigated, in the Sagehen Creek Basin near Truckee, California, through the use of radiocarbon dating of peat, pollen studies, examination of processes of peat development and accumulation, stand age analysis of trees around peatlands, and evaluation of tree-ring variation. These approaches were used to evaluate both short- and long-term changes. Fens varied in age from more than 8000 years to less than 1000 years old. Results suggest that overall fen development proceeds rapidly, with peat buildup dependent upon adequate moisture supply. During fen development trees repeatedly invade and retreat from the fen edges. The timing of invasions appear unrelated to events such as human disturbance and climatic change. Instead, changes are most likely to result from alterations in groundwater supply in interaction with tree establishment, longevity, and water uptake. Little evidence was found that accepted successional models which emphasize predictable and gradual vegetational development apply to fens in the Sagehen Basin.

  2. 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.

  3. Cosmogenic noble gas paleothermometry provides new constraints on LGM temperature estimates inferred from glacier extents in the Sierra Nevada, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tremblay, M. M.; Baden, C. W.; Balco, G.; Shuster, D. L.

    2014-12-01

    Numerical models successfully simulate LGM glacier extents in the Sierra Nevada, California, over a large range of precipitation and temperature combinations (Kessler et al. 2006, J. Geophys. Res., 111, F02002, doi:10.1029/2005JF000365). We use cosmogenic noble gas paleothermometry on samples from summit flats in the Sierra Nevada to estimate temperatures during the last glacial period in this region and further constrain the climatological predictions of these models. Cosmogenic noble gas paleothermometry utilizes the open-system behavior of cosmogenic noble gases at surface temperatures in common minerals like quartz to quantify the thermal histories of rocks during exposure to cosmic ray particles at the Earth's surface. We sampled boulders and bedrock tors atop summit flats inferred to be exposed throughout the last glacial period and measured cosmogenic 3He and 21Ne concentrations in quartz from these samples. We use cosmogenic 21Ne, which is quantitatively retained at Earth surface temperatures in quartz, to constrain exposure durations and erosion rates, and cosmogenic 3He, which exhibits open-system behavior in quartz, to quantify time-integrated temperatures during surface exposure. Data from samples collected at the summit of Mt. Langley in the southern Sierra Nevada indicate that 30-45% of the cosmogenic 3He produced in quartz has been retained at surface exposure temperatures; the rest has been diffusively lost. Preliminary models using these data and published diffusion kinetics indicate that the difference between modern and LGM summit temperatures may be significantly greater than the 5.6°C difference predicted by Kessler et al. (2006). We would expect significantly less 3He to be retained if average temperatures were 5.6°C lower at the LGM. Additional cosmogenic noble gas measurements on samples from this site and other sites in the Sierra Nevada and White Mountains as well as sample-specific diffusion kinetics will enable us to quantify this

  4. 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

  5. Miocene through Holocene Arc and Post-arc Volcanism in the Northern Sierra Nevada and Western Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cousens, B.; Henry, C. D.; Timmermans, A.; Sylvester, A.; Wise, W.; Prytulak, J.; Stoffers, A. J.; Gupta, V.

    2009-12-01

    Following the cessation of Mesozoic arc activity in the Sierra Nevada of California, the eastward “leap” of magmatism to the continental interior, and the Tertiary sweep of volcanic activity across the Great Basin, arc volcanism was re-established in the Sierra Nevada of eastern California/western Nevada during early Miocene time. Ranging from 20 to 3 Ma in age, highly eroded remnants of arc volcanic edifices consist of mono- to heterolithic volcaniclastic rocks and lava flows, as well as less common isolated mafic vents. The rocks are dominantly porphyritic andesite and basaltic andesite, non-porphyritic basalt, and less common dacite and rhyolite. In the Lake Tahoe-Reno region, arc lavas are enriched in the LIL and LREE, especially Ba, and have high 87Sr/86Sr and low 143Nd/144Nd compared to modern south Cascade lavas, consistent with an old, metasomatized mantle source. Around 3 Ma, the southern edge of the Juan de Fuca plate passed north through the Tahoe-Reno region, exposing the region to a slab window. Volcanism in the Lake Tahoe-Truckee area continued between 2.6 and 1.2 Ma, but with a different style and somewhat different chemistry. Small-volume mafic flows were emplaced on the northwest shore of Lake Tahoe, along the Truckee River north to Donner Pass and then east to the northern Carson Range. The lavas are primarily non-porphyritic alkalic basalt, basaltic trachyandesite and trachyandesite, with a single complex of subalkaline andesite to dacite, and generally have higher REE concentrations but smaller negative Nb anomalies than the earlier arc lavas. Isotopically, these post-arc lavas have a more restricted range of Sr and Nd ratios that fall within the range of the earlier arc lavas. Thus, post-arc lavas present no evidence of having tapped a dramatically different mantle source. Lastly, several latest Pliocene to Holocene volcanic centers lie in a northeast-trending corridor from Carson City to Battle Mountain, NV, including the Steamboat Hills

  6. 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. PMID:20854412

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. "High-grade burial metamorphism of sedimentary mélange, Shoo Fly Complex, central Sierra Nevada, California"

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mendoza, Y.; Wakabayashi, J.

    2013-12-01

    The Shoo Fly Complex, California is a subduction complex metamorphosed at lower greenschist facies in much of the northern Sierra Nevada. Central Sierra Nevada exposures include higher grade assemblages. Previous studies have interpreted the higher grade rocks as gneissic granitoids representing the roots of a Paleozoic arc. Recent field work in the North Fork Mokelumne River drainage, shows that high-grade and low-grade metamorphic rocks were derived from similar subduction complex protoliths. The Shoo Fly in this region consists of mostly phyllite (metasiltstone, metasandstone, metachert), with some metabasite, and metaultramafic blocks. There is a metamorphic gradient from west to east in the field area, transitioning from sub to lower greenschist facies (white mica only) to middle and upper green schist facies (biotite) within the phyllites to amphibolite/upper amphibolite/granulite grade mica schists, gneisses, and amphibolites This gradient occurs across a zone about 1.5 km wide and this gradient is about 5 km west of the contact between the Shoo Fly Complex and plutons of the Sierra Nevada batholith. The higher-grade rocks do not have an apparent west-east metamorphic gradient. Accordingly the high-grade metamorphism does not appear to be a consequence of either contact metamorphism or raised regional geothermal gradients connected with the batholith. This conclusion is consistent with the fact that published metamorphic ages from probable correlative rocks within the central Sierra are much older than the Sierra Nevada batholith. Protoliths for the higher grade rocks appear identical to the lower grade rocks, for metaclastic rocks dominate with subordinate metacherts, metabasites, and metaultramafic rocks. The latter are represented by tremolite-talc schists. In the lower grade rocks some of the metabasite and metaultramafic blocks exhibit a higher grade of metamorphism than the surrounding metaclastic rocks and metacherts. Amphibolite and tremolite schist

  11. Snowpack response to warmer temperatures: a southern Sierra Nevada case study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Musselman, K. N.; Molotch, N. P.; Margulis, S. A.

    2015-12-01

    The State of California is reliant upon spring meltwater runoff from accumulated winter snowfall in the Sierra Nevada to meet agricultural and municipal demands. The response of snow water resources to anticipated warmer climate conditions, and particularly how changes may be manifested in time (e.g., spring vs. winter; wet vs. dry years) and across an elevation profile is examined. We present model simulations of snowpack response to warmer climate over a 3600 m elevation gradient in the southern Sierra Nevada. The Alpine3D snow model was used to simulate the snow mass and energy balance for three reference years: a moderately dry snow season, near-average and moderately wet snow season. Compared to measurements, the uncalibrated model well represented the date of snow disappearance, depth and SWE. A pseudo-climate-warming experiment was conducted by modifying the measured air temperature by +1°C to +6°C along with the corresponding increase in downwelling longwave radiation. In general, the drier snow season and the forested elevations exhibited the most sensitivity to warmer temperatures. At middle elevations (2000 m to 2700 m), 70-80% of the present-day snowpack volume was lost in a +2°C scenario and nearly 90% in a +4°C scenario. At lower to middle elevations, >50% of the predicted change in SWE was caused by a conversion of precipitation from snow to rain while at higher elevations, a majority of the SWE change was caused by enhanced melt. It is found that warmer temperature scenarios caused seasonal average melt rate reductions of ~1 mm day-1 °C-1. The simulated melt rate reduction is explained by a shift in the seasonality of snowmelt occurrence; more frequent and earlier melt occurred under lower net available energy conditions compared to the present-day snowmelt regime, which is characterized by high melt production in the relatively warm and typically cloud-free spring and early summer. The results raise questions about future rates of meltwater

  12. Implications of old, glaciated surfaces at high elevations in the Sierra Nevada, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brocklehurst, S. H.; Granger, D. E.; Whipple, K. X.

    2002-12-01

    Among the numerous arêtes and sharp peaks at the crest of the Sierra Nevada, California, are a number of remarkably low relief, diamict-covered surfaces. We propose that these widespread, enigmatic, old surfaces represent former glacial valley floors. The head of Sardine Canyon is a beheaded cirque. Thick piles of diamict and gruss attest to the absence of any recent glaciation. At the point where the valley floor is truncated by the cliffs leading down into the Golden Trout Lake basin, we found boulders of a distinct biotite leucogranite not found elsewhere within the Sardine Canyon basin. Furthermore, glacial polish on the undersides of these boulders indicates that they were transported into place by a glacier. Cosmogenic exposure age dating on a large, flat boulder just downvalley of these erratics suggests that there has not been a cirque glacier in the basin in the last ~190 ka. This exposure age represents a minimum time since glaciation in the basin due to an unknown amount of erosion of the rock surface. The cirque on the western side of Baxter Pass is in the process of being beheaded. The deposit here is much coarser than that in Sardine Canyon, and exposure dates in the range ~20-50 ka confirm that this surface is younger. At the other extreme in terms of age, the isolated, small patch of diamict on the northeastern ridge of University Peak is surrounded on all sides by steep cliffs, and presumably represents a much more advanced stage in the evolution of these surfaces than Sardine Canyon. Given the variety of ages for these surfaces, and modelling studies that have shown that glacial headwall erosion is an important process, we infer that the glacial drainages of the eastern Sierra Nevada are subject to a cycle of drainage capture and relief inversion events, similar to the evolution of fluvial drainage networks. These processes produce diamict-covered surfaces at various stages of evolution from clearly U-shaped forms to stranded, flatter surfaces at

  13. Snowmelt sensitivity to warmer temperatures: a field-validated model analysis, southern Sierra Nevada, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Musselman, K. N.; Molotch, N. P.; Margulis, S. A.

    2014-12-01

    We present model simulations of climate change impacts on snowmelt processes over a 1600 km2 area in the southern Sierra Nevada, including western Sequoia National Park. The domain spans a 3600 m elevation gradient and ecosystems ranging from semi-arid grasslands to giant sequoia groves to alpine tundra. Three reference years were evaluated: a moderately dry snow season (23% below average SWE), an average snow season (7% above average SWE), and a moderately wet snow season (54% above average SWE). The Alpine3D model was run for the reference years and results were evaluated against data from a multi-scale measurement campaign that included repeated manual snow courses and basin-scale snow surveys, dozens of automated snow depth sensors, and automated SWE stations. Compared to automated measurements, the model represented the date of snow disappearance within two days. Compared to manual measurements, model SWE RMSE values for the average and wet snow seasons were highly correlated (R2=0.89 and R2=0.73) with the distance of SWE measurements from the nearest precipitation gauge used to force the model; no significant correlation was found with elevation. The results suggest that Alpine3D is highly accurate during the melt season and that precipitation uncertainty may critically limit snow model accuracy. The air temperature measured at 19 regional stations for the three reference years was modified by +1°C to +6°C to simulate the impact of warmer temperatures on snowmelt dynamics over the 3600 m elevation gradient. For all years, progressively warmer temperatures caused the seasonal SWE centroid to shift earlier and higher in elevation. At forested middle elevations, 70 - 80% of the present-day snowpack volume is lost in a +2°C scenario; 30 - 40% of that change is a result of precipitation phase shift and the remainder is due to enhanced melt. At all elevations, spring and fall snowpack was most sensitive to warmer temperatures; mid-winter sensitivity was least

  14. 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

  15. Spatial interpolation of precipitation indexes in Sierra Nevada (Spain): comparing the performance of some interpolation methods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pereira, Paulo; Oliva, Marc; Misiune, Ieva

    2015-08-01

    The objective of this paper is to examine the spatial distribution of several precipitation indexes in Sierra Nevada, Spain: mean annual number of wet days (R ≥ 1 mm), mean annual number of heavy rainy days (R ≥ 10 mm) and mean annual number of very heavy precipitation days (R ≥ 20 mm) and test the performance of several interpolation methods using these variables. In total, 17 univariate and multivariate methods were tested. A set of 36 metereological stations distributed in Sierra Nevada and neighbouring areas was analysed in this study. The original data did not followed the normal distribution; thus, a logarithm was applied to data meet normality purposes. Interpolator's performance was assessed using the root mean square error generated from cross-validation. The results showed that the mean annual R ≥ 10 mm and R ≥ 20 mm have a higher variability than R ≥ 1 mm. While the elevation and longitude did not show a significant correlation with the studied indexes, the latitude (i.e. distance to the sea) showed a significant negative correlation. The regressions carried out confirmed that elevation was the covariate with higher capacity to explain the variability of the indexes. The incorporation of elevation and longitude slightly increased the explanation capacity of the models. The data of LogR ≥ 1 mm, LogR ≥ 10 mm and LogR ≥ 20 mm displayed a clustered pattern, especially the last two indexes that also showed a strong spatial dependency attributed to the effects of local topography, slope, aspect and valley orientation. The best fitted variogram model to LogR ≥ 1 mm was the linear one while for the LogR ≥ 10 mm and LogR ≥ 20 mm, the Gaussian was the most appropriate. The best interpolator for LogR ≥ 1 mm was the local polinomyal with the power of 1, whereas for LogR ≥ 10 mm and LogR ≥ 20 mm, regression kriging (ROK) using as auxiliary variables the elevation, latitude and longitude was the most accurate. ROK methods significantly

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Hornblende-rich, high grade metamorphic terranes in the southernmost Sierra Nevada, California, and implications for crustal depths and batholith roots

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ross, Donald Clarence

    1983-01-01

    The southernmost Sierra Nevaaa widely exposes hornblende-rich, gneissic to granoblastic, amphibolite- to granulite-grade, metamorphic rocks and associated magmatic rocks, all of mid-Cretaceous age. Locally, red garnet, in part in euhedral crystals as large as 10 cm, as well as strongly pleochroic hyperstnene, characterize these rocks. These hornblende-rich rocks dominate the north slopes of the southern tail of the Sierra Nevada, but are also present as inclusion masses of various sizes in the dominantly granitic terrane to She northeast. The mafic, hornblende-rich rocks reflect a deeper crustal level than the dominantly granitic terrane to the northeast based on: 1) 'index' minerals (presence of hypersthene, coarse garnet, and brown hornblende; 2) textures (considerable ambivalence of whether individual samples are metamorphic or magmatic, 3) metamorphic grade (at least local granulite facies); and 4) the presence of migmatite, and the eviaence of local melting and mobilization. These rocks may be exposures of the upper part of the root zone and metamorphic substrate of the Sierra Nevada batholith. Xenoliths of gneiss, amphibolite, and granulite from sub-batholithic levels, that have been transported upward and preserved in volcanic rocks in the central Sierra Nevada, are similar to some exposed rocks of the southernmost Sierra Nevada. Hypersthene-bearing granulite and tonalite, as well as distinctive granofels of mid-Cretaceous age, are exposed in the western part of the Santa Lucia Range (some 300 km to the northwest across the San Andreas fault). These rocks have much in common with some of the metamorphic and magmatic rocks in the southernmost Sierra Nevada, suggesting that the two areas record similar metamorphic conditions and crustal depth. Mid-Cretaceous hypersthene granulite is rare, which makes correlation of the Santa Lucia Range and the southernmost Sierra Nevada seem attractive. Nevertheless, possibly significant petrographic anm rock distribution

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Remote sensing aided procedure for conifer growth modeling in the northeastern Sierra Nevada

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, H. G.; Khorram, S.

    1981-01-01

    The objective of this study was to use remotely-sensed data with ground-acquired data for preparing inputs to a mathematical model for generation of a potential conifer growth map of a wildland area. The study area, jointly selected by the resource managers of the U.S. Forest Service at the Plumas National Forest and researchers, covers approximately 500 sq km in the northeastern scrapment of Sierra Nevada. The approach involved a computerized databank based on both remotely-sensed and ground-acquired data. The remotely-sensed data included Landsat Multispectral Scanner (MSS) data, NOAA-5 Very High Resolution Radiometer (VHRR) data and U-2 Color infrared photography. The ground data included U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) topographic maps, Defense Mapping Agency (DMA)/USGS digital terrain data, soil maps, and vegetation data. The results included a series of maps for the final product as well as the intermediate products. The intermediate products were potential evapotranspiration, aspect, and soil plant available water.

  3. 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

  4. Towards Understanding Hydrologic Outflows from a Snow-Dominated Watershed in the Eastern Sierra Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hobson, A. N.; McConnell, J. R.; Boyle, D. P.; Gorham, T. A.

    2002-12-01

    Quantifying the outflows of a snow-dominated watershed is necessary to understand the water balance above the mountain front. Outflows from a snow-dominated watershed are: 1) stream discharge, 2) soil infiltration and subsequently groundwater, and 3) evapotranspiration. Stream gages provide estimates of stream discharge and discharge is used as a calibration parameter in hydrologic models. However, losses through infiltration and evapotranspiration are more difficult to quantify and are subsequently parameterized in models using general algorithms that are difficult to apply in complex terrain. In order to achieve water balance, total precipitation is often adjusted to compensate for the inaccuracies in evapotranspiration and infiltration. Utilizing the Precipitation Runoff Modeling System (PRMS) within the USGS Modular Modeling System (MMS) in the Sagehen Creek watershed in the eastern Sierra Nevada, stream discharge, soil moisture, and evapotranspiration are simulated for 35 hydrologic response units (HRU). Field measurements of soil moisture and evapotranspiration at selected locations throughout the basin are used to evaluate current model simulations and possible changes to model algorithms.

  5. Retention and radiative forcing of black carbon in Eastern Sierra Nevada snow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sterle, K. M.; McConnell, J. R.; Dozier, J.; Edwards, R.; Flanner, M. G.

    2012-06-01

    Snow and glacier melt water contribute water resources to a fifth of Earth's population. Snow melt processes are sensitive not only to temperature changes, but also changes in albedo caused by deposition of particles such as refractory black carbon (rBC) and continental dust. The concentrations, sources, and fate of rBC particles in seasonal snow and its surface layers are uncertain, and thus an understanding of rBC's effect on snow albedo, melt processes, and radiation balance is critical for water management in a changing climate. Measurements of rBC in a sequence of snow pits and surface snow samples in the Eastern Sierra Nevada of California during the snow accumulation and melt seasons of 2009 show that concentrations of rBC were enhanced seven fold in surface snow (~25 ng g-1) compared to bulk values in the snow pack (~3 ng g-1). Unlike major ions which are preferentially released during initial melt, rBC and continental dust are retained in the snow, enhancing concentrations late into spring, until a final flush well into the melt period. We estimate a combined rBC and continental dust surface radiative forcing of 20 to 40 W m-2 during April and May, with dust likely contributing a greater share of the forcing than rBC.

  6. Climate controls on anomalously high productivity in the mixed conifer forests of the Sierra Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-12-01

    The Mediterranean climate of California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains supports a dense conifer forest that contains some of the largest trees in the world. Well-established ecological relationships, such as the Miami Model, predict relatively low NPPs for these forests (~250 g/m2/yr to 1300 g/m2/yr) due to winter cold limitation and summer drought. However, the observed rates of NPPs are quite high (up to 2000 g/m2/yr), raising the question of what environmental conditions and plant adaptations promote such a high NPP. We hypothesize that the trees in these forests are neither as cold-limited nor water-limited as surface weather station data suggest. Eddy covariance observations at the top of a 55 m tall micrometeorological tower located at 2050 m elevation indicate daytime CO2 uptake continues year round, and is not limited by winter cold or summer drought. Comparisons of temperature measurements on the tower with operational balloon soundings indicate that tree canopies are often in the free troposphere, which buffers the temperatures they experience and moderates winter cold limitation and summer evapotranspiration.

  7. Snow evolution in Sierra Nevada, Spain) from an energy balance model validated with Landsat TM data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herrero, Javier; Polo, María J.; Losada, Miguel A.

    2011-11-01

    Sierra Nevada Mountains are the highest continental altitude in Spain. Located in the South, facing the Mediterranean Sea in a distance of less than 40 km, the high level of solar energy income throughout the year, together with the extremely variable character of climate in such latitudes, make it necessary to use energy balance approaches to characterize the snow cover evolution. Wind and relative humidity become decisive factors in the evolution of the snow cover due to the high evaporation rates that can arise under favourable meteorological conditions. This work presents the enhanced capability of the combination of Landsat TM data with the simulation of an energy balance model to produce sequences of hourly high resolution maps of snow cover and depth distribution under variable meteorological conditions such as those found in Mediterranean mountainous watersheds. Despite the good agreement found between observed and predicted snow pixels, different examples of disagreement arose in the boundaries, most of them related to the temperature and wind speed spatial pattern simulation together with the discrimination between rain and snowfall occurrence.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Influence of climate change predictions on snow in Sierra Nevada Mountains (Spain)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    José Pérez-Palazón, María; Pimentel, Rafael; Herrero, Javier; María Perales, José; José Polo, María

    2015-04-01

    Snow is a basic component in Earth's surface energy balance. Its importance is greater in mountainous areas and therefore, its study is crucial to obtain conclusion about water resources over these areas. Moreover these regions are more vulnerable to climate variations. Sierra Nevada National Park (Southern Spain), with altitudes range from 2000 to 3500 m.a.s.l., is part of the global climate change observatories network and a clear example of snow regions in a semiarid environment. This work estimates the impact of climate change on snow dynamics and its influence on mountain hydrology in this area. Precipitation and temperature datasets from three different scenarios (A1B, A2, B1) proposed by the Fifth Assessment Report of IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) were used as forcing meteorological sequences to simulate selected snow variables (snow water equivalent, daily snow cover area, annual number of days with snow and annual snowmelt and evaporation volumes). The associated results were compared for each scenario, and the snow behavior and evolution over the 2046-2100 periods were assessed. The results point to a higher decrease on snow cover extension, than those estimated for other snow variables. As expected, this variation is greater from the worst of the scenarios analyzed (A2). Furthermore, the comparison of the driving meteorological datasets throughout the reference period (1960-2000) with the real observations has allowed the introduction of another term of uncertainty in the estimations, not considered in a simple scenario analysis.

  12. [Presence, abundance and reproductive strategies of ferns in disturbed areas of Sierra Nevada, México].

    PubMed

    Rodríguez Romero, Ma Lucía; Zavala Hurtado, José Alejandro; Pacheco, Leticia

    2011-03-01

    Diverse reproductive strategies shown by ferns and lycophytes allow them to colonize a variety of habitats, particularly after the incidence of natural or anthropogenic disturbances. This study assessed the presence, abundance and reproductive strategies of ferns growing in soils of temperate forests with different levels of disturbance at the Sierra Nevada mountain range in the State of Mexico. Vegetation, soil and environmental variables were recorded in 200 m2 permanent plots located in four forest stands. One-Way ANOVA and Canonical Correspondence Analysis resulted in the recognition of three landscape types defined by the degree of environmental alteration: low, moderate and severe. Also, from five soil samples collected in each stand, germination of ferns and lycophytes was induced. A positive relationship was found between the alteration degree and Cheilanthes abundance. Under a low landscape alteration regime, species richness is restricted to Cheilanthes bonariensis, C. marginata and Pellaea ternifolia subsp. ternifolia. The soil is a reservoir of spores of Cheilanthes and Pellaea ternifolia subsp. ternifolia because their spores can remain viable for different time intervals. Apogamy is the usual reproductive strategy of Cheilanthes species in disturbed ecosystems, although these species also show sexual reproduction in natural ecosystems with adequate water availability. Apogamy may be related to a shorter generation time in comparison with a low disturbed ecosystem. On the other hand, Pellaea ternifolia subsp. ternifolia only has sexual reproduction. Apogamy might be related to a faster generation in comparison with a low disturbed ecosystem. PMID:21516659

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. The Effect of Aerosol Deposition on Snow Albedo Reduction in the Sierra Nevada Mountains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, W.; Liou, K.

    2008-12-01

    We investigate snow cover and albedo changes in the Sierra Nevada regions due to deposition of black carbon and dust particles from East Asia. We note that coal combustion reaches maximum in the winter, while dust storms originate in the Gobi Desert occur most frequently in April. We selected snow and albedo data from MODIS/Terra to examine albedo reduction in March and April from 2000 to 2008. To eliminate the contamination of albedo by bare land, only the pixels with 100% snow cover in the entire period were used. Analysis using the 8-day average snow cover and 16-day average surface albedo reveals that there is a small increasing trend of albedo reduction. We also show that a large snow albedo reduction in 2001 is possibly due to the strong dust storm event that occurred in April, 2001. Finally, composite time series have been made using daily data to demonstrate decrease in snow albedo after each snowfall event. We illustrate that the rate of albedo reduction increases by 0.01/day per year from 2000 to 2008.

  16. 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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    The DC-8 in flight near Lone Pine, Calif. In the foreground are the Sierra Nevada Mountains, covered with winter snow. In the distance are the White Mountains. The DC-8's fuselage is painted white with a dark blue stripe down the side. The wings are silver, while the engine pods are white. In this view of the airplane's right-hand side, only a few of its antennas are visible. The experimental payload can be as great as 30,000 pounds of equipment for gathering data of various sorts. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Increases in Extreme Streamflow Events and Stream Temperature for the Sierra Nevada and Colorado River Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carrillo, C.; Stewart, I. T.; Ficklin, D. L.

    2014-12-01

    Some of the greatest impacts from global climatic changes on human life are expected from extreme hydrologic events, such as floods and droughts. Here we assess changes in the frequency of occurrence of extreme hydrologic conditions by the end of the century for the water-generating, mountainous basins of the Southwestern U.S., namely the Sierra Nevada and Upper Colorado River Basin. The extreme conditions considered are high flows, low flows, and elevated stream temperature as derived from historic and future simulations using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool hydrologic model and downscaled output from a GCM ensemble. Results indicate noteworthy differences in the frequency changes of extremes based on geographic region, season, elevation, and stream size. We found wide-spread increases in the occurrence of stream flows exceeding 150% of historic averages for winter by the end of the century, and extensive increases in the occurrence of both extreme low flows (representing <50% of historic averages), and elevated stream temperatures (> 3 °C of monthly averages) during the summer months, with some basins expecting extreme conditions 90-100% of the time by the end of the century. Understanding the differences in the changes of extreme conditions can assist in planning for climate change adaptation and mitigation.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Eocene Topography of the Northern Sierra Nevada: Direct Paleoelevation Evidence from Hydrogen Isotopes in Kaolinite of Paleostream Channels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mulch, A.; Graham, S. A.; Chamberlain, C. P.

    2005-12-01

    The links and feedbacks among topography, tectonics, and climate remain a poorly understood yet important problem in Earth Sciences. Large mountains and high-elevation plateaux exert a strong control on global climate and it is, therefore, critical to understand their topographic history. Despite its importance to global climate change relatively little is known of the Cenozoic topographic development of the western North America. For example, there is considerable debate as to when the Sierra Nevada developed as a mountain range, with one view that the bulk of elevation gain took place in the last 3-5 Ma and the other that it already existed as a major topographic feature throughout much of the Cenozoic. To address this debate we examined the hydrogen isotope composition of kaolinite from weathered Eocene fluvial sediments. These sediments, well known because of past gold mining, occur within Eocene river channels cut into the western flank of the northern Sierra Nevada and are found from paleo-sea level upstream into the modern range. Our results show that the deltaD of kaolinite along paleoslopes decreases systematically by up to 25 per mil within different paleodrainage systems from a high of -80 per mil in sediments deposited at the current base of the Sierra to -106 per mil about 60 km eastward on the flank of the Sierra Nevada. The observed isotopic difference between downstream and upstream samples suggests that the highest altitude samples, collected at ca. 1600 m current elevation, were deposited at Eocene elevations of 1100 m to 1300 m. Thus, Eocene topographic gradients may have been lower than todays, but still reflect mountainous topography, consistent with pebble- to cobble-sized clasts that dominate the Eocene fluvial deposits. Viewed in context of other isotopic and geomorphic studies, we therefore suggest that mountainous topography characterized the Eocene northern Sierra Nevada whose western flank was occupied by high discharge river systems

  3. The Impacts of California's San Francisco Bay Area Gap on Precipitation Observed in the Sierra Nevada during Hmt and Calwater

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    White, A. B.; Neiman, P. J.; Creamean, J.; Coleman, T.; Ralph, F. M.; Prather, K. A.

    2014-12-01

    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)'s Hydrometeorology Testbed (HMT; hmt.noaa.gov) conducts research on the meteorological and microphysical processes contributing to orographically enhanced precipitation. Some of HMT's precipitation research has been focused on a shallow rainfall process driven by collision-coalescence that often is undetected by the National Weather Service's operational scanning radar network, especially in the Western U.S., but that can produce rain rates that are capable of creating floods. Originally it was believed that this shallow rainfall process would occur more prevalently over the coastal mountain ranges than over the Sierra Nevada, since the higher mountains of the Sierra would force deeper atmospheric ascent and produce deeper precipitating cloud systems that extend well above the melting level. This notion was disproved when it was recently discovered that a site in the northern Sierra had nearly as large of a contribution to seasonal rainfall from this shallow rainfall process, on average, as did a habitually wet site in the coast range of Sonoma County north of San Francisco. This work examines this apparent paradox using observations collected during HMT and CalWater field campaigns. In particular, a case study from CalWater is used to highlight the interaction between a landfalling atmospheric river (AR) and the Sierra Barrier Jet (SBJ). The gap in coastal terrain associated with the San Francisco Bay area is shown to allow unprocessed, moisture-enhanced flow in the AR to reach the northern Sierra site, where the SBJ provides a lifting mechanism to create enhanced orographic precipitation as compared to a site in the southern Sierra, where AR-associated dynamics are weaker and AR flow is modified by upstream coastal terrain.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Physical and biogeochemical controls on polymictic behavior in Sierra Nevada stream pools

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lucas, R. G.; Conklin, M. H.; Tyler, S. W.; Suarez, F. I.; Moran, J. E.; Esser, B. K.

    2011-12-01

    We observed polymictic behavior in stream pools in a low gradient montane meadow in the southern Sierra Nevada mountains, California. Thermal stratification in stream pools has been observed in various environments; stratification generally persists where the buoyancy forces created by a variation in water density, as a function of water temperature, are able to overcome turbulent forces resulting from stream flow. Because the density gradient creates a relatively weak buoyancy force, low flow conditions are generally required in order to overcome the turbulent forces. In some studies, a cold water source in to the pool bottoms can help to increase the density gradient and perpetuate thermal stratification. Our study took place in Long Meadow, Sequoia National Park, California. Long Meadow lies in the Wolverton Creek watershed and is part of the Southern Sierra Critical Zone Observatory. The 1-4 m diameter and 1-2 m deep pools in our study stratified thermally during the day and mixed completely at night. The low gradient of the meadow provided low stream flows. Piezometers in the meadow indicated groundwater discharge into the meadow in the months during which stratification was observed. Radon 222 activity measured in the pools also indicated groundwater influx to the pool bottoms. We used Fluent, a computational fluid dynamics equation solver, to construct a model of one of the observed pools. Initially we attempted to model the physical mechanisms controlling thermal stratification in the pool including stream flow, groundwater discharge, solar radiation, wind speed, and air, stream and ground water temperatures. Ultimately we found the model best agreed with our observed pool temperatures when we considered the light attenuation coefficients as a function of the dissolve organic carbon (DOC) concentration. Elevated DOC concentrations are expected in low stream flow regimes associated with highly organic soils such as a montane meadow. DOC concentrations

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Research design for hydrologic response to watershed treatments in the mixed conifer zone of California's Sierra Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Battles, J.; Bales, R.; Conklin, M.; Saksa, P.; Martin, S.

    2008-12-01

    Water quantity response to forest management is of great interest in California's Sierra Nevada, owing to shifts in the rain-snow transition elevation associated with climate change, increasing value of hydropower from high-elevation dams, and the re-examination of adaptive management strategies for wildfire mitigation. In 2006 we initiated a multi-disciplinary research program to inform adaptive management for Forest Service lands in the Sierra Nevada. The forest treatment approach is based on disconnected, overlapping fuel treatment patches (forest thinning) to reduce the rate and intensity of fire. As little as 30% of the area in a given catchment will be treated. Controlling for confounding influences is particularly challenging when the experimental unit is a whole landscape and the inferential reference is an entire region. To isolate water and ecosystem impacts related to forest thinning, we are using a Before After Control Impact (BACI) design in conjunction with mechanistic modeling. BACI compensates for the sparse replication (2 sites) and the non- random assignment of the treatments by providing robust longitudinal controls. BACI design defines two treatments, a control and an impact. For modeling fire and wildlife response we chose subdivided the region into two 40-km2 sub-firesheds; within each is a 1-km2 hydrologic study catchment. The control site in this a measure of natural variation rather than a true control. Meta-replication using parallel studies in the Sierra Nevada with different approaches is also an important component and involves a creative combination of data from multiple sources. Rather than statistical comparisons or traditional hypothesis testing, we will measure the support in the data for our a priori expectations using mechanistic models. We are currently evaluating how to extend this research design to private forest lands with a wider range of management options.

  12. 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.

  13. Evidence for Discrete and Distributed Deformation Accommodated by Bookshelf Faulting From the Central Sierra Nevada, California.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clemons, K. M.; Bartley, J.

    2008-12-01

    Evidence for right-lateral strike-slip faulting along the eastern Sierran Nevada has been identified by a number of workers and these offsets at least partially occurred during late Cretaceous arc plutonism. This evidence includes large magnitude dextral offsets across subvertical ~ north striking faults of the Sr - 0.706 line, Paleozoic metasedimentary rocks, and the Independence dike swarm. A portion of this offset occurred across a 110 m thick cataclastic fault zone in the West Pinnacle Creek drainage in the east-central Sierra Nevada (approximately 3 km of dextral offset). The zone of discrete cataclastic faulting is bordered by a region of distributed deformation (i.e., penetrative at map scale) characterized by small-scale cataclastic to protomylonitic sinistral and dextral shear planes within the Turret Peak, Lake Edison, and Lamarck plutons of the Cretaceous John Muir Intrusive Suite. The distributed damage zone east of the West Pinnacle Creek fault (WPCF) was accommodated primarily by antithetic south-southwest striking left-lateral shear planes. Distributed deformation to the west of the discrete zone was accommodated primarily by synthetic north- northeast-striking right-lateral shear planes. Deformation in the distributed region is characterized by a relatively simple architecture of low displacement strike-slip shear fractures. Average shear strain in the antithetic distributed zone was calculated by measuring centimeter to meter-scale offsets of planar markers (e.g., dikes, enclaves, and modal layers) across macroscopic shear planes (n= 71) along a 0.25 km traverse in the Lake Edison pluton (es = 0.052). The distributed zone deformation is manifested strongly within 3 kilometers of the master fault but dies out quickly beyond this distance. Total displacement within the distributed damage zone (0.194 km) is equal to ~6% of the displacement along the WPCF (~3 km). The strain within the damage zone was focused onto pre-existing joints within the

  14. 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

  15. Onset and Multiple Fluctuations of Holocene Glaciation in the Sierra Nevada, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bowerman, N. D.; Clark, D. H.

    2004-12-01

    Multiple sediment cores from two paternoster tarns (First and Second lakes) in North Fork Big Pine Creek, Sierra Nevada, preserve the most detailed and complete record of Holocene glaciation yet recovered in the range; they indicate that the glacier was absent during the early Holocene, reformed in the late Holocene, and experienced several expansions and contractions, culminating with the Matthes maximum during the last ˜200 years. The lakes are fed by outwash from the Palisade Glacier, the largest ( ˜1.3 km2) and presumably longest-lived glacier in the Sierra Nevada, and capture essentially all of the rock flour produced by the glacier. Distinct late-Holocene (Matthes) and late-Pleistocene (Recess Peak) moraines lie between the modern glacier and the lakes. Thus, the lakes have received continuous sedimentation since the retreat of the Tioga glacier ( ˜15,000 yr B.P.), and therefore capture rock flour related to all subsequent advances. First and Second lakes occupy relatively deep bedrock basins at 3036 m and 3066 m asl., respectively. Third Lake, a shallow (<3 m deep), moraine-dammed lake that lies directly above Second Lake, is the only lake between the Palisade Glacier and the lower lakes. As such, it captures the coarsest (sand/gravel bedload) outwash, but abundant suspended sediment (silt/clay) continues to the lower lakes. We cored the lakes using both Reasoner and Livingston corers, to sediment depths of up to ˜5 m. The deepest cores bottomed in coarse, inorganic sand and silt that we interpret as outwash or slopewash related to Tioga deglaciation. Magnetic susceptibility (MS) analyses of the sediment cores indicate that both lakes record multiple late-Holocene peaks in MS, with the most recent peak being the largest. They also retain outwash near the base related to the more extensive Recess Peak advance. MS peaks in Sierran lakes typically indicate greater abundances of clastic (vs. organic) sediment. The peaks in our cores thus imply 4-5 periods of

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Near-roof structure and crack-seal emplacement, Colosseum pluton, Sierra Nevada, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bartley, J. M.; Glazner, A. F.; Coleman, D. S.

    2011-12-01

    Field evidence from diverse localities indicates that dike-like granitic plutons are emplaced by magmatic crack-seal, yielding plutons that are essentially huge composite dikes. Plutons that are equant in map view may also form by crack-seal from increments that are subhorizontal and vertically stacked, but field evidence to assess this hypothesis is scarce. Here we present evidence that the Late Cretaceous, granitic Colosseum pluton of Moore (1963), which crops out along the Sierra Nevada crest southwest of Big Pine, California, may have been emplaced as horizontal sheets by crack-seal. The equant outcrop pattern of the elliptical, 2x3 km Colosseum pluton as mapped by Moore (1963) mainly reflects Pleistocene glacial erosion that cut ~600 m down through the pluton's gently sloping roof contact. Moore mapped a steep eastern contact with the Spook pluton, but our field observations suggest that the Spook and Colosseum plutons may be the same. This would imply that the pluton is much larger and that the map pattern is not elliptical. Additionally, the exposed intrusive contact everywhere dips gently, but the eastern intrusive contact has been cut off by the Sierran frontal fault. If so, up to 2.5 km of largely unexplored vertical relief in the pluton is exposed on the eastern escarpment of the Sierra Nevada. Geologic and bulk magnetic susceptibility mapping of near-roof rocks revealed the following. (1) Although the intrusive contact sharply truncates wall-rock foliation, xenoliths are absent, even at contacts, indicating that stoping was an insignificant process. (2) The pluton contains a subhorizontal sheet of leucogranite that is broadly concordant with the roof but bounded both above and below by more typical biotite granodiorite. This sheet may represent one or more intrusive increments. (3) Along the western contact, thin tabular apophyses of the pluton intrude its subvertically layered and foliated roof. Although some of these dip steeply and are concordant

  19. Zircon trace element, and O and Hf isotopic records of magma sources and pluton assembly in the Sierra Crest intrusions (Sierra Nevada batholith, USA)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, J. S.; Lackey, J. S.; Davies, G. R.; Sendek, C.

    2014-12-01

    The Sierra Crest Intrusions of the Sierra Nevada Batholith are the last major magmatic pulse associated with the Cretaceous flare-up. They are characterized by long assembly times (several 106 years), and are normally zoned from marginal, horblende-biotite granodiorites to more felsic, K-feldspar megacrystic, biotite granodiorites. Combined trace element and O and Hf isotopes on zircon are presented from the major Sierra Crest Intrusions. Zircon saturation temperatures (TZrc,sat) are similar and low (ca. 700°C) for most of the individual units, but Ti-in-zircon temperatures (TZrn,Ti) and trace element ratios contrast strongly between outer marginal units and inner megacrystic units (low TZrn,Ti ≈ TZrc,sat, high Yb/Gd, low Th/U, high and similar Hf, and high Eu/Eu*). Zircon O and Hf isotopes vary markedly across the suite (ΔɛHf = 15; Δδ18O = 2.5‰). Individual intrusive suites (gabbro to high-silica granite) record variable O-Hf variations; no correlation (John Muir), subtle binary or ternary arrays (e.g., Whitney, Sonora), or bimodal distribution of values (Tuolumne). In some cases single hand samples (small-volume mafic or felsic units), may record the entire variability within a suite. Inner megacrystic units generally have lower ɛHf than outer marginal units. Whole rock geochemical data for the intrusive suites also show an increase in the "garnet signature" with time (higher Sr/Y and Dy/Yb). The isotopic data are consistent with variable mantle sources and progressively cooler, more water-rich magmatism with a simultaneous shift to greater crustal involvement, and deepening of the magma sources. Magmatic underplating and intraplating of mafic arc magmas produced increasing crustal assimilation but under PT conditions that allowed production of more felsic, zircon-saturated, magmas. The isotopic variability requires that plutons are amalgams of many magmas mixed at varying scales before final solidification.

  20. What Are the Factors Influencing Holocene Formation of Some Meadows in the Central Sierra Nevada, California?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cisneros, M.; DeGraff, J. V.

    2011-12-01

    Within the Merced, San Joaquin and Kings River drainages, there are a number of meadows; naturally occurring openings where high-groundwater conditions persist. Wood (1975) established that some meadows are deposits of interbedded sands and organic-rich silts which have accumulated from the early Holocene to present. Nine meadows were examined to better understand what caused their formation at a particular point along the channel. Two of the nine were in Wood's original study; the remaining ones were confirmed to have the same stratigraphy through examination and dating. All of the meadows are along channel reaches underlain by granitic bedrock from one or more of the many Sierra Nevada batholiths. Two factors influencing deposition were evaluated: a hydrologic one and a physical characteristic of the channel. The Stream Gradient index, (SL index), derived by (Hack, 1973), was used to analyze the longitudinal profile of a stream as an approximation of stream power. A specific stream power threshold associated with meadow locations would show their location to be a function largely of hydrologic characteristics. While stream gradient index values were typically lower than along meadows than other reaches of individual channels; their values were quite varied. Cross sections above and below the meadows were generated to determine if there is an abrupt change in morphology associated with meadow locations. Channel cross-sections above and sometimes below meadows are narrow and confined compared to within the meadow reaches. This suggests this physical characteristic is associated with the deposition of the meadows. Deposition occurred because the channel widened much the way it does at canyon mouths to form alluvial fans.

  1. 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. PMID:15519986

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Using stable isotopes to determine sources of eroded carbon in low-order Sierra Nevada catchments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCorkle, E. P.; Berhe, A.; Hunsaker, C. T.; Fogel, M. L.; Hart, S. C.

    2013-12-01

    Recent studies have shown that soil erosion can induce a terrestrial sink for atmospheric carbon dioxide and impose important controls on biogeochemical cycling of other essential elements. However, little information is available on the source of C eroded from different watersheds (i.e., whether most of the eroded material is comprised of litter, soil minerals from topsoil, vs. deep C eroded due to fresh channelization or scouring of stream banks). In order to identify sources of eroded carbon, we compared the C to N ratios and 13C, and 15N stable isotope concentrations of potential source materials to sediments collected in basins at the outlet of low order catchments in the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada. Potential source materials (i.e., surficial organic and mineral soil and stream bank sediments) from three landform positions (crest, back slope, toe slope) were sampled from low- and high-elevation catchments within the Kings River Experimental Watershed. The potential source materials were compared with materials collected from sediment basins at the outlet of the sampled catchments. Preliminary results indicate that the different landform positions have similar concentrations of 13C and 15N, but the stable isotope concentrations of sediments reflect a combination of sources. Further analysis will delineate which pool of carbon is the main contributor to the sediments. Determining the source of the eroded carbon in these catchments is critical for assessing the fate of the eroded C after it is laterally distributed by soil erosion to downslope depositional landforms within the same catchment, or exported out of these catchments.

  6. 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

  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. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Dissolved Organic Matter Composition and Microbial Diversity In The Lake Tahoe Basin, Sierra Nevada, California.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aluwihare, L.; Goldberg, S. J.; Ball, G. I.; Mendoza, W. G.; Simpson, A.; Kharbush, J.; Nelson, C. E.

    2014-12-01

    Dissolved organic matter (DOM) inputs into high elevation lakes of the Sierra Nevada, California are seasonally segregated, and this enables an examination of the dominant compositional features and microbial responses associated with allochthonous versus autochthonous DOM inputs. Furthermore, because lakes within this watershed have very different hydraulic residence times, extending from days (e.g., Upper Angora Lake) to centuries (Lake Tahoe), the Tahoe Basin represents an ideal experimental system in which to characterize long-lived DOM. We used a variety of analytical tools, including elemental, stable isotope and radiocarbon measurements, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, comprehensive 2D gas chromatography coupled to time of flight (TOF) mass spectrometry and fluorescence measurements, to characterize solid phase extracted (SPE) DOM, and in some cases, whole DOM. Our data show that DOM with typical terrestrial characteristics is quickly removed in lakes with >annual water residence time, leaving behind SPE DOM that is extremely N-rich, with a functional group distribution that is consistent with protein. Furthermore, our radiocarbon measurements estimate a 100-200 year residence time for the N-rich DOM accumulating in Lake Tahoe. All of the analytical techniques distinguish samples based on lake water residence time, which indicates that the lacustrine reactor plays an important role in determining the composition of DOM that accumulates on long timescales. We also examined temporal variations in the microbial community of Lake Tahoe to identify taxa that may be involved in processing DOM from distinct sources. Our results confirm the importance of DOM as a currency for carbon and nitrogen exchange between different compartments of the terrestrial ecosystem and argue for its inclusion in models that examine the response of lake ecosystems to global change.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Drought effects on evapotransiration and subsurface water storage in the southern Sierra Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bales, R. C.; Goulden, M.; Hunsaker, C. T.; Conklin, M. H.; Hartsough, P. C.; O'Geen, T. T.; Hopmans, J. W.; Safeeq, M.

    2015-12-01

    Multi-year measurements of evapotranspiration (ET) at three elevations in the southern Sierra Nevada show the extent to which subsurface water storage in the regolith provides a buffer against multi-year dry periods. ET in a 2000-m elevation mixed-conifer forest showed a 24% decrease in ET in water-year 2014, the third dry year, as compared to the wet year of 2011. This decrease reflected reduced transpiration for the July to September period. Over half of the annual ET in both wet and dry years came from below the 1-m depth mapped soil, and with come coming from below the 2.5 m depth of our soil-moisture measurements. The ability of trees to access water from these depths does provide a 2-3 year buffer for ET, which also depends on forest density and the balance between perennial overstory and annual understory vegetation. An equally dense lower-elevation pine-oak forest (1160 m) showed nearly a 50% decrease in ET during the third year of drought, with significant visible effects on vegetation. While this lower elevation forest may have as much or more subsurface storage as does that at 2000-m elevation, the combination of lower precipitation as one goes down in elevation and very high forest density provides only a one-year buffer for ET in dry years. Regaining resiliency in this forest will only occur with significant reductions in biomass and commensurate lowering of ET. In a 400-m elevation oak savannah ET responds to annual precipitation, with essentially no multi-year buffer provided by subsurface storage.

  19. Mineral dust transport to the Sierra Nevada, California: Loading rates and potential source areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vicars, William C.; Sickman, James O.

    2011-03-01

    The transport and deposition of aeolian dust represents an important material input pathway for many marine and terrestrial ecosystems and may be an ecologically significant source of exogenous phosphorus (P) to alpine lakes. In order to assess the abundance and elemental composition of atmospheric mineral dust over the Sierra Nevada of California, we collected size-fractionated atmospheric particulate matter (PM) samples during July 2008 to March 2009 at a mixed conifer site located in Sequoia National Park. PM concentrations were at their highest levels during the dry season, averaging 8.8 ± 3.7 and 11.1 ± 7.5 μg m-3 for the coarse (1 μm < Da < 15 μm) and fine (Da < 1 μm) fractions, respectively, while winter months were characterized by low (<1 μg m-3) PM concentrations in both size fractions. Using Al as a diagnostic tracer for mineral aerosol, we observed a significant and uniform contribution (50-80%) from aeolian dust to the total coarse PM load, whereas submicron particles contained comparatively little crustal material (7-33%). The mass concentrations of elements (Fe, Ca, Mg, P, and V) in the coarse PM fraction were significantly correlated with Al throughout the study, and coarse PM exhibited elemental signatures that were temporally consistent and distinguishable from those of other sites. Conversely, higher elemental enrichments were observed in the fine PM fraction for Fe, V, and P, indicating a greater contribution from anthropogenic emissions to the fine particle load. Fe/Al and Fe/Ca ratios suggest a mixture of mineral dust from regional agricultural activities and long-range transport of mineral dust from Asia. Asian sources comprised 40-90% of mineral dust in July 2008 and then declined to between 10 and 30% in August and early September.

  20. 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.

  1. Flows, droughts, and aliens: factors affecting the fish assemblage in a Sierra Nevada, California, stream.

    PubMed

    Kiernan, Joseph D; Moyle, Peter B

    2012-06-01

    The fishes of Martis Creek, in the Sierra Nevada of California (USA), were sampled at four sites annually over 30 years, 1979-2008. This long-term data set was used to examine (1) the persistence and stability of the Martis Creek fish assemblage in the face of environmental stochasticity; (2) whether native and alien fishes responded differently to a natural hydrologic regime (e.g., timing and magnitude of high and low flows); and (3) the importance of various hydrologic and physical habitat variables in explaining the abundances of native and alien fish species through time. Our results showed that fish assemblages were persistent at all sample sites, but individual species exhibited marked interannual variability in density, biomass, and relative abundance. The density and biomass of native fishes generally declined over the period of study, whereas most alien species showed no significant long-term trends. Only alien rainbow trout increased in both density and biomass at all sites over time. Redundancy analysis identified three hydrologic variables (annual 7-day minimum discharge, maximum winter discharge, and number of distinct winter floods) and two habitat variables (percentage of pool habitat and percentage of gravel substrate) that each explained a significant portion of the annual variation in fish assemblage structure. For alien taxa, their proportional contribution to the total fish assemblage was inversely related to mean annual streamflow, one-day maximum discharge in both winter and spring, and the frequency of springtime floods. Results of this study highlight the need for continuous annual monitoring of streams with highly variable flow regimes to evaluate shifts in fish community structure. Apparent successes or failures in stream management may appear differently depending on the time series of available data. PMID:22827124

  2. 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.

  3. Conservation of Avian Diversity in the Sierra Nevada: Moving beyond a Single-Species Management Focus

    PubMed Central

    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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Pseudotachylyte and Fluid Alteration at Seismogenic Depths (Glacier Lakes and Granite Pass Faults, Central Sierra Nevada, USA)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prante, Mitchell R.; Evans, James P.

    2015-05-01

    We present evidence for ancient seismicity in the form of tectonic pseudotachylyte and coeval, cyclic hydrothermal alteration, and cataclasis along fault zones exhumed from 2.4 to 6.0 km in the central Sierra Nevada, CA. The Glacier Lakes fault (GLF) and Granite Pass fault (GPF) are exhumed left-lateral to left-lateral oblique, strike-slip faults with up to 125 m of left-lateral separation exposed in Mesozoic granite and granodiorite plutons. Precipitation of epidote along fault slip-surfaces, chloritization of biotite, saussurite and sericite alteration of plagioclase, and quartz- and-calcite filled veins are present in the GLF and GPF zones. One difficulty encountered in studying exhumed fault zones is providing convincing evidence for a frictional melt origin of pseudotachylyte. Rocks in the field may preserve convincing evidence for frictional melt (i.e., aphanitic, dark, injection structures) that are later shown to be related to cataclasis or injection of hydrothermal fluids. Another challenge results from the low preservation potential of several of the microscopic features that are convincing evidence of a frictional melt origin (microlites, amygdules, and glassy matrix). Here we test the usefulness of grain shape and nearest neighbor distribution analysis of pseudotachylyte and cataclasites from the GLF and GPF to discriminate between these fault rocks and to determine a frictional melt origin for pseudotachylyte. Fabric analyses of the clasts within the pseudotachylytes examined are more circular and exhibit a random nearest neighbor clast distribution relative to adjacent cataclasites. With increased comminution and melting the mean clast circularity increases and the nearest neighbor distances approach a random distribution. We conclude that this observed pattern can be applied to other fault zones as an indicator of a frictional melt origin for fault-related rocks. Mutually cross-cutting zones of hydrothermal alteration and calcite deformation twins

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  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. 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

  14. Distribution of Brook Trout and Their Food Sources in Meadow vs. Wooded Areas of Sierra Nevada Headwater Streams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Basile, N. J.; Blumenshine, S.

    2005-05-01

    Stocked eastern brook trout are now well established in historically fishless, small headwater streams in the Sierra Nevada. Although non-native, brook trout have maintained healthy populations since stocking ended 60-80 years ago. Our primary research question was whether brook trout distribution and feeding ecology is influenced by variation in headwater stream habitats and food sources. Stream habitat characteristics and trout demographic data were collected during June and August 2004 from four forested and three meadow sites among five tributaries to Bull Creek in the Sierra Nevada. Both mean fish mass and total fish biomass were greater in forested versus meadow reaches. Macroinvertebrate drift rate did not differ between meadow versus wooded reaches, but were greater in June than August. However, despite higher fish biomass, trout in forests apparently selected prey from drift, whereas trout diets in meadows reflected availability in drift. The results of this research will ultimately be used in a larger, collaborative, whole-ecosystem study conducted by the USDA-Forest Service addressing how current forest management practices affect stream ecosystems.

  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. 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

  17. Altered precipitation patterns with a shift from snow to rain in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pavelsky, T. M.; Sobolowski, S.; Kapnick, S. B.; Barnes, J. B.

    2011-12-01

    Precipitation patterns in mountain environments affect global water resources and major hazards such as floods and landslides. In mid-latitude mountain ranges such as the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, much of the precipitation falls as snow, which accumulates and acts as a natural reservoir. As in many snowfall-dependent regions, California water infrastructure has been designed to capture warm season snowmelt runoff and transport it to otherwise dry areas where it is needed. Recent studies suggest that anthropogenic climate change is likely to result in a substantial shift from snow to rain in the Sierra Nevada during the 21st century. One mechanism for changing spatial patterns in precipitation that has not received substantial attention arises directly from a phase change associated with winter temperatures rising above freezing with greater frequency. Because the fall speed of rain is greater than snow, it is not advected as far as snow by the prevailing winds. We hypothesize that an extreme change from snow to rain will result in a substantial westward shift in annual precipitation under a warming climate. To test this hypothesis, we conducted two climate simulations over the central Sierra Nevada using the WRF regional climate model version 3.1.1 for the period October 2001 to September 2002. Both simulations used nested domains with grid spacings of 27 km, 9 km, and 3 km. The first simulation is a control run, while the second run is an idealized simulation in which fall speeds for snow and graupel are set to be identical to those of raindrops. Comparison of the two runs suggests that a change from snow to rain would yield substantial changes in the spatial patterns of precipitation. However, these patterns are fully realized only in the 3 km domain. In the 9 km and especially the 27 km domain these patterns are substantially attenuated, likely due to less detailed orographic forcing. In the 3 km domain, precipitation increases substantially on

  18. 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

  19. 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&#...

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Igneous origin of K-feldspar Megacrysts in Granitic Rocks of the Sierra Nevada Batholith

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-12-01

    Study of the four principal K-feldspar megacrystic granitic plutons and related porphyrys in the Sierra Nevada composite batholith indicates that the included megacrysts are phenocrysts that grew in contact with granitic melt in long-lasting magma chambers. These 89-83 Ma plutons or intrusions are the youngest in the range, and represent the culminating magmatic phase of the batholith. They are the: Granodiorite of Topaz Lake; Cathedral Peak Granodiorite, Mono Creek Granite, Whitney Granodiorite, Johnson Granite Porphyry, and Golden Bear Dike. The zoned megacrysts in each of these igneous bodies attain 4-10 cm in length and all display oscillatory zoning with each zone beginning with a sharp increase followed by a gradual decrease in the concentration of BaO - commonly from 3 to 1 weight percent. Some of the more pronounced zones overlie resorption and channeling features on the underlying zone. Trains of small mineral inclusions (plagioclase, biotite, hornblende, quartz, sphene, and accessory minerals) are parallel to the BaO-delineated zones. The long axes of the inclusions are preferentially aligned parallel to the zone boundaries and inclusions are sorted by size from zone to zone. The growth temperature of sphene included in K-feldspar megacrysts is estimated by use of a Zr-in-sphene geothermometer. The sphene grains all yield igneous temperatures, mainly 735 - 760 °C. Sphene grains in the granodiorite host marginal to the megacrysts range to lower growth temperatures, in some instances into the subsolidus range. The zoning of the megacrysts, their presence in quenched porphry dikes, and the limited range and igneous values of growth temperatures of sphene inclusions within them, support the interpretation that the megacrysts formed as igneous sanidine phenocrysts, and that intrusion temperatures varied by only small amounts while the megacrysts grew. Each Ba- enriched zone was apparently formed by a repeated surge of new, hot melt injected into the large

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Inexistence of permafrost at the top of the Veleta peak (Sierra Nevada, Spain).

    PubMed

    Oliva, M; Gómez-Ortiz, A; Salvador-Franch, F; Salvà-Catarineu, M; Palacios, D; Tanarro, L; Ramos, M; Pereira, P; Ruiz-Fernández, J

    2016-04-15

    A 114.5m deep drilling was carried out in August 2000 in the bedrock of the Veleta peak, at 3380m in the massif of Sierra Nevada, Southern Spain. The objective of this work is to analyse temperatures at the first 60m depth of this drilling from September 2002 to August 2013 based on 11 UTL-1 thermal loggers located at different depths, together with air temperatures at the summit of the Veleta peak. Permanent negative temperatures have not been detected in the borehole, which shows evidence of the absence of widespread permafrost conditions nowadays in the highest lands of this massif. Bedrock temperatures oscillated between 3.2°C at 0.6m depth and 2°C at 20m below the surface. The largest temperature ranges were recorded on the most external sensors until 1.2m depth, where values reached 22.3°C. Seasonal temperature variations were significant until 10m depth. The thickness of the seasonal frozen layer was highly variable (0.6-2m) and dependent on annual climate conditions. The mean air temperature at the Veleta peak increased by 0.12°C during the study period. Bedrock temperatures followed diverging trends: a drop of 0.3-0.4°C down to 0.6m depth, a decrease of up to 0.7°C between 4 and 10m, thermal stability at 20m and a rise of 0.2°C that occurred in 2009 at the deepest sensor at 60m. The calculation of the thermal wave damping in the subsoil of the Veleta peak has allowed for quantifying the thermal diffusivity of the rock as (7.05±0.03)10(-7)m(2)/s, which means that the external climate signal arrives with an 8.5-year lag to the sensor at 60m deep. This allows to deduce a trend change in the climate of the area, moving from warmer conditions towards a trend of cooling from 2006 to 2007. PMID:26845184

  8. 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

  9. Cross-sites analysis of snowpack depth from LiDAR in Southern Sierra Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zheng, Z.; Kirchner, P. B.; Bales, R. C.; Glaser, S. D.

    2014-12-01

    To investigate on the differences and similarities of snow depth spatial variability over different watershed areas, five sites in Southern Sierra Nevada Critical Zone Observatory were selected for creating the snow depth maps using the snow-on and snow-off LiDAR datasets. The snow-on data were collected during the snow-peak time in 2010, while the snow-off data were collected during the summer in the same year. By subtracting the digital elevation models (DEM) of the snow-off data from the snow-on point clouds, snow-depth maps for these sites were created. Furthermore, canopy height, slope, and aspect are also appended with the snow-depth for digging out the impact on the snow distribution from these topography features. From the results, the snow depth in the open area increases at 14-15 cm/100 m elevation increasing is consistent across areas in the elevation range from 1850m to 2700m, while The results under the canopy presented an increasing rate about 2 cm/100 m higher but with around 20 cm lower of snow depth compared to that in the open area. Other than elevation, aspect also has a tremendous effect on snow distribution with the result showing that the ground facing to the northeast direction always having more snow accumulated than other areas regardless of vegetation existence. Even though the results reveal strong consistency of the vegetation impact on the snow depth across sites, only about 35% of total area is under canopy in forested areas and less than 30% of LiDAR beams could be returned from the ground under the canopy. The LiDAR might overestimate the snowpack volume but is still an important index for blending with ground data and data from remote-sensing satellites. Also, implied from the tight connection between snow depth and aspect, it is suggested that solar radiation, wind speed and direction, temperature, as well as other environmental factors are interacting with topography features and playing important roles in snowpack redistribution

  10. Impact of interannual variations in aerosol particle sources on orographic precipitation over California's Central Sierra Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-01-01

    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 field campaign (2009-2011), the variability and associated impacts of different aerosol sources on precipitation were investigated in the California Sierra Nevada using an aerosol time-of-flight mass spectrometer for precipitation chemistry, S-band profiling radar for precipitation classification, remote sensing measurements of cloud properties, and surface meteorological measurements. The composition of insoluble residues in precipitation samples collected at a surface site contained mostly local biomass burning and long-range transported dust and biological particles (2009), local sources of biomass burning and pollution (2010), and long-range transport from distant sources (2011). Although differences in the sources were observed from year-to-year, the most consistent source of dust and biological residues were associated with storms consisting of deep convective cloud systems with significant quantities of precipitation initiated in the ice phase. Further, biological residues were dominant (up to 40%) during storms with relatively warm cloud temperatures (up to -15 °C), supporting the important role bioparticles can play as ice nucleating particles. On the other hand, lower percentages of residues from local biomass burning and pollution were observed over the three winter seasons (on average 31 and 9%, respectively). When precipitation quantities were relatively low, these residues most likely served as CCN, forming smaller more numerous cloud droplets at the base of shallow cloud systems, and resulting in less efficient riming processes. The correlation between the source of aerosols within clouds and precipitation type and quantity will be further probed in models to understand the

  11. 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+.

  12. 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

  13. Determination of specific yield of montane meadow soils, Sierra Nevada, CA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lucas, R. G.; Conklin, M. H.; Rice, R.; Ghezzehei, T. A.

    2014-12-01

    Utilizing diurnal fluctuations of shallow groundwater tables to estimate evapotranspiration (ET) is a well established approach. This approach is advantageous in that ET can be estimated with little infrastructure and at relatively low cost. Most studies that use this method rely on some estimation of the specific yield, Sy, of the soil. Specific yield is the volume of water drained form a soil or rock divided by the volume of soil from which it drained. Established methods for determining Sy include field and laboratory approaches that either measure the volume of water drained from a known volume of soil or measuring the change in groundwater elevation after some perturbation, such as a precipitation or pumping event, of known water volume. Most methods for determining Sy result in a single value for a given soil volume. In shallow water table environments, soil specific yield is transient by nature, varying with depth to groundwater, time allowed for drainage, and whether the soil is experiencing wetting or drying conditions. When applied in ET calculations, inadequate estimates of Sy can result in large errors in calculated ET. We utilize eddy covariance techniques, in situ soil moisture sensors, and meteorological data to constrain specific yield values for soils in ten montane meadows in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, CA. Meadows conditions range from relatively pristine meadows to degraded and restored meadow systems. Quantifying ET in these meadows is important for understanding the meadow hydrology and connection to the greater catchments. Results from our approaches highlight the transient nature of soil specific yield. Calculated values of specific yield ranged from 0.03-0.16; higher values were obtained when using meteorological data to calculate Potential ET and lower values were obtained with eddy covariance techniques. Specific yield values determined from this study were subsequently used to train neural network models for estimating soil specific

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Focal Mechanisms for Deep Crustal Earthquakes in the Central Foothills and Near Yosemite National Park in the Sierra Nevada, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-12-01

    Past studies have observed seismicity occurring to depths near 40 km beneath the central Sierra Nevada in eastern California, but the cause of this unusual activity remains largely unknown. We use seismograms from a recent deployment of the Sierra Nevada EarthScope Project (SNEP) broadband array and interspersed USArray TA stations to study this deep crustal earthquake activity. From June of 2005 to May of 2006, we recorded 126 earthquakes in the central western flank of the Sierra Nevada that relocated in the depth range from 1.0 to 47.6 km. These earthquakes have small magnitudes (M < 3), occur at a rate of ~10 per month, and occasionally display repeating waveforms. The majority of the earthquakes fall into two distinct clusters. One cluster of earthquakes form a diffuse band under the low foothills north of Fresno and have focal depths mostly between 20 and 35 km. The second cluster underlies the higher western slope of the range in a more compact north-south band extending from the southern edge of Yosemite National Park to the San Joaquin River. These events have focal depths from near surface to 30 km, and are located above occasional deep, long-period (LP) events (Pitt, et al., SRL, 2002). We use P- and S-wave polarity picks and P/SH amplitude ratios to construct focal mechanisms for 23 of the larger, well-recorded earthquakes, 14 in the Foothills Cluster and 9 in the Yosemite Cluster. The focal mechanisms show dominantly near vertical and subhorizontal nodal planes, although several events do show clear normal or reverse mechanisms. Although there is some scatter, a majority of the mechanisms from the Foothills Cluster have S-to-SW steeply dipping T-axes. The majority of earthquakes in the Yosemite Cluster have P-axes moderately dipping to the SW and T-axes moderately dipping to the NE, similar to focal mechanisms of earthquakes associated with the recent magma intrusion event under Lake Tahoe (von Seggern, et al., BSSA, 2008). We suggest that the

  17. Dedradation of buried ice and permafrost in the Veleta Cirque (Sierra Nevada, Spain) from 2006-2013

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gómez-Ortiz, A.; Oliva, M.; Salvador-Franch, F.; Salvà-Catarineu, M.; Palacios, D.; de Sanjosé-Blasco, J. J.; Tanarro-García, L. M.

    2014-04-01

    The Veleta cirque is located at the foot of the Veleta peak, one of the highest summits of the Sierra Nevada National Park (Southern Spain). This cirque was the source of a glacier valley during the Quaternary cold periods. During the Little Ice Age it sheltered a small glacier, the most southerly in Europe, about which we have possessed written records since the XVII century. This glacier still had ice residues until the mid-XX century. This ice is no longer visible, but a residue persists along with discontinuous permafrost trapped under strata of rock blocks that make up an incipient rock glacier. From 2006 to 2013, this rock glacier was monitored by measurement of the temperature of the active layer, the degree of snow cover on the ground, movements of the body of the rock glacier and geophysical prospection inside it. The results show that the relict ice and trapped permafrost have been steadily declining. The processes that explain this degradation occur in chain, starting from the external radiation that affects the ground in summer, which is when the temperatures are higher. In effect, when this radiation steadily melts the snow on the ground, the thermal expansive wave advances into the heart of the active layer, reaching the ceiling of the frozen mass, which it then degrades and melts. In this entire linked process, the circulation of melt waters fulfil a highly significant function, as they act as heat transmitters. The complementary nature of these processes explains the subsidence and continuous changes in the entire clastic pack and the melting of the frozen ceiling on which it rests. This happens in summer in just a few weeks. All these events, in particular the geomorphological ones, take place on the Sierra Nevada peaks within certain climate conditions that are at present unfavourable to the maintenance of snow on the ground in summer. These conditions could be related to recent variations in the climate, starting in the mid-XIX century and most

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. The western extent of the Sierra Nevada batholith in the Great Valley basement and its significance in underlying mantle dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saleeby, J.

    2007-12-01

    An accurate understanding of the extent to which the Sierra Nevada batholith (SNB) lies beneath the Great Valley (GV) is essential in properly constraining dynamic models for underlying mantle lithosphere removal. Example: the southern Sierra Nevada mantle drip is commonly misrepresented as being strongly offset in map view to the west of the SNB, beneath the GV "forearc". A synthesis of petrographic data on over 200 GV basement cores, complimented by select single crystal U/Pb zircon ages and Nd-Sr isotopic data, shows clearly that the SNB extends westwards to at least the axis of the GV, beneath Upper Cretaceous forearc basin strata. This westernmost zone of the SNB yields zircon ages of 130 to 140 Ma, has depleted mantle Nd-Sr isotopic signatures, and consists of abundant hornblende rich mafic cumulates, as well as diorites and tonalites. Its metamorphic host rocks appear typical of the western Sierra Nevada Foothills, particularly the Middle Jurassic Smartville intra-arc igneous rift complex, Jurassic epiclastic-volcaniclastic slates and schists, and Late Jurassic deformed "Nevadan" plutons. Lower Cretaceous strata of the western GV lying depositionally above the Coast Range ophiolite (CRO) to the west are the remnants of the forearc for this westernmost zone of the SNB. This Early Cretaceous mafic to intermediate composition batholithic belt was exhumed to modest crustal depths in the mid-Cretaceous and then buried nonconformably by Upper Cretaceous forearc basin strata sourced from the felsic axial to eastern SNB. High density and strongly magnetic SNB gabbroids beneath the GV yield regional gravity-magnetic anomalies with amplitudes as high as 50 mgal and 1000 gamma. These coupled anomalies have been mistaken by numerous investigators as the mark of the eastern edge of the CRO having been "obducted" eastwards over "Sierran basement". The complete absence of depleted mantle peridotite core samples from the GV alone argues strongly against such a regional CRO

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Geochemical characteristics of crustal anatexis during the formation of migmatite at the Southern Sierra Nevada, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zeng, Lingsen; Saleeby, Jason B.; Ducea, Mihai

    2005-11-01

    We provide data on the geochemical and isotopic consequences of nonmodal partial melting of a thick Jurassic pelite unit at mid-crustal levels that produced a migmatite complex in conjunction with the intrusion of part of the southern Sierra Nevada batholith at ca. 100 Ma. Field relations suggest that this pelitic migmatite formed and then abruptly solidified prior to substantial mobilization and escape of its melt products. Hence, this area yields insights into potential mid-crustal level contributions of crustal components into Cordilleran-type batholiths. Major and trace-element analyses in addition to field and petrographic data demonstrate that leucosomes are products of partial melting of the pelitic protolith host. Compared with the metapelites, leucosomes have higher Sr and lower Sm concentrations and lower Rb/Sr ratios. The initial 87Sr/86Sr ratios of leucosomes range from 0.7124 to 0.7247, similar to those of the metapelite protoliths (0.7125-0.7221). However, the leucosomes have a much wider range of initial ɛNd values, which range from -6.0 to -11.0, as compared to -8.7 to -11.3 for the metapelites. Sr and Nd isotopic compositions of the leucosomes, migmatites, and metapelites suggest disequilibrium partial melting of the metapelite protolith. Based on their Sr, Nd, and other trace-element characteristics, two groups of leucosomes have been identified. Group A leucosomes have relatively high Rb, Pb, Ba, and K2O contents, Rb/Sr ratios (0.15

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Seasonal and inter-annual snowmelt patterns in the southern Sierra Nevada, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Musselman, K. N.; Molotch, N. P.; Margulis, S. A.

    2012-12-01

    In the Sierra Nevada, seasonal snow represents a critical component of California's water resource infrastructure in that it affords reliable water during otherwise arid summers. Complex spatial, seasonal and inter-annual snowmelt patterns determine when and where that meltwater is available. Our knowledge of snowmelt dynamics is typically limited to what we can infer from sparse, point-scale snow measurement stations. Limitations such as these motivate the use of numerical snowmelt models. We evaluate the ability of the Alpine3D model system to represent three years of snow dynamics over an 1800 km2 area of Sequoia National Park. The domain spans a 3600 m elevation gradient and ecosystems ranging from semi-arid grasslands to massive sequoia stands to alpine tundra. The model results were evaluated against data from a multi-scale measurement campaign that included airborne LiDAR, clusters of snow depth sensors, repeated manual snow surveys, and automated SWE stations. Compared to these measurements, Alpine3D consistently performed well in middle elevation conifer forests; compared to LiDAR data, the mean snow depth error in forested regions was < 2%. The model also simulated the snow disappearance date within two days of that measured by regional automated sensors. At upper elevations, however, the model tended to overestimate SWE by 50% to as much as 100% in some areas and the errors were linearly correlated (R2 > 0.80, p<0.01) with the distance of the SWE measurements from the nearest precipitation gauge used to derive the model forcing. The results suggest that Alpine3D is highly accurate during the melt season and that precipitation uncertainty may be a critical limitation on snow model accuracy. Finally, an analysis of seasonal and inter-annual snowmelt patterns highlighted distinct melt differences between lower, middle, and upper elevations. Snowmelt was generally most frequent (70% - 95% of the snow-covered season) at the lower elevations where snow cover

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Biological characterization of Trypanosoma cruzi stocks from domestic and sylvatic vectors in Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta, Colombia.

    PubMed

    Téllez-Meneses, Jair; Mejía-Jaramillo, Ana María; Triana-Chávez, Omar

    2008-10-01

    Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta is one of the most endemic regions of Chagas disease in Colombia. In this study, we compared the biological behavior and genetic features of Trypanosoma cruzi stocks that were isolated from domestic and sylvatic insects in this area. Rhodnius prolixus (from domestic environments) and Triatoma dimidiata (from sylvatic, peridomestic and domestic environments) are the most important vectors in this region. Genetic characterization showed that all stocks corresponded to T. cruzi I, but LSSP-PCR analyses indicated that some genotypes were present in both environments. Biological characterization in vitro showed a low growth rate in sylvatic T. cruzi stocks and in some domestic T. cruzi stocks, possibly indicating the presence of stocks with similar behavior in both transmission cycles. In parallel, in vivo behavioral analysis also indicated that T. cruzi stocks are variable and this species did not show a correlation between the environments where they were isolated. In addition, all stocks demonstrated a low mortality rate and histopathological lesions in heart, skeletal muscle and colon tissue. Moreover, our data indicated that experimentally infected chagasic mice displayed a relation between their myocardial inflammation intensity, parasitism tissue and parasite load using the qPCR. In conclusion, our results indicate that the T. cruzi stocks present in SNSM have similar biological behavior and do not show a correlation with the different transmission cycles. This could be explained by the complex transmission dynamics of T. cruzi in Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta, where hosts, vectors (e.g., T. dimidiata) and reservoirs circulate in both environments due to the close contact between the two transmission cycles, favoring environment overlapping. This knowledge is an important key to understanding the epidemiology and pathology of Chagas disease in this Colombian region. Furthermore, our findings could be of significant use in the design of

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. A Mantle Cross-Section Through Western And Central Nevada From Young Basaltic Magmas In The Sierra Nevada And Western Great Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gupta, V.; Cousens, B. L.; Henry, C. D.

    2007-12-01

    The geochemistry of basaltic magmas erupted in the Basin and Range province of the western USA has demonstrated that at least two mantle sources exist, one with a subduction signature and another with an "ocean island basalt" (OIB) signature. Here we investigate the distribution of these two sources during the Pleistocene and Holocene in a 250 km-long transect from the eastern Sierra Nevada near Reno, NV, into central Nevada. Samples were collected from young, dated mafic lava flows from the Carson Range (2.5 to 1.4 Ma), Steamboat Hills (2.6 Ma), Virginia City and Chalk Hills (1.5 to 1.44 Ma), east of Carson City (1.36 Ma), Rattlesnake Hill (1.2 to 0.9 Ma), Buffalo Valley (1.1 to 0.95 Ma), Upsal Hogback (0.6 Ma), and Soda Lake (Holocene). With the exception of Carson Range andesites, all of the lavas are alkaline basalts and basaltic trachyandesites with K2O/Na2O > 0.4. Incompatible element abundances, incompatible element ratios, and radiogenic isotope ratios vary widely between locations. Many key incompatible element ratios, such as Ce/Pb, Sr/P, Ba/Nb, and Nb/La, and isotopic ratios vary as a function of age and longitude. Lavas less than 1 Ma in age have low Ba/Nb, Sr/P, 87Sr/86Sr, 206Pb/204Pb, and high Ce/Pb and Nd/La compared to lavas greater than 1Ma in age. These ratios vary more strongly as a function of longitude, from high Ba/Nb, Sr/P, 206Pb/204Pb, 87Sr/86Sr and low Ce/Pb and Nb/La (subduction signature mantle) lavas in the Sierra Nevada margin to lavas with the opposite characteristics (OIB signature mantle) in central Nevada. La/Sm does not vary with either age or longitude. The relationship with longitude indicates that two mantle sources currently exist beneath western Nevada, subduction-modified mantle to the west and OIB-type mantle to the east, and that these two mantle types probably taper in thickness towards one another. The termination of subduction beneath the Reno area at 5-3 Ma, in conjunction with 87Sr/86Sr greater than modern Cascade arc

  8. Simulated Climate Change Effects of Snowpack Manipulations on Soil Temperature and Moisture in the Sierra Nevada Mountains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, B. G.; Jasoni, R. L.; Arnone, J.

    2012-12-01

    Future changes in climate are predicted to significantly affect the type and amount of precipitation in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California and Nevada. Because most of the yearly precipitation in this region falls as snow, changes in snowfall amount, snowfall timing, and duration of the snowpack may dramatically affect the timing and persistence of soil temperature and moisture, and biological processes dependent on these soil factors. The objective of our study was to quantify the effects of manipulating snowpack amounts on soil temperature and moisture over a two year period, including both the addition and removal of snow in a Pinus jeffreii (Jeffrey Pine) forest located northeast of Lake Tahoe, Nevada. Soil temperatures measured during the first winter (above average snow year) remained higher in control plots when snow was present, and in snow-addition plots, than in snow-removal plots. However, these effects did not persist in the second year when total snowfall amounted to only 20% of that occurring in the first year. Surprisingly, the effects on soil moisture persisted through the summer of year two with soil VWC in snow removal plots averaging approximately 50% drier than the snow addition plots (6.5% average VWC in snow removal and 13.2% in snow addition plots) and 13% drier on average than the control plots (7.5% average VWC in control plots).These results suggest the possibility of prolonged reductions in soil moisture, soil microbial activity, plant growth, and even increased danger of wildfires if anthropogenic climate change reduces snowfall amount and snowpack duration.

  9. Distribution of elements in biotite-hornblende pairs and in an orthopyroxene-clinopyroxene pair from zoned plutons, northern Sierra Nevada, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hietanen, A.

    1971-01-01

    Distribution of major and minor elements has been determined for five hornblende-biotite pairs from hornblende-biotite quartz diorite and monzotonalite and for a clinopyroxene-orthopyroxene pair from pyroxene diorite collected from the border zones and centers of zoned plutons in the northern Sierra Nevada, California. The distribution coefficients Kd [Mg/Fe] for biotite/hornblende are of the same magnitude (0.61-0.67) for both the mafic border zone and the silicic center. For comparison, KD [Mg/Fe] values for biotite/hornblende from plutonic rocks of the central Sierra Nevada and the southern California batholith were calculated from data published by others. Rocks of the oldest age group (ca. 150 m.y.) in the central Sierra Nevada have an average distribution coefficient, KD, of 0.64, close to the average KD in the study area, where K-Ar dates are 143 to 129 m.y. The intermediate age group has an average KD=0.81, and the youngest group has KD=0.77. KD [Mg/Fe] for biotite/hornblende from the southern California batholith is 0.83, close to the average of the intermediate age group in the central Sierra Nevada. The calculated difference in pressure of crystallization between rocks of the Feather River area and the southern California batholith is 1 kb; the rocks of the Feather River area being crystallized at a higher pressure. This is in good agreement with the low-pressure contact metamorphism in the south (pyroxene hornfels facies), as compared with a medium-pressure metamorphism around the northern plutons, where andalusitesillimanite-cordierite and andalusite-staurolite subfacies of the amphibolite facies indicate pressures of about 4 kb. Trace elements Cr, V, Ni, Co, Ga are distributed equally between biotite and hornblende, whereas Ba and possibly Cu are concentrated in biotite and Sr and Sc and possibly Zr in hornblende. ?? 1971 Springer-Verlag.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Impacts of forest thinning and climate change on transpiration and runoff rates in Sierra Nevada mixed-conifer headwater catchments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saksa, P. C.; Ray, R. L.; Bales, R. C.; Conklin, M. H.

    2013-12-01

    Using a spatially explicit hydro-ecological model, impacts from forest thinning and climate change on snowpack, evapotranspiration (ET) rates, soil moisture storage, and runoff were investigated in Sierra Nevada headwater catchments spanning elevations of 1,500 to 2,000-m. Along this elevation gradient, precipitation changes from rain-dominated to snow-dominated, so precipitation phase will be strongly impacted by increases in temperature. Mixed-conifer forests in the Sierra Nevada near the 2,000-m elevation band also transpire at a high rate relative to upper elevation forests that are more restricted by colder winter temperatures and lower elevation forests that are more restricted by lower summer soil moisture, increasing the potential of reduced transpiration with vegetation thinning. Forest treatment and climate change scenarios were modeled using the Regional Hydro-Ecological Simulation System (RHESSys), calibrated with two years of snow, soil moisture, and streamflow observations. Simulations of forest thinning at moderate (66% of current vegetation density) and restoration (33% density) levels were combined with precipitation changes up to 20% and temperature increases up to 6οC for projecting impacts on ET and runoff rates. Model results indicated that moderate thinning alone could increase runoff by 3%, but additional temperature increases of 2-4οC could increase runoff rates another 6% - similar to a restoration level thinning. Modifying temperature and precipitation separately showed that the two methods of climate forcing both led to fluctuations in soil moisture, caused by changes in precipitation phase (snow/rain) and final day of snowpack melt. The snowmelt timing affected runoff rates by causing changes in the spring soil moisture recession, and showed that it may be one of the critical processes that affects annual runoff rates, not just runoff timing. Simulations of precipitation and temperature changes together showed that precipitation would

  18. Erosion, Weathering and Stepped Topography in the Sierra Nevada, California; Quantifying the Dynamics of Hybrid (Soil-Bedrock) Landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jessup, B. S.; Miller, S. N.; Kirchner, J. W.; Riebe, C. S.

    2010-12-01

    The dynamics of granitic landscapes are regulated, in part, by bimodal weathering, which produces granular soils and expanses of bare rock ranging from meter-scale boulders to mountain-scale domes. Conceptual models for the evolution of granitic landscapes date back to Gilbert and Penck. Yet few studies have been able to realistically predict the co-occurrence of bedrock and granular soil and its implications for mountain-scale topography -- despite marked advances in quantitative landscape evolution modeling over the last few decades. Here we use terrain analysis, together with cosmogenic-nuclide measurements of erosion and weathering, to quantitatively explore Wahrhaftig's decades-old hypothesis for the development of “stepped topography” by differential weathering of bare and soil-mantled granite. According to this hypothesis, soil-mantled granite weathers much faster than bare granite; thus random erosional exposure of bare rock leads to an alternating sequence of steep, slowly weathering bedrock “steps” and gently sloped, but rapidly weathering, soil-mantled “treads”. Such treads and steps are purported to collectively account for ~2000 m of relief in the southern Sierra Nevada, California, implying that the mechanisms behind the formation of stepped topography may also account for development of mountain-scale relief in granitic landscapes. Our preliminary analysis of granitic terrain in the Sierra Nevada range suggests that steep steps often grade into gentle treads, consistent with the stepped topography hypothesis. Our data and analysis further corroborate the hypothesis with indications that bare granitic rocks erode much more slowly than their soil-mantled counterparts. This suggests that the coupling between soil production and denudation in granitic landscapes harbors a crucial tipping point; if soils are stripped to bedrock, erosion slows and soil formation is restrained to the point that bare rock can persist and rise in relief relative

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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., (Edited By); 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.

  2. 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., (Edited By); 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.

  3. Transtensional Analyses of Fault Patterns and Strain Provinces of the Eastern California Shear Zone-Walker Lane on the Eastern Margin of the Sierra Nevada Microplate, California and Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taylor, T. R.; Dewey, J. F.

    2008-12-01

    Substantial work on the theory of transtensional strain at various scales has shown that transtension produces triaxial non-plane constrictional strains. At the plate boundary scale, fault geometries predicted by transtensional theory better explain observed fault patterns in the transtensional Eastern California shear zone-Walker Lane than 2D plane strain pure or simple shear solutions. Seemingly heterogeneous fault patterns and strain styles within structural provinces along the higher strain corridor adjacent to the eastern Sierra Nevada microplate margin are reconciled by non-plane strain evaluation, and in the context of triaxial, 3D strain partitioning characteristic of transtensional deformation. Among these structural provinces, which include the Honey Lake-Pyramid Lake region, the Lake Tahoe region, the Mono Lake-Long Valley region, Owens Valley, and the Coso region, all are found to be undergoing coaxially dominated transtension, except for the Mono Lake-Long Valley region which has possibly formed by noncoaxially dominated strain, and the northern Honey Lake-Pyramid Lake region, where the Sierra Nevada microplate boundary zone curves west toward the Mendocino triple junction. The local geometry of the transtensional zone boundary and the microplate transport direction determine the dominant type of non-plane strain. Fault orientations predicted by application of transtensional theory to identify instantaneous strain axes are consistent with those observed in each structural province, and comparatively, are not adequately explained by plane strain kinematic models. The orientations and amount of shortening and elongation of the finite strain ellipsoid axes for each province indicate smaller amounts of shortening, elongation and rotation of axes, and overall less ellipticity, in the coaxially dominated strain areas, and greater shortening, elongation, and rotation, and overall greater ellipticity, in the noncoaxially dominated areas. Exceptions are the

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Deep critical zone weathering at the southern Sierra Nevada Critical Zone Observatory imaged by seismic waveform tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hayes, J. L.; Holbrook, W.; Riebe, C. S.

    2012-12-01

    We present seismic velocity profiles that constrain the extent of weathering and frequency of velocity heterogeneities at depths less than 40 m in the southern Sierra Nevada Critical Zone Observatory (SSCZO) from waveform tomography modeling of a seismic refraction experiment. Near-surface variations in seismic velocity reflect differences in alteration of parent material by chemical, hydrological and biological processes. Previous traveltime tomography models from these data suggest that the depth to bedrock in the SSCZO is typically ~25 m; thus the potential for subsurface water storage in regolith may be a larger component of water storage than previously thought. Traveltime tomography is unable to resolve heterogeneities with horizontal wavelengths less than 10 m, such as those observed along a surveyed road cut beneath our seismic profile. For a higher resolution seismic image, we apply waveform tomography, which is more robust than traveltime tomography at approximating the wave equation and thus should provide images of subsurface heterogeneities such as corestones and fracture networks. This technique uses a weak scattering approximation to account for the amplitude and phase of the recorded waveforms, rather than just the traveltimes. A 48-channel vertical geophone array and hammer source was deployed over a 7 m high road cut with receiver and shot spacing of 2 m and 4 m respectively. The road cut displays lateral variation in weathering from a friable saprolite to coherent granodiorite which are compared to velocity variations modeled using waveform tomography.

  7. 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. PMID:26236887

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Hornblende gabbro sill complex at Onion Valley, California, and a mixing origin for the Sierra Nevada batholith

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sisson, T. W.; Grove, T. L.; Coleman, D. S.

    1996-12-01

    The steep crest of the Sierra Nevada, California, near Onion Valley, exposes natural cross sections through a mafic intrusive complex that formed as part of the Mesozoic Sierra Nevada batholith. Sheeted sills of hornblende gabbro to hornblende diorite, individually as thick as 1.5 m, form the upper 200 to 300 m of the complex. Thicker, multiply-injected sills, as well as mafic stocks, lie underneath at elevations below 3600 m. Lens-shaped cumulate bodies, as thick as 200 m and more than 700 m broad, lie near the base of the sheeted sill suite. Cumulates are flat-lying, modally layered hornblende gabbro with subsidiary ultramafic olivine hornblendite, plagioclase hornblendite, and late-mobile hornblende-plagioclase pegmatite. Fine grain size, scarce phenocrysts and xenocrysts, and quench mineral textures are evidence that hornblende gabbro sills injected in a largely liquid state and preserve basaltic melt compositions. Most sills reached volatile saturation, as shown by tiny miarolitic cavities that are also widespread in cumulates. Although some sills chilled directly against others, most chilled against septa, millimeters to a few centimeters thick, of medium-grained diorite to granodiorite. Mutually crosscutting relations, as well as chilling, show that the septa were partly molten at the time the sills injected and likely formed the lower portions of an overlying more silicic magma chamber that has since been removed by erosion. Sill compositions range from evolved high-alumina basalt to aluminous andesite with major and trace element abundances similar to those of modern arc magmas. Experimental phase equilibria indicate dissolved water contents near 6 wt% (Sisson and Grove 1993a). The sills show unequivocally that hydrous arc basaltic magmas reached shallow levels in the crust during formation of the largely granodioritic Sierra Nevada batholith. The basaltic magmas appear to have been produced from an enriched mantle source with 87Sr/86Sr ˜0.7065, ɛNd ˜-4

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. A global model simulation for 3-D radiative transfer impact on surface hydrology over Sierra Nevada and Rocky Mountains

    DOE PAGESBeta

    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

  15. 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.

  16. A global model simulation for 3-D radiative transfer impact on surface hydrology over Sierra Nevada and Rocky Mountains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

    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. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. A Global Model Simulation for 3-D Radiative Transfer Impact on Surface Hydrology over Sierra Nevada and Rocky Mountains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

    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 the CCSM4 (CAM4/CLM) global model with a 0.25 degree resolution for a 6-year climate run. In 3-D radiative transfer parameterization, we have updated surface topography data from a resolution of 1 km to 90 meters using the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) global dataset to improve parameterization accuracy. In addition, we have also modified the upward-flux deviation (3D - PP) adjustment to ensure that energy balance at the top of the atmosphere is conserved in climate simulations involving the 3-D radiation parameterization in a global model. We show that deviations of the net surface fluxes are not only affected by 3-D mountains, but also influenced by cloud feedback 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 SWE deviations averaged over the entire domain 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Relationship between the trajectory of mid-latitude cyclones in the eastern Pacific Ocean and the isotopic composition of snowfall in the Sierra Nevada, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vasquez, K. T.; Sickman, J. O.; Lucero, D. M.; Heard, A. M.

    2014-12-01

    Climate change has caused a change in the Sierra Nevada snowpack and the timing of its snowmelt, threatening a valuable water resource that provides for 25 million people and 5 million hectares of irrigated land. Understanding past and future variations in the snowpack is crucial in order to plan future water management. Of particular importance would be an archive of the variability of past snowfall, which can be recorded through the isotopic records found in local paleoproxies (e.g., diatoms). We propose to quantify the relationship between sources of atmospheric moisture in the Sierra Nevada and the isotopic composition of its snowpack to uncover whether isotopic variations recorded in paloearchives are a result of the isotopic composition of the precipitation, thereby showing whether these archives could serve as a reliable source of atmospheric moisture. Preliminary analysis conducted from December 2012 to March 2013 at Sequoia National Park resulted in statistically significant correlations between the isotopic composition of the winter snowfall and storm track trajectories. It was observed that storms originating from more northern latitudes had predominantly lighter isotopes (more negative δ 2H and δ18O) and sub-tropical/tropical Pacific storms showed more positive δ 2H and δ18O. This pattern reflects the isotopic gradient of the Pacific Ocean and can prove useful when interpreting the climatic significance of the δ2H and δ18O values in analyzed proxies. While our initial investigation was promising, the winter of 2012 -2013 was abnormally dry compared to long-term averages. Before directing our investigation to known paleoproxies, we aim to determine if the correlation between storm tracks and isotopic composition of precipitation holds in years with average and above average precipitation through analysis of archived samples from calendar years 2007 - 2011 from Giant Forest in Sequoia National Park (southern sierra) and Manzanita Lake in Lassen

  6. Relationship between the trajectory of mid-latitude cyclones in the eastern Pacific Ocean and the isotopic composition of snowfall in the Sierra Nevada, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vasquez, K. T.; Sickman, J. O.; Heard, A.; Lucero, D.

    2013-12-01

    Diatoms, preserved in lake sediments, provide a potential archive of snowfall variability in the Sierra Nevada through their sensitivity to changes in water chemistry (a proxy for runoff volume) and by recording the isotopic composition of snow-melt (potentially a proxy for sources of atmospheric moisture). In the Sierra Nevada, we hypothesize that the oxygen isotopic composition of diatom silica is principally controlled by snow and that the isotopic composition of snow varies as a function of the tracks of mid-latitude cyclonic storms in the eastern Pacific Ocean. Snow samples from discrete storms were collected from December 2012 to March 2013 at 2042 meters a.s.l. in Sequoia National Park. The δ18O and δ2H values of the snow samples were measured using a temperature-conversion elemental analyzer coupled to a Delta V isotope ratio mass spectrometer. The isotopic measurements were then coupled to 3, 5 and 7-day air mass back trajectories using the NOAA HYSPLIT model. The measured δ18O values ranged from -17.6 to -7.8 per mil and the δ2H ranged from -119.8 to -73.3 per mil. Both δ18O and δ2H were inversely related to the latitude of the storm origin (R^2 values of 0.67 and 0.57, respectively). Winter storms from the Gulf of Alaska were the most isotopically depleted while storms originating in the subtropical/tropical Pacific were the most isotopically enriched, reflecting the overall latitudinal pattern of ocean-water isotope composition in the Pacific Ocean. Our results suggest that the isotopic composition of Sierra Nevada snowfall is influenced by storm track trajectory and this relationship could be useful in interpreting the climatic significance of δ18O of diatom silica preserved in lake cores.

  7. 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.

  8. Current Sierra Nevada-North America motion from very long baseline interferometry: Implications for the kinematics of the western United States

    SciTech Connect

    Argus, D.F.; Gordon, R.G. )

    1991-11-01

    The authors use geodetic measurements from very long baseline interferometry to estimate the motion of the Sierra Nevadan microplate. The motion of the Sierra Nevadan microplate relative to the North American plate is described by a right-handed rotation of 0.61{degree}/m.y. about lat 32{degree}N, long 128{degree}W. This Euler pole predicts a significant counterclockwise rotation about a local vertical axis. It further predicts a velocity of the eastern edge of the Sierra Nevada relative to stable North America of 11 {plus minus}1 mm/yr toward N36{degree} {plus minus}3{degree}W, which accounts for about one-fourth of the velocity between the Pacific and North American plates and is {approximately}25{degree} clockwise of many prior estimates. The velocity nearly parallels the boundary between the Sierra Nevada and the Great Basin, which implies that current motion within the Great Basin results in a rotational, noncoaxial deformation. The authors use this velocity to estimate how motion is distributed across the broad deforming zone taking up Pacific-North America plate motion. They find that the vector sum of strike slip along the San Andreas fault and motion of the Sierra Nevada relative to stable North America (taken up by deformation within the Great Basin) differs little from the Pacific-north America plate velocity. The difference can be described at 36{degree}N along the San Andreas fault by a vector of 6 mm/yr directed toward N20{degree}W. This vector resolves into components of 5 mm/yr parallel to the fault and 2 mm/yr perpendicular to the fault with 95% confidence intervals of 0 to 10 mm/yr and {minus}1 to +5 mm/yr, respectively. The authors conclude that motion previously inferred to be taken up by deformation other than strike slip along the San Andreas fault or deformation within the Great Basin is much smaller than previously thought.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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. PMID:25261921

  15. High temperature fracturing and ductile deformation during cooling of a pluton: The Lake Edison granodiorite (Sierra Nevada batholith, California)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pennacchioni, Giorgio; Zucchi, Eleonora

    2013-05-01

    In the Bear Creek area of the Sierra Nevada batholith, California, the high temperature postmagmatic deformation structures of the Lake Edison granodiorite include steeply-dipping orthogneiss foliations, joints, and ductile shear zones that nucleated on joints and leucocratic dykes. Exploitation of segmented joints resulted in sharply bounded, thin shear zones and in large slip gradients near the shear zone tips causing the deformation of the host rock at contractional domains. The orthogneiss foliation intensifies towards the contact with the younger Mono Creek granite and locally defines the dextral Rosy Finch Shear Zone (RFSZ), a major kilometre-wide zone crosscutting the pluton contacts. Joints predominantly strike at N70-90°E over most of the Lake Edison pluton and are exploited as sinistral shear zones, both within and outside the RFSZ. In a narrow (˜250 m thick) zone at the contact with the younger Mono Creek granite, within the RFSZ, the Lake Edison granodiorite includes different sets of dextral and sinistral shear zones/joints (the latter corresponding to the set that dominates over the rest of the Lake Edison pluton). These shear zones/joints potentially fit with a composite Y-R-R' shear fracture pattern associated with the RFSZ, or with a pattern consisting of Y-R-shear fractures and rotated T' mode I extensional fractures. The mineral assemblage of shear zones, and the microstructure and texture of quartz mylonites indicate that ductile deformation occurred above 500 °C. Joints and ductile shearing alternated and developed coevally. The existing kinematic models do not fully capture the structural complexity of the area or the spatial distribution of the deformation and magmatic structures. Future models should account more completely for the character of ductile and brittle deformation as these plutons were emplaced and cooled.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. A global model simulation for 3-D radiative transfer impact on surface hydrology over the Sierra Nevada and Rocky Mountains

    DOE PAGESBeta

    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

  19. 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.

  20. A global model simulation for 3-D radiative transfer impact on surface hydrology over the Sierra Nevada and Rocky Mountains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-05-01

    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° x 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 at 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.

  1. Extreme values of snow-related variables in Mediterranean regions: trends and long-term forecasting in Sierra Nevada (Spain)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pérez-Palazón, M. J.; Pimentel, R.; Herrero, J.; Aguilar, C.; Perales, J. M.; Polo, M. J.

    2015-06-01

    Mountain areas in Mediterranean regions constitute key monitoring points for climate variability and its impacts, but long time datasets are not always available due to the difficult access to high areas, relevant for capturing temperature and precipitation regimes, and the predominance of cloudy remote sensing images during the snow season. Sierra Nevada National Park (South Spain), with altitudes higher than 3500 m a.s.l., is part of the Global Change in Mountain Regions network. Snow occurrence just 40 km from the seaside determines a wide range of biodiversity, a snowmelt fluvial regime, and the associated ecosystem services. This work presents the local trend analysis of weather variables at this area together with additional snow-related variables. For this, long term point and distributed observations from weather stations and remote sensing sources were studied and used as input and calibration datasets of a physically based snow model to derive long term series of mean and maximum daily fraction of snow covered area, annual number of days with snow, annual number of days with precipitation, mean and maximum mean daily snow water equivalent, and snowmelt and evaporation volumes. The joint analysis of weather and snow variables showed a decrease trend in the persistence and extent of the snow cover area. The precipitation regime, rather than the temperature trend, seems to be the most relevant driver on the snow regime forcing in Mediterranean areas. This poses a constraint for rigorous scenario analysis in these regions, since the precipitation pattern is poorly approximated by climatic models in these regions.

  2. Impact of interannual variations in sources of insoluble aerosol species on orographic precipitation over California's central Sierra Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-06-01

    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 field campaign (2009-2011), the variability and associated impacts of different aerosol sources on precipitation were investigated in the California Sierra Nevada using an aerosol time-of-flight mass spectrometer for precipitation chemistry, S-band profiling radar for precipitation classification, remote sensing measurements of cloud properties, and surface meteorological measurements. The composition of insoluble residues in precipitation samples collected at a surface site contained mostly local biomass burning and long-range-transported dust and biological particles (2009), local sources of biomass burning and pollution (2010), and long-range transport (2011). Although differences in the sources of insoluble residues were observed from year to year, the most consistent source of dust and biological residues were associated with storms consisting of deep convective cloud systems with significant quantities of precipitation initiated in the ice phase. Further, biological residues were dominant (up to 40%) during storms with relatively warm cloud temperatures (up to -15 °C), supporting the important role bioparticles can play as ice nucleating particles. On the other hand, lower percentages of residues from local biomass burning and pollution were observed over the three winter seasons (on average 31 and 9%, respectively). When precipitation quantities were relatively low, these insoluble residues most likely served as CCN, forming smaller more numerous cloud droplets at the base of shallow cloud systems, and resulting in less efficient riming processes. Ultimately, the goal is to use such observations to improve the mechanistic linkages between aerosol sources and precipitation processes

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. U/Pb, Sm/Nd and Rb/Sr geochronological and isotopic study of northern Sierra Nevada ophiolitic assemblages, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saleeby, J. B.; Shaw, H. F.; Niemeyer, Sidney; Moores, E. M.; Edelman, S. H.

    1989-06-01

    Distinct ophiolitic assemblages occur as oceanic basement within three of the four regional tectonic belts of the northern Sierra Nevada. New U/Pb zircon, Sm/Nd and Rb/Sr data are presented for each assemblage, providing critical geochronological and isotopic constraints on the petrogenesis and tectonic evolution of the ophiolitic and associated ensimatic assemblages. Ophiolitic assemblages include from west to east the Smartville complex, Central belt and Feather River belt. The Smartville complex represents an island arc volcanic-plutonic sequence with a major late-stage sheeted dike swarm. The Sm/Nd systems from a wide compositional spectrum of rocks record a 178±21 Ma petrogenetic age and an ɛ Nd(T)=+9.2±0.6. Zircon U/Pb systems on an uppermost dacite yield a 164±2 Ma age, and on a number of plagiogranite screens and dikes from the sheeted complex 162±1 Ma ages. The Central and Feather River belts are structurally complex polygenetic assemblages. The U/Pb zircon and Sm/Nd systems record major ˜205 Ma and ˜315 Ma petrogenetic events respectively both involving depleted mantle derived magmas. Such magmatism probably occurred in marginal basin/transform systems developed within an older oceanic depleted mantle basement regime. Both Sm/Nd and U/Pb zircon systems show local components of Proterozoic sialic material. The sialic contaminants were probably introduced into the system as craton derived detritus. It is doubtful that any of the ophiolitic assemblages studied represent genetically related crust-upper mantle sequences generated during the development of new oceanic lithosphere. Integration of the geochronological data with geological relations reveals a pattern of petrogenesis and tectonics whereby progressively younger ensimatic terranes were added to the continental margin through time by plate convergence, and were ultimately welded into North American sial by a crosscutting batholithic belt. This accretionary pattern is reflected in both the

  10. Critical zone weathering in the southern Sierra Nevada and Laramie Mountains imaged by seismic tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hayes, J. L.; Holbrook, W. S.; Riebe, C. S.

    2011-12-01

    Near-surface variations in seismic velocity reflect differences in physical properties such as density and porosity, which in turn reflect differences in alteration of parent material by exposure to water and biologic activity. Here we present tomographic analysis of the extent of weathering from seismic refraction experiments at two areas underlain by granite: the Southern Sierra Critical Zone Observatory (SSCZO) in the fall of 2010 & 2011 and the Laramie Mountains in the spring of 2010. A 48-channel geophone array and hammer source was deployed in both surveys. In both areas seismic velocities suggest that weathering has progressed to depths of 10 m or more. When coupled with geochemical measurements of the degree of regolith weathering, these depths imply that the potential for subsurface water storage in regolith may be a larger component of the water budget than previously thought at the SSCZO. The velocity of granite bedrock was determined independently in both studies to be ~4 km/s by seismic experiments directly on outcropping granite. Two other ranges of seismic velocities seem consistent between the studies: a saprolite layer of chemically altered but still intact rock (2-4 km/s) and a regolith layer more altered than the underlying saprolite layer (<2 km/s). Using these parameters we tested hypotheses in two different granite-weathering environments. In the SSCZO a velocity-depth profile that crosses a water-saturated meadow and an adjoining forest reveal relatively low gradients in the first ten meters beneath the forest (0.75 km/s per 10 m) and higher gradients beneath the meadow (3 km/s per 10 m). From these observations, we hypothesize that the saturated meadow may provide a reducing environment that inhibits chemical weathering relative to better-drained, more oxidizing conditions in the forest. In the 1.4 Ga Sherman batholith of the Laramie Mountains we observe isolated outcrops of Lincoln Granite within the Sherman Granite. Two 0.5 km profiles

  11. Genomic scanning using AFLP to detect loci under selection in the moss Funaria hygrometrica along a climate gradient in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Spain.

    PubMed

    Magdy, M; Werner, O; McDaniel, S F; Goffinet, B; Ros, R M

    2016-03-01

    The common cord moss Funaria hygrometrica has a worldwide distribution and thrives in a wide variety of environments. Here, we studied the genetic diversity in F. hygrometrica along an abiotic gradient in the Mediterranean high mountain of Sierra Nevada (Spain) using a genome scan method. Eighty-four samples from 17 locations from 24 to 2700 m were fingerprinted based on their amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) banding pattern. Using PCA and Bayesian inference we found that the genetic diversity was structured in three or four clusters, respectively. Using a genome scan method we identified 13 outlier loci, which showed a signature of positive selection. Partial Mantel tests were performed between the Euclidean distance matrices of geographic and climatic variables, versus the pair-wise genetic distance of the AFLP dataset and AFLP-positive outliers dataset. AFLP-positive outlier data were significantly correlated with the gradient of the climatic variables, suggesting adaptive variation among populations of F. hygrometrica along the Sierra Nevada Mountains. We highlight the additional analyses necessary to identify the nature of these loci, and their biological role in the adaptation process. PMID:26284822

  12. Remote Sensing of Sierra Nevada Forests and Shrublands: Atmosphere, Illumination, and Viewing Geometry Effects on MODIS Vegetation Indices and Water Use Estimation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Waller, E.; Moritz, M.

    2013-12-01

    Remotely sensed MODIS data are commonly used to estimate surface evapotranspiration (ET), often through the comparison of thermally-derived Land Surface Temperature (LST) with vegetation indices such as the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and the Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI). Various researchers have found the use of different vegetation indices to result in better correlations with ET. Land cover-specific factors may explain these differences in many cases, but examples from the Sierra Nevada provide striking evidence that multi-day EVI composites can be very noisy, contaminated by scattered low values resulting from a maximum-NDVI compositing process. While NDVI is relatively insensitive to sun-sensor viewing geometry, NDVI composites can be biased toward dark pixels in the forward scattering direction, due to lower red reflectance. EVI is highly sensitive to brightness levels, with lower values for proportionally darker pixels. The aberrant results can negatively impact water use estimation and suggest that EVI composites should utilize a compositing procedure that more heavily weights maximum EVI. This would result in a different pixel-day selection compared to the NDVI composite, but would provide a much superior EVI composite. Rugged topography, illumination, and atmospheric effects may explain other observed irregularities in the NDVI composites (e.g., higher NDVIs during dry fall period due to low sun angles and drier atmosphere) and contribute to inconsistencies among MODIS vegetation index, LST, and ET products in the Sierra Nevada.

  13. Principal sources and dispersal patterns of suspended particulate matter in nearshore surface waters of the northeast Pacific Ocean and seasonal variation in snow cover in the Sierra Nevada

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carlson, P. R. (Principal Investigator); Harden, D. R.

    1973-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. ERTS-1 imagery used in conjunction with the surface-drift cards indicated a southerly flow direction of the central California near surface coastal currents during mid-June 1973. The near-surface currents off northern California and southern Oregon were more complex. Some drift cards were recovered north and some south of their release points; however, the prevalent direction of flow was northerly. General agreement in flow direction of coastal currents obtained from ERTS-1 imagery and drift card data reinforces the image interpretation. Complete seasonal coverage of nearshore circulation interpreted from ERTS-1 imagery will provide information necessary for proper coastal zone management. Extent of snow cover can be readily delimited on ERTS-1 band 5. In the central Sierra Nevada Mountains this past winter season, the snow line, as recorded by ERTS-1, reached an elevation of less than 1500 meters in January but had melted back to between 2500 and 3000 meters by the end of May. ERTS-1 imagery seems to provide sufficient resolution to make it a useful tool for monitoring changes in snow cover in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

  14. Range-wide genetic differentiation among North American great gray owls (Strix nebulosa) reveals a distinct lineage restricted to the Sierra Nevada, California.

    PubMed

    Hull, Joshua M; Keane, John J; Savage, Wesley K; Godwin, Steven A; Shafer, Jo Ann; Jepsen, Eric P; Gerhardt, Rick; Stermer, Chris; Ernest, Holly B

    2010-07-01

    Investigations of regional genetic differentiation are essential for describing phylogeographic patterns and informing management efforts for species of conservation concern. In this context, we investigated genetic diversity and evolutionary relationships among great gray owl (Strix nebulosa) populations in western North America, which includes an allopatric range in the southern Sierra Nevada in California. Based on a total dataset consisting of 30 nuclear microsatellite DNA loci and 1938-base pairs of mitochondrial DNA, we found that Pacific Northwest sampling groups were recovered by frequency and Bayesian analyses of microsatellite data and each population sampled, except for western Canada, showed evidence of recent population bottlenecks and low effective sizes. Bayesian and maximum likelihood phylogenetic analyses of sequence data indicated that the allopatric Sierra Nevada population is also a distinct lineage with respect to the larger species range in North America; we suggest a subspecies designation for this lineage should be considered (Strix nebulosa yosemitensis). Our study underscores the importance of phylogeographic studies for identifying lineages of conservation concern, as well as the important role of Pleistocene glaciation events in driving genetic differentiation of avian fauna. PMID:20193768

  15. Soil Carbon and Nitrogen Dynamics in Fire-Suppressed, Wildfire-Burned, and Prescribe-Burned Chaparral in the Sierra Nevada Foothills

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Norton, J. B.; Horwath, W. R.; Norton, U.

    2004-12-01

    Chaparral shrublands cover 13 percent of California's land area and are very dynamic, productive, and flammable. While chaparral supports potentially destructive stand-replacing fires that provide opportunity for rapid, large-scale vegetation manipulation for range management and fire hazard reduction, there has been little investigative work describing soil organic matter dynamics in chaparral. We report findings of research on vegetation cover and soil organic matter fractionation in passive, slow, and rapidly cycling pools under different fire history regimes and soil types in chamise-manzanita-toyon chaparral of the Sierra Nevada Foothills. We used detailed fire history overlays and soil-vegetation maps to identify five fire history scenarios: 1) long-term fire-suppressed; 2) 20-year wildfire frequency (1950-1972-1992); 3) four-year wildfire frequency (1997-2001); 4) one-time wildfire (2001); and 5) prescribed reburn (2001-2005-2006) where the management goal is to type convert dense, resprouting shrub cover to a grass-shrub mosaic in a strategic fire hazard reduction zone. We replicated these sampling areas on three soil types ubiquitous to Sierra Nevada Foothills chaparral: soil derived from residuum of granite, basic igneous and metamorphic rocks, and serpentine. Vegetation cover analysis shows that the four-year fire recurrence interval has significantly lower shrub cover and higher annual grass cover compared to all the other treatments. Results of vegetation cover analysis, soil organic carbon fractionation, estimates of microbially available carbon, and indices of potentially mineralizable nitrogen will be presented.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Slab, drip, or peeling lithosphere: Teleseismic P-wave tomography and the Isabella anomaly of the southwestern Sierra Nevada, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, C. H.; Reeg, H.; Zandt, G.; Gilbert, H. J.; Owens, T. J.; Stachnik, J. C.

    2013-12-01

    The high-wavespeed Isabella anomaly in the upper mantle at the southwestern edge of the Sierra Nevada has been interpreted as a convective (Rayleigh-Taylor) instability (or drip), the remains of a fragment of the Farallon plate (a slab) or the product of delamination of lithosphere from the east or south. P-wave tomography using 29,186 picks from portable deployments from 1988, 1997, and the SNEP deployment of 2005-7 and surrounding TA and permanent broadband stations was run from a variety of starting models. Some models started from a 1-D earth model, some from the Moschetti et al. (JGR 2010) 3-D S-wave model, some from the Gilbert et al. (Geosphere, 2012) 3-D SV-wave model. S-wave models were converted to P-wavespeeds using the regression suggested by Brocher (BSSA 2005). In some cases the upper levels of the 3-D models were fixed and only wavespeeds below ~55 km were allowed to change. Because of the relatively poor vertical resolution of the teleseismic body wave tomography and the bias towards a minimal model variance, the resulting images in the upper lithosphere vary considerably between models, producing results resembling slabs, drips, and delaminations for the Isabella anomaly. Thus the shape of the shallow part of the anomaly does not reliably determine its origin. Deeper (100-250 km) parts of the anomaly are consistent between different inversions with a ≥4% fast body dipping 60-70° east. Vertical integrals of wavespeed anomaly are relatively insensitive to the models; use of such an integral over the body from 95 to 245 km depth yields an equivalent volume of 7 × 1 x106 km3 at a mean anomaly of +1%. We expect from geological considerations that a volume on average 5% fast of 0.9-1.6 x 106 km3 was removed from under the southern Sierra, equivalent to a volume of 4.4-8.4 x 106 km3 at 1% fast, in close agreement with the equivalent volume of the Isabella anomaly. We prefer some kind of 3-D convective removal for the Isabella anomaly, noting that the

  1. 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

  2. Soil mineral weathering in glacial deposits in the western Sierra Nevada and implication for U/Th geochronology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aburto Guerrero, F. A.; Southard, R.

    2012-12-01

    During the Pleistocene vast alpine glaciers capped the Sierra Nevada range l and were a dominant force in shaping the post-glacial landscape. On the west side of the Lake Tahoe basin many moraine deposits stand out from the local morphology. Since their deposition these materials have been subject to physical and chemical weathering typical of this alpine environment. There is a general lack of information about soil weathering processes and rates for till deposits in alpine environments. We present the preliminary results of the mineralogical analysis of 13 granitic-derived soils located on Tioga (aprox. 19ka) and Tahoe age (aprox.118ka) moraine crests. A new light detection and ranging (LIDAR) dataset allowed geomorphic correlation of features using field reconnaissance and computer-based 3-D LIDAR data interpretation. A suite of mineralogical and elemental analyses, including XRD, DSC/TG and pXRF was performed, We also studied in-situ mineral transformations in selected durinodes by means of electron microprobe analysis and exploratory laser ablation coupled with mass spectrometry. Despite the large age difference in the deposits, Tahoe- and Tioga-age soils have very similar field morphology, making field discrimination extremely difficult. Mineralogical analysis reveals that soils on Tahoe-age moraines have clay mineralogy dominated by biotite and hydro-biotite, plus significant quantities of gibbsite and kaolinite. On the other hand, soils on Tioga-age moraines only have traces of gibbsite and kaolinite, and biotite is only slightly weathered. Elemental analysis suggests that Si and Al have been significantly mobilized exclusively in Tahoe-age soils. Increments in Al concentration coincide with relative gibbsite and kaolinite enrichment and plagioclase depletion. Si increment at deeper horizons seems to be associated with non-crystalline phases. Tioga-age durinodes are composed of till materials cemented by silica and contain coatings of micaceous materials

  3. Cosmic-ray-produced Ne-21 in terrestrial quartz: The neon inventory of Sierra Nevada quartz separates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niedermann, S.; Graf, Th.; Kim, J. S.; Kohl, C. P.; Marti, K.; Nishiizumi, K.

    1994-07-01

    The study of cosmic-ray-produced radioactive and stable nuclides on the surface of the Earth can provide relevant geomorphological and glaciological information. At present, the cosmic ray production rates of stable Ne-21 are not well known. This study attempts to remedy the situation by determining the production rate ratio of Ne-21 and Al-26, P-21/P-26, in quartz. Al-26 concentrations and P-26 rates have previously been investigated for quartz separates of Sierra Nevada rocks which were brought to the surface by glacial scouring during the Tioga period at the end of the last ice age. We used splits of the same samples for our studies and found that Ne in these rocks represents a mixture of several components: trapped Ne, nucleogenic Ne-21 and Ne-22 produced by (alpha, n) reactions in oxygen and fluorine, respectively, as well as cosmic-ray-produced Ne, which is the component of interest in this study. The trapped component was substantially lost in one sample (W86-12) by crushing and by a density separation of the grain sizes 38-90 microns and 90-125 microns, permitting the resolution of the in situ produced Ne-21 into cosmic-ray spallation and (alpha, n) produced components and the determination of a lower limit to P-21/P-26. In a second sample (W86-8) one split contained small enough amounts of nucleogenic Ne-21 to permit the determination of a reasonable upper limit to P-21/P-26. The two ratio determinations are consistent within error limits and the value adopted, 0.65 +/- 0.11 (2-sigma), agrees with ratios observed in extraterrestrial matter. Apparently, P-21/P-26 is thus not very sensitive to the neutron spectrum. However, the observed production rate ratio is substantially larger than theoretical estimates for Si targets, reflecting poorly known neutron excitation functions. The above P-21/P-26 value, coupled to the observed Al-26 production rate, corresponds to a Ne-21 production rate of P-21 = 21 atoms/g/a in quartz or to P-21 = 45 atoms/g Si/a (at sea

  4. Tertiary volcanic activity at Sonora Pass, CA: arc and non-arc magmatism in the central Sierra Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roelofs, A.; Glazner, A. F.; Farmer, G. L.

    2004-12-01

    The volume and composition of Tertiary volcanic rocks in the Sierra Nevada of California changes dramatically near Sonora Pass (latitude 38° N). North of Sonora Pass is a large volume of volcanic rocks petrographically and chemically linked to subduction in the Cascade arc. South of Sonora Pass these calc-alkaline rocks are lacking and the only preserved volcanic rocks are small-volume mafic to intermediate potassic lavas that may have been generated by Pliocene lithospheric delamination (e.g. Farmer et al 2002). We have undertaken geologic mapping and geochemical and isotopic analysis of rocks near Sonora Pass at the boundary between these two magmatic provinces. At Sonora Pass, the 16-10 m.y.-old Relief Peak Formation and its hypabyssal equivalents are dominated by hornblende-phyric andesite lava flows and mudflow breccias (a stratovolcano assemblage) with marked high field-strength element (HFSE) depletions relative to large-ion lithophile elements (LILE), high Sri ( ˜ 0.7056), and low ɛ Nd (-1.4 > ɛ Nd > -2.5). The overlying Stanislaus Group ( ˜10-8 my old) has elevated HFSE and LILE relative to the Relief Peak Formation, anhydrous mineralogy, and similar isotope ratios (Sri ˜ 0.7056, -1.9 > ɛ Nd > -3.4). The overlying Disaster Peak Formation is petrographically similar to the Relief Peak Formation. Lavas of the Relief Peak Formation may have been derived from the hydrated, LILE-rich and HFSE-poor mantle wedge above the subducting Juan de Fuca plate as part of the ancestral Cascade arc. The eruption of the dry, HFSE- and LILE-richer Stanislaus Group from vents near those of the Relief Peak Formation and to the east during an apparent pause in Relief Peak-type activity may represent a temporary shift to a dry, more fertile, isotopically enriched source in the mantle. The shift coincides with the arrival of the subducted Mendocino Fracture Zone (MFZ) beneath Sonora Pass, and the change in plate stress as the MFZ traversed the region may have influenced

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Soil development along elevational transects on granite, andesitic lahar and basalt in the western Sierra Nevada, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dahlgren, R. A.; Rasmussen, C.; Southard, R. J.

    2009-04-01

    Soil development along three elevational transects, consisting of granite, andesitic lahar and basalt, were investigated on the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada, California to assess the effects of climate on soil properties and processes. The transects, each consisting of four to seven soils, spanned elevations between 150 to 2900 m with mean annual temperatures (3-17 C) decreasing and precipitation (33-150 cm) increasing with increasing elevation. All sites were characterized by a Mediterranean climate with warm to hot, dry summers and cool to cold, wet winters. Vegetation progressed from oak woodland/annual grasslands at low elevations to mixed conifer forest at mid elevations and subalpine mixed conifer forest at high elevations. Soil pH and base saturation decreased with increasing elevation with the largest decrease found on granite. Solum carbon pools ranged from 2 to 25 kg m-2 with the highest contents found in soils formed on andesitic lahar and in mid-elevation soils corresponding to the highest ecosystem net primary productivity. The degree of weathering and mineral assemblages exhibited a strong threshold change at the elevation of the permanent winter snowline (1200-1500 m). Measures of chemical weathering (e.g., clay and Fe oxide production) increased in a near-linear fashion to the winter snowline where they abruptly decreased by about 10-fold. The clay mineralogical assemblage in the rain-dominated weathering zone was dominated by kaolin minerals and was remarkably similar among all parent materials. Within the snow-dominated weathering zone, clay mineralogy was dominated by allophanic materials (allophone/imogolite) on the andesite and basalt compared to hydroxy-Al interlayered 2:1 layer silicates and gibbsite on the granite. Clay translocation resulting in the formation of argillic horizons was only found in the rain-dominated zone. With increasing elevation, soil development followed the order: Alfisols → Ultisols → Inceptisols (granite

  8. LiDAR measurement of seasonal snow accumulation along an elevation gradient in the southern Sierra Nevada, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kirchner, P. B.; Bales, R. C.; Molotch, N. P.; Flanagan, J.; Guo, Q.

    2014-10-01

    We present results from snow-on and snow-off airborne-scanning LiDAR measurements over a 53 km2 area in the southern Sierra Nevada. We found that snow depth as a function of elevation increased approximately 15 cm per 100 m, until reaching an elevation of 3300 m, where depth sharply decreased at a rate of 48 cm per 100 m. Departures from the 15 cm per 100 m trend, based on 1 m elevation-band means of regression residuals, showed slightly less steep increases below 2050 m; steeper increases between 2050 and 3300 m; and less steep increases above 3300 m. Although the study area is partly forested, only measurements in open areas were used. Below approximately 2050 m elevation, ablation and rainfall are the primary causes of departure from the orographic trend. From 2050 to 3300 m, greater snow depths than predicted were found on the steeper terrain of the northwest and the less steep northeast-facing slopes, suggesting that ablation, aspect, slope and wind redistribution all play a role in local snow-depth variability. At elevations above 3300 m, orographic processes mask the effect of wind deposition when averaging over large areas. Also, terrain in this basin becomes less steep above 3300 m. This suggests a reduction in precipitation from upslope lifting and/or the exhaustion of precipitable water from ascending air masses. Our results suggest a cumulative precipitation lapse rate for the 2100-3300 m range of about 6 cm per 100 m elevation for the accumulation period of 3 December 2009 to 23 March 2010. This is a higher gradient than the widely used PRISM (Parameter-elevation Relationships on Independent Slopes Model) precipitation products, but similar to that from reconstruction of snowmelt amounts from satellite snow-cover data. Our findings provide a unique characterization of the consistent, steep average increase in precipitation with elevation in snow-dominated terrain, using high-resolution, highly accurate data and highlighs the importance of solar

  9. LiDAR measurement of seasonal snow accumulation along an elevation gradient in the southern Sierra Nevada, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kirchner, P. B.; Bales, R. C.; Molotch, N. P.; Flanagan, J.; Guo, Q.

    2014-05-01

    We present results from snow-on and snow-off airborne-scanning LiDAR measurements over a 53-km2 area in the southern Sierra Nevada. We found that snow depth as a function of elevation increased approximately 15 cm 100 m-1, until reaching an elevation of 3300 m, where depth sharply decreased at a rate of 48 cm 100 m-1. Departures from the 15 cm 100 m-1 trend, based on 1-m elevation-band means of regression residuals, showed slightly less-steep increases below 2050 m; steeper increases between 2050-3300 m; and less-steep increases above 3300 m. Although the study area is partly forested, only measurements in open areas were used. Below approximately 2050 m elevation, ablation and rainfall are the primary causes of departure from the orographic trend. From 2050 to 3300 m, greater snow depths than predicted were found on the steeper terrain of the northwest and the less-steep northeast-facing slopes, suggesting that ablation, aspect, slope and wind redistribution all play a role in local snow-depth variability. At elevations above 3300 m orographic processes mask the effect of wind deposition when averaging over large areas. Also, terrain in this basin becomes less steep above 3300 m. This suggests a reduction in precipitation from upslope lifting, and/or the exhaustion of precipitable water from ascending air masses. Our results suggest a precipitation lapse rate for the 2100-3300 m range of about 6 cm 100 m-1 elevation. This is a higher gradient than the widely used PRISM (Parameter-elevation Relationships on Independent Slopes Model) precipitation products, but similar to that from reconstruction of snowmelt amounts from satellite snowcover data. Our findings provide a unique characterization of the consistent, steep average increase in precipitation with elevation in snow-dominated terrain, using high-resolution, highly-accurate data, as well as the importance of solar radiation, wind redistribution and mid-winter melt with regard to snow distribution.

  10. Nature and Evolution of the Mafic Component(s) of the Early Cretaceous Sierra Nevada Batholith, CA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clemens-Knott, D.; Seal, E.; Saleeby, J.

    2011-12-01

    Geochemical characterization of the mafic component(s) of the earliest phase of the voluminous Cretaceous Sierra Nevada batholith is facilitated by two rock assemblages exposed in the Stokes Mountain region of the western foothills near Visalia, CA: (1) km-scale blocks of modally layered olivine-plagioclase cumulates, and (2) two gabbroic-to-granitic ring dike complexes. Mineral compositions of a 100-m-thick section of a single layered cumulate block documents the presence of high-temperature mineral assemblages (e.g., Fo78 olivine; An93 plagioclase), approaching values that would be in equilibrium with mantle-derived primary magmas. Stratigraphic and core-to-rim variations in mineral chemistry (including nickel contents in olivine) demonstrate that the earliest stages of magma differentiation were dominated by down-temperature fractional crystallization, punctuated by repeated recharge of mantle-derived magmas. Fractional crystallization of troctolite cumulates is hypothesized to have produced buoyant, hornblende-rich gabbros-to-diorites that are represented by rare gabbroic intrusions (e.g., Stokes Mtn. region; Onion Valley) and possibly by the more abundant mafic enclaves that are found mingled with intermediate to silicic intrusions throughout the batholith. Geochemical systematics of the dominantly gabbroic to tonalitic ring dikes complexes encasing the mafic cumulate blocks document the temporal coexistence of at least two, spatially distinct source regions within the mantle wedge. REE and O-Sr-Nd isotopic data indicate that differentiation of ring dikes magmas occurred primarily by coupled assimilation-fractional crystallization. Some mixing with recharged mafic magmas is supported both by field observations and by geochemical data. Existence of a third, spatially distinct, mantle source may be documented by plutonic rocks found in a narrow zone of intense magma mingling and synmagmatic shear that separates the two ring complexes. These rocks have the

  11. 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

  12. A Multi-proxy Reconstruction of Hydrologic Variability over the Last Millennium from a Sierra Nevada Mountain Stalagmite

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCabe-Glynn, S. E.; Johnson, K. R.; Berkelhammer, M. B.; Sinha, A.; Cheng, H.; Edwards, R.

    2011-12-01

    Precipitation in the southwestern United States (SW US) is highly seasonal and exhibits inter-annual to inter-decadal variability which is linked to naturally recurring large scale atmospheric circulation patterns associated with sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies such as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Proxy data from tree rings and lake sediments from the SW US indicate there were episodes of significantly decreased precipitation ~900-1250 (AD) that were of greater magnitude and longer duration than any episode seen in the 20th century. In order to determine the full range and understand the mechanisms controlling past precipitation variability in the SW US, we have developed an absolute dated, high resolution, millennial length (2008 to 852 AD) δ18O record from a stalagmite from Crystal Cave (CRC-3) in Sequoia National Park, California, on the south-western flank of the Sierra Nevada Mountains (36.58°N; 118.56°W; 1540 m). Results from an instrumental calibration study suggest that δ18O in the speleothem and precipitation at this site is not correlated to temperature or precipitation amount, but is strongly influenced by the moisture source and rainout history of landfalling storms. A comparison between the instrumental portion of the CRC-3 time series reveals a significant inverse relationship with the PDO index, indicating that speleothem δ18O at this site is highly sensitive to Pacific SST patterns. The CRC-3 time series exhibits a prominent decadal to multi-decadal scale variability which we infer to reflect the influence of changing SSTs on the precipitation patterns in the SW US. In order to provide insight into the mechanisms driving these variations and allow for a more confident interpretation of our longer-term δ18O record, we will present trace element results from the CRC-3 stalagmite. Variations in speleothem trace elemental composition likely reflect local hydrologic variability rather

  13. 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

  14. 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

  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, 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

  16. 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

  17. Comparison of sediment supply to San Francisco Bay from Coastal and Sierra Nevada watersheds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McKee, L. J.

    2012-12-01

    Quantifying suspended sediment loads is of paramount importance for managing the world's estuaries. To address this information need, a comprehensive analysis was completed for the San Francisco Bay system by combining a number of formerly disparate data sets. Suspended sediment and optical backscatter measurements near the head of the estuary were used to generate a continuous suspended sediment concentration record. In addition, periodic measurements of velocity and suspended sediment variation in the cross-section were used to validate the use of point samples collected on the edge of the channel for generating loads. Suspended sediment loads were determined by combining daily averaged suspended sediment concentrations with daily flow estimates adjusting for dispersive loads. Sediment loads from 482 small drainages around the Bay were determined using 235 station years of suspended sediment data covering 38 watershed locations, regression analysis, and simple modeling. Over 16 years, net annual load to the head of the estuary from its 154000 km2 watershed varied from 0.13-2.58 (mean = 0.89) million metric t, or 5.8 t/km2/yr. Small drainages in the nine-county Bay Area discharged between 0.089 and 4.35 (mean = 1.43) million metric t with an average yield of 175 metric t/km2/yr. Our results indicate that external loads to the Bay are dominated by the many hundreds of urbanized and tectonically active tributaries that drain just 8145 km2 adjacent to the Bay and that during only 5 years did sediment loads from the Central Valley likely exceed loads from the sum of the local smaller drainages. If San Francisco Bay is typical of other estuaries in active tectonic or climatically variable coastal regimes, managers responsible for water quality, sediment accumulating in shipping channels, or restoring wetlands in the world's estuaries may need to more carefully account for proximal small urban drainages that may dominate allochthonous sediment supply.

  18. 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.

  19. Stratigraphy and Structure of Late Oligocene-Early Miocene Ignimbrite-filled Paleovalleys, Northern Sierra Nevada, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rood, D. H.; Busby, C. J.; Wagner, D.

    2003-12-01

    Mapping of a Late Oligocene-Early Miocene (31-25 Ma) paleovalley system filled with ignimbrites erupted from calderas in present-day Nevada provides relationships necessary to deduce paleotopographic vs. structural controls on the paleogeography of the Sierra Nevada and its transition into the Basin and Range in Early Tertiary time. A paleovalley filled with five distinctive ignimbrites is well-exposed in the Diamond Mountains about 2 -3 km west of the Honey Lake fault zone, a segment of the northern Walker Lane fault zone. We map a N-S trending paleovalley approximately 7.2 km wide, using ignimbrite distributions and thicknesses of ignimbrites and sedimentary rocks, as well as compaction foliation, cooling joints, welding zonation and lateral variations within each ignimbrite. Paleotopographic relief in the metamorphic and granitic basement reaches approximately 223 m; metamorphic roof pendants form steep-sided paleo-ridges and spires, while the granitic basement forms stepped relief controlled by pre-existing joints. The five ignimbrites are composed of at least nine mappable cooling units that vary laterally, from ca. 260 m thick paleovalley axis deposits to ca. 70 m thick paleovalley wall deposits, with dramatic thickening of vitrophyres toward paleovalley walls. The lowest three ignimbrites are confined to the paleovalley, the fourth passes upward from confined to unconfined, and the fifth is entirely unconfined. All of the ignimbrites are cut by two N-S trending, steeply W-dipping faults; the first, near the axis of the paleovalley, shows maximum 85 m of dip-slip displacement, and the second, near the eastern margin of the paleovalley, shows ca. 40 m of dip slip displacement. These N-S faults parallel the paleovalley and are oblique to the modern (NW-trending) Honey Lake fault zone, suggesting they may be older. Evidence for syndepositional faulting is present along the paleovalley axis fault, where sedimentary rocks between ignimbrites 3 and 4 thicken from

  20. Transient Chemical Denudation Rates in Soils and Saprolites: Responses to Channel Incision in Sierra Nevada, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weinman, B. A.; Yoo, K.; Mudd, S. M.; Hurst, M. D.; Maher, K.

    2012-12-01

    Here we explore soil and saprolite weathering along a denudation gradient (~40-400 mm kyr-1) in the Feather River catchment of northwestern California. By comparing the geochemical differences in soils and saprolites along three hillslopes--located above, at, and below a knickpoint--we can discern the impact of a propagating incision signal on the geochemical evolution of the catchment's saprolites and soil. Specifically, we couple mass balance geochemistry with soil and saprolite turnover times to determine rates of chemical weathering of soils and saprolites at the hillslope scale. Soil turnover time was determined by dividing the average soil thickness (L) with the rate of denudation (LT-1). For the catchment scale, we used 10Be-based denudation rates (Riebe et al., 2001; Hurst et al., 2012). For hilltops where accelerated channel incision signal has not yet reached, LiDAR-based hilltop curvature is used for calculating total denudation rates (Hurst et al., 2012). Lastly, for the steepest hillslope base adjacent to channels, we used a nonlinear slope-dependent sediment transport law to estimate denudation (Roering et al., 2007). Turnover times, soil bulk density, and elemental chemistry were then used to estimate the rates of chemical weathering (ML-2T-1) experienced in the soils and saprolites. Our results indicate that, for transient landscapes, both hilltop curvature and the bottom-most slope should be used to capture a range of chemical denudation occurring along adjusting hillslopes. This is because soils and saprolites are undergoing variable rates of physical and chemical denudation along a single hillform: total chemical denudation (of both soils and saprolites) tends to be ~4x's larger at the bottommost part of the hillslope, nearest to the channel. Along the denudation gradient, soils along steeper hillslopes are chemically denuding faster than more gently sloped hillslopes, at rates of ~50 vs. 10t/km2/yr, respectively. Overall, our analysis suggests

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Methods for delineating flood-prone areas in the Great Basin of Nevada and adjacent states

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Burkham, D.E.

    1988-01-01

    The Great Basin is a region of about 210,000 square miles having no surface drainage to the ocean; it includes most of Nevada and parts of Utah, California, Oregon, Idaho, and Wyoming. The area is characterized by many parallel mountain ranges and valleys trending north-south. Stream channels usually are well defined and steep within the mountains, but on reaching the alluvial fan at the canyon mouth, they may diverge into numerous distributary channels, be discontinuous near the apex of the fan, or be deeply entrenched in the alluvial deposits. Larger rivers normally have well-defined channels to or across the valley floors, but all terminate at lakes or playas. Major floods occur in most parts of the Great Basin and result from snowmelt, frontal-storm rainfall, and localized convective rainfall. Snowmelt floods typically occur during April-June. Floods resulting from frontal rain and frontal rain on snow generally occur during November-March. Floods resulting from convective-type rainfall during localized thunderstorms occur most commonly during the summer months. Methods for delineating flood-prone areas are grouped into five general categories: Detailed, historical, analytical, physiographic, and reconnaissance. The detailed and historical methods are comprehensive methods; the analytical and physiographic are intermediate; and the reconnaissance method is only approximate. Other than the reconnaissance method, each method requires determination of a T-year discharge (the peak rate of flow during a flood with long-term average recurrence interval of T years) and T-year profile and the development of a flood-boundary map. The procedure is different, however, for each method. Appraisal of the applicability of each method included consideration of its technical soundness, limitations and uncertainties, ease of use, and costs in time and money. Of the five methods, the detailed method is probably the most accurate, though most expensive. It is applicable to