Markleeville is a census-designated place and the county seat of Alpine County, California. The population was 210 at the 2010 census, up from 197 at the 2000 census. Jacob J. Marklee founded a toll bridge crossing the Carson River in 1861, he aimed to tap into the traffic from the silver mining boom at Silver Mountain City. On June 23, 1862, he recorded a land claim of 160 acres in Nevada. A boundary survey took place, the property ended up being in California. In 1863, Marklee died after being involved in a gunfight; when the Comstock Lode discovery took place, the town of Markleeville was founded on the Marklee property. Today, the Alpine County Courthouse sits on the former property, listed as a California Historical Landmark. A post office opened in Markleeville in 1863. According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 6.5 square miles, all land. The region comprising Markleeville is Alpine in appearance, with lush grassy valley areas. There is a hot spring, a state park with a campground.
Excellent hiking trails abound. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Markleeville has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate, abbreviated Csb on climate maps, though it approaches a continental Mediterranean climate. Markleeville has warm summers with only occasional rainfall from afternoon and evening thunderstorms. Winters are somewhat cold and snowy; the average January temperatures are a maximum of 45.7 °F or 7.6 °C and a minimum of 17.4 °F or −8.1 °C. The average July temperatures are a maximum of 84.5 °F and a minimum of 43.1 °F or 6.2 °C. There are an average of 15.7 afternoons with highs of 90 °F or 32.2 °C or higher and an average of 221.7 mornings with lows of 32 °F or 0 °C or lower, including 5.4 mornings falling to or below 0 °F or −17.8 °C, 8.1 afternoons that do not top freezing. The record high temperature was 102 °F on July 11, 1931; the record low temperature was −25 °F on December 22, 1990. Average annual precipitation is 487.2 millimetres. There are an average of 59 days with measurable precipitation.
The wettest calendar year was 1996 with 38.35 inches and the driest year was 1917 with 11.74 inches. The most precipitation in one month occurred in January 1914 with 16.13 inches. The most precipitation in 24 hours was 4.72 inches on December 3, 1950. Average annual snowfall is 82.9 inches or 2.11 metres, snow depths of over 60 inches or 1.52 metres were recorded during the cold months of January 1916 and February 1922 – the average depth of snow on the ground in January being 8 inches or 0.20 metres. The snowiest year was 1916 with 144.0 inches, including 99.0 inches in January 1916. The 2010 United States Census reported that Markleeville had a population of 210; the population density was 32.2 people per square mile. The racial makeup of Markleeville was 192 White, 0 African American, 4 Native American, 2 Asian, 0 Pacific Islander, 6 from other races, 6 from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 11 persons; the Census reported that 210 people lived in households, 0 lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, 0 were institutionalized.
There were 100 households, out of which 19 had children under the age of 18 living in them, 47 were opposite-sex married couples living together, 5 had a female householder with no husband present, 5 had a male householder with no wife present. There were 9 unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, 1 same-sex married couples or partnerships. 32 households were made up of individuals and 8 had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.1. There were 57 families; the population was spread out with 39 people under the age of 18, 3 people aged 18 to 24, 42 people aged 25 to 44, 92 people aged 45 to 64, 34 people who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 50.8 years. For every 100 females, there were 101.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 101.2 males. There were 194 housing units at an average density of 29.7 per square mile, of which 100 were occupied, of which 63 were owner-occupied, 37 were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 2%.
133 people lived in owner-occupied housing units and 77 people lived in rental housing units. As of the census of 2000, there were 197 people, 92 households, 57 families residing in the CDP; the population density was 10.3 people per square mile. There were 173 housing units at an average density of 9.1 per square mile. The racial makeup of the CDP was 98% White, 2% Native American, 1% from other races. 2% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. There were 92 households out of which 21% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51% were married couples living together, 8% had a female householder with no husband present, 38% were non-families. 30% of all households were made up of individuals and 9% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.1 and the average family size was 2.6. In the CDP, the population was spread out with 17% under the age of 18, 4% from 18 to 24, 31% from 25 to 44, 34% from 45 to 64, 15% who were 65 years of age or older.
The median age was 45 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 101.2 males. The media
Silver is a chemical element with symbol Ag and atomic number 47. A soft, lustrous transition metal, it exhibits the highest electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity, reflectivity of any metal; the metal is found in the Earth's crust in the pure, free elemental form, as an alloy with gold and other metals, in minerals such as argentite and chlorargyrite. Most silver is produced as a byproduct of copper, gold and zinc refining. Silver has long been valued as a precious metal. Silver metal is used in many bullion coins, sometimes alongside gold: while it is more abundant than gold, it is much less abundant as a native metal, its purity is measured on a per-mille basis. As one of the seven metals of antiquity, silver has had an enduring role in most human cultures. Other than in currency and as an investment medium, silver is used in solar panels, water filtration, ornaments, high-value tableware and utensils, in electrical contacts and conductors, in specialized mirrors, window coatings, in catalysis of chemical reactions, as a colorant in stained glass and in specialised confectionery.
Its compounds are used in X-ray film. Dilute solutions of silver nitrate and other silver compounds are used as disinfectants and microbiocides, added to bandages and wound-dressings and other medical instruments. Silver is similar in its physical and chemical properties to its two vertical neighbours in group 11 of the periodic table and gold, its 47 electrons are arranged in the configuration 4d105s1 to copper and gold. This distinctive electron configuration, with a single electron in the highest occupied s subshell over a filled d subshell, accounts for many of the singular properties of metallic silver. Silver is an soft and malleable transition metal, though it is less malleable than gold. Silver crystallizes in a face-centered cubic lattice with bulk coordination number 12, where only the single 5s electron is delocalized to copper and gold. Unlike metals with incomplete d-shells, metallic bonds in silver are lacking a covalent character and are weak; this observation explains the low high ductility of single crystals of silver.
Silver has a brilliant white metallic luster that can take a high polish, and, so characteristic that the name of the metal itself has become a colour name. Unlike copper and gold, the energy required to excite an electron from the filled d band to the s-p conduction band in silver is large enough that it no longer corresponds to absorption in the visible region of the spectrum, but rather in the ultraviolet. Protected silver has greater optical reflectivity than aluminium at all wavelengths longer than ~450 nm. At wavelengths shorter than 450 nm, silver's reflectivity is inferior to that of aluminium and drops to zero near 310 nm. High electrical and thermal conductivity is common to the elements in group 11, because their single s electron is free and does not interact with the filled d subshell, as such interactions lower electron mobility; the electrical conductivity of silver is the greatest of all metals, greater than copper, but it is not used for this property because of the higher cost.
An exception is in radio-frequency engineering at VHF and higher frequencies where silver plating improves electrical conductivity because those currents tend to flow on the surface of conductors rather than through the interior. During World War II in the US, 13540 tons of silver were used in electromagnets for enriching uranium because of the wartime shortage of copper. Pure silver has the highest thermal conductivity of any metal, although the conductivity of carbon and superfluid helium-4 are higher. Silver has the lowest contact resistance of any metal. Silver forms alloys with copper and gold, as well as zinc. Zinc-silver alloys with low zinc concentration may be considered as face-centred cubic solid solutions of zinc in silver, as the structure of the silver is unchanged while the electron concentration rises as more zinc is added. Increasing the electron concentration further leads to body-centred cubic, complex cubic, hexagonal close-packed phases. Occurring silver is composed of two stable isotopes, 107Ag and 109Ag, with 107Ag being more abundant.
This equal abundance is rare in the periodic table. The atomic weight is 107.8682 u. Both isotopes of silver are produced in stars via the s-process, as well as in supernovas via the r-process. Twenty-eight radioisotopes have been characterized, the most stable being 105Ag with a half-life of 41.29 days, 111Ag with a half-life of 7.45 days, 112Ag with a half-life of 3.13 hours. Silver has numerous nuclear isomers, the most stable being 108mAg, 110mAg and 106mAg. All of the remaining radioactive isotopes have half-lives of less than an hour, the majority of these have half-lives of less than three minutes. Isotopes of silver range in relative atomic mass from 92.950 u
Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park is an American national park located in the western Sierra Nevada of Central California, bounded on the southeast by Sierra National Forest and on the northwest by Stanislaus National Forest. The park is managed by the National Park Service and covers an area of 747,956 acres and sits in four counties: centered in Tuolumne and Mariposa, extending north and east to Mono and south to Madera County. Designated a World Heritage site in 1984, Yosemite is internationally recognized for its granite cliffs, clear streams, giant sequoia groves, mountains, meadows and biological diversity. 95% of the park is designated wilderness. On average, about 4 million people visit Yosemite each year, most spend the majority of their time in the 7 square miles of Yosemite Valley; the park set a visitation record in 2016, surpassing 5 million visitors for the first time in its history. Yosemite was central to the development of the national park idea. Galen Clark and others lobbied to protect Yosemite Valley from development leading to President Abraham Lincoln's signing the Yosemite Grant in 1864.
John Muir led a successful movement to have Congress establish a larger national park by 1890, one which encompassed the valley and its surrounding mountains and forests, paving the way for the National Park System. Yosemite is one of the largest and least fragmented habitat blocks in the Sierra Nevada, the park supports a diversity of plants and animals; the park has an elevation range from 2,127 to 13,114 feet and contains five major vegetation zones: chaparral and oak woodland, lower montane forest, upper montane forest, subalpine zone, alpine. Of California's 7,000 plant species, about 50% occur in the Sierra Nevada and more than 20% are within Yosemite; the park contains suitable habitat for more than 160 rare plants, with rare local geologic formations and unique soils characterizing the restricted ranges many of these plants occupy. The geology of the Yosemite area is characterized by granitic remnants of older rock. About 10 million years ago, the Sierra Nevada was uplifted and tilted to form its gentle western slopes and the more dramatic eastern slopes.
The uplift increased the steepness of stream and river beds, resulting in the formation of deep, narrow canyons. About one million years ago and ice accumulated, forming glaciers at the higher alpine meadows that moved down the river valleys. Ice thickness in Yosemite Valley may have reached 4,000 feet during the early glacial episode; the downslope movement of the ice masses cut and sculpted the U-shaped valley that attracts so many visitors to its scenic vistas today. The name "Yosemite" referred to the name of a renegade tribe, driven out of the area by the Mariposa Battalion; the area had been called "Ahwahnee" by indigenous people. Yosemite Valley has been inhabited for nearly 3,000 years, although humans may have first visited the area as long as 8,000 to 10,000 years ago; the indigenous natives called themselves the Ahwahnechee, meaning "dwellers in Ahwahnee." They are related to the Northern Mono tribes. Many tribes visited the area to trade, including nearby Central Sierra Miwoks, who lived along the drainage area of the Tuolumne and Stanislaus Rivers.
A major trading route went over Mono Pass and through Bloody Canyon to Mono Lake, just to the east of the Yosemite area. Vegetation and game in the region were similar to that present today; the California Gold Rush in the mid-19th century increased travel by European-Americans in the area, causing competition for resources between the regional Paiute and Miwok and the miners and hangers on. In 1851 as part of the Mariposa Wars intended to suppress Native American resistance, United States Army Major Jim Savage led the Mariposa Battalion into the west end of Yosemite Valley, he was pursuing forces of around 200 Ahwahneechee led by Chief Tenaya. Accounts from this battalion were the first well-documented reports of ethnic Europeans entering Yosemite Valley. Attached to Savage's unit was Dr. Lafayette Bunnell, the company physician, who wrote about his awestruck impressions of the valley in The Discovery of the Yosemite. Bunnell is credited with naming Yosemite Valley, based on his interviews with Chief Tenaya.
Bunnell wrote. The Miwok, a neighboring tribe, most white settlers considered the Ahwahneechee to be violent because of their frequent territorial disputes; the Miwok term for the Pai-Ute band was yohhe'meti, meaning "they are killers". Correspondence and articles written by members of the battalion helped to popularize the natural wonders of the Yosemite Valley and the surrounding area. Chief Tenaya and his Ahwahneechee were captured and their village burned; the chief and some others were allowed to return to Yosemite Valley. In the spring of 1852 they attacked a group of eight gold miners, moved east to flee law enforcement. Near Mono Lake, they took refuge with the nearby Mono tribe of Paiute, they stole horses from their hosts and moved away, but the Mono Paiutes tracked down and killed many of the Ahwahneechee, including Chief Tenaya. The Mono Paiute took the survivors as captives back to Mono Lake and absorbed them into the Mono Lake Paiute tribe. After these wars, a number of Native Americans continued to live within the boundaries of Yosemite.
A number of Indians supported the growing tourism industry by worki
The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
The Alps are the highest and most extensive mountain range system that lies in Europe, separating Southern from Central and Western Europe and stretching 1,200 kilometres across eight Alpine countries: France, Italy, Liechtenstein, Austria and Slovenia. The mountains were formed over tens of millions of years as the African and Eurasian tectonic plates collided. Extreme shortening caused by the event resulted in marine sedimentary rocks rising by thrusting and folding into high mountain peaks such as Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn. Mont Blanc spans the French–Italian border, at 4,810 m is the highest mountain in the Alps; the Alpine region area contains about a hundred peaks higher than 4,000 metres. The altitude and size of the range affects the climate in Europe. Wildlife such as ibex live in the higher peaks to elevations of 3,400 m, plants such as Edelweiss grow in rocky areas in lower elevations as well as in higher elevations. Evidence of human habitation in the Alps goes back to the Palaeolithic era.
A mummified man, determined to be 5,000 years old, was discovered on a glacier at the Austrian–Italian border in 1991. By the 6th century BC, the Celtic La Tène culture was well established. Hannibal famously crossed the Alps with a herd of elephants, the Romans had settlements in the region. In 1800, Napoleon crossed one of the mountain passes with an army of 40,000; the 18th and 19th centuries saw an influx of naturalists and artists, in particular, the Romantics, followed by the golden age of alpinism as mountaineers began to ascend the peaks. The Alpine region has a strong cultural identity; the traditional culture of farming and woodworking still exists in Alpine villages, although the tourist industry began to grow early in the 20th century and expanded after World War II to become the dominant industry by the end of the century. The Winter Olympic Games have been hosted in the Swiss, Italian and German Alps. At present, the region has 120 million annual visitors; the English word Alps derives from the Latin Alpes.
Maurus Servius Honoratus, an ancient commentator of Virgil, says in his commentary that all high mountains are called Alpes by Celts. The term may be common to Italo-Celtic, because the Celtic languages have terms for high mountains derived from alp; this may be consistent with the theory. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the Latin Alpes might derive from a pre-Indo-European word *alb "hill". Albania, a name not native to the region known as the country of Albania, has been used as a name for a number of mountainous areas across Europe. In Roman times, "Albania" was a name for the eastern Caucasus, while in the English languages "Albania" was used as a name for Scotland, although it is more derived from the Latin albus, the color white; the Latin word Alpes could come from the adjective albus. In modern languages the term alp, albe or alpe refers to a grazing pastures in the alpine regions below the glaciers, not the peaks. An alp refers to a high mountain pasture where cows are taken to be grazed during the summer months and where hay barns can be found, the term "the Alps", referring to the mountains, is a misnomer.
The term for the mountain peaks varies by nation and language: words such as Horn, Kopf, Spitze and Berg are used in German speaking regions. The Alps are a crescent shaped geographic feature of central Europe that ranges in a 800 km arc from east to west and is 200 km in width; the mean height of the mountain peaks is 2.5 km. The range stretches from the Mediterranean Sea north above the Po basin, extending through France from Grenoble, stretching eastward through mid and southern Switzerland; the range continues onward toward Vienna and east to the Adriatic Sea and Slovenia. To the south it dips into northern Italy and to the north extends to the southern border of Bavaria in Germany. In areas like Chiasso and Allgäu, the demarcation between the mountain range and the flatlands are clear; the countries with the greatest alpine territory are Austria, Italy and Switzerland. The highest portion of the range is divided by the glacial trough of the Rhône valley, from Mont Blanc to the Matterhorn and Monte Rosa on the southern side, the Bernese Alps on the northern.
The peaks in the easterly portion of the range, in Austria and Slovenia, are smaller than those in the central and western portions. The variances in nomenclature in the region spanned by the Alps makes classification of the mountains and subregions difficult, but a general classification is that of the Eastern Alps and Western Alps with the divide between the two occurring in eastern Switzerland according to geologist Stefan Schmid, near the Splügen Pass; the highest peaks of the Western Alps and Eastern Alps are Mont Blanc, at 4,810 m and Piz Bernina at 4,049 metres. The second-highest major
An economic bubble or asset bubble is trade in an asset at a price or price range that exceeds the asset's intrinsic value. It could be described as a situation in which asset prices appear to be based on implausible or inconsistent views about the future. Asset bubbles date back as far as the 1600s and are now regarded as a recurrent feature of modern economic history; the Dutch Golden Age's tulip mania is considered the first recorded economic bubble. Because it is difficult to observe intrinsic values in real-life markets, bubbles are conclusively identified only in retrospect, once a sudden drop in prices has occurred; such a drop is known as a bubble burst. Both the boom and the burst phases of the bubble are examples of a positive feedback mechanism, in contrast to the negative feedback mechanism that determines the equilibrium price under normal market circumstances. Prices in an economic bubble can fluctuate erratically, become impossible to predict from supply and demand alone. While some economists deny that bubbles occur, the causes of bubbles remain disputed by those who are convinced that asset prices deviate from intrinsic values.
Many explanations have been suggested, research has shown that bubbles may appear without uncertainty, speculation, or bounded rationality, in which case they can be called non-speculative bubbles or sunspot equilibria. In such cases, the bubbles may be argued to be rational, where investors at every point are compensated for the possibility that the bubble might collapse by higher returns; these approaches require that the timing of the bubble collapse can only be forecast probabilistically and the bubble process is modelled using a Markov switching model. Similar explanations suggest that bubbles might be caused by processes of price coordination. More recent theories of asset bubble formation suggest. For instance, explanations have focused on emerging social norms and the role that culturally-situated stories or narratives play in these events; the term "bubble", in reference to financial crisis, originated in the 1711–1720 British South Sea Bubble, referred to the companies themselves, their inflated stock, rather than to the crisis itself.
This was one of the earliest modern financial crises. The metaphor indicated that the prices of the stock were inflated and fragile – expanded based on nothing but air, vulnerable to a sudden burst, as in fact occurred; some commentators have extended the metaphor to emphasize the suddenness, suggesting that economic bubbles end "All at once, nothing first, / Just as bubbles do when they burst," though theories of financial crises such as debt-deflation and the Financial Instability Hypothesis suggest instead that bubbles burst progressively, with the most vulnerable assets failing first, the collapse spreading throughout the economy. The impact of economic bubbles is debated between schools of economic thought. Within mainstream economics, many believe that bubbles cannot be identified in advance, cannot be prevented from forming, that attempts to "prick" the bubble may cause financial crisis, that instead authorities should wait for bubbles to burst of their own accord, dealing with the aftermath via monetary policy and fiscal policy.
Political economist Robert E. Wright argues that bubbles can be identified before the fact with high confidence. In addition, the crash which follows an economic bubble can destroy a large amount of wealth and cause continuing economic malaise. A protracted period of low risk premiums can prolong the downturn in asset price deflation as was the case of the Great Depression in the 1930s for much of the world and the 1990s for Japan. Not only can the aftermath of a crash devastate the economy of a nation, but its effects can reverberate beyond its borders. Another important aspect of economic bubbles is their impact on spending habits. Market participants with overvalued assets tend to spend more richer. Many observers quote the housing market in the United Kingdom, New Zealand and parts of the United States in recent times, as an example of this effect; when the bubble bursts, those who hold on to these overvalued assets experience a feeling of reduced wealth and tend to cut discretionary spending at the same time, hindering economic growth or, exacerbating the economic slowdown.
In an economy with a central bank, the bank may therefore attempt to keep an eye on asset price appreciation and take measures to curb high levels of speculative activity in financial assets. This is done by increasing the interest rate. In the 1970s, excess monetary expansion after the U. S. came off the gold standard created massive commodities bubbles. These bubbles only ended when the U. S. Central Bank reined in the excess money, raising federal funds interest rates to over 14%; the commodities bubble popped and prices of oil
The Alpine region of Switzerland, conventionally referred to as the Swiss Alps, represents a major natural feature of the country and is, along with the Swiss Plateau and the Swiss portion of the Jura Mountains, one of its three main physiographic regions. The Swiss Alps extend over both the Western Alps and the Eastern Alps, encompassing an area sometimes called Central Alps. While the northern ranges from the Bernese Alps to the Appenzell Alps are in Switzerland, the southern ranges from the Mont Blanc massif to the Bernina massif are shared with other countries such as France, Italy and Liechtenstein; the Swiss Alps comprise all the highest mountains of the Alps, such as Dufourspitze, the Dom, the Liskamm, the Weisshorn and the Matterhorn. The other following major summits can be found in this list of mountains of Switzerland. Since the Middle Ages, transit across the Alps played an important role in history; the region north of St Gotthard Pass became the nucleus of the Swiss Confederacy in the early 14th century.
The Alps cover 65% of Switzerland's total 41,285 square kilometres surface area, making it one of the most alpine countries. Despite the fact that Switzerland covers only 14% of the Alps total 192,753 square kilometres area, 48 out of 82 alpine four-thousanders are located in the Swiss Alps and all of the remaining 34 are within 20 kilometres of the country's border; the glaciers of the Swiss Alps cover an area of 1,220 square kilometres — 3% of the Swiss territory, representing 44% of the total glaciated area in the Alps i.e. 2,800 square kilometres. The Swiss Alps are situated south of the Swiss north of the national border; the limit between the Alps and the plateau runs from Vevey on the shores of Lake Geneva to Rorschach on the shores of Lake Constance, passing close to the cities of Thun and Lucerne. The not well defined regions in Switzerland that lie on the margin of the Alps those on the north side, are called the Swiss Prealps; the Swiss Prealps are made of limestone and they do not exceed 2,500 metres.
The Alpine cantons are Valais, Graubünden, Glarus, Ticino, St. Gallen, Obwalden, Schwyz, Appenzell Innerrhoden, Appenzell Ausserrhoden, Fribourg and Zug; the countries with which Switzerland shares mountain ranges of the Alps are: France, Italy and Liechtenstein. The Alps are divided into two main parts, the Western Alps and Eastern Alps, whose division is along the Rhine from Lake Constance to the Splügen Pass; the western ranges occupy the greatest part of Switzerland while the more numerous eastern ranges are much smaller and are all situated in the canton of Graubünden. The latter are part of the Central Eastern Alps, except the Ortler Alps which belong to the Southern Limestone Alps; the Pennine and Bernina Range are the highest ranges of the country, they contain 38, 9 and 1 summit over 4000 metres. The lowest range is the Appenzell Alps culminating at 2,500 metres. Western Alps Eastern Alps The north side of the Swiss Alps is drained by the Rhône, Rhine and Inn while the south side is drained by the Ticino.
The rivers on the north empty into the Mediterranean and Black Sea, on the south the Po empty in the Adriatic Sea. The major triple watersheds in the Alps are located within the country, they are: Piz Lunghin, Witenwasserenstock and Monte Forcola. Between the Witenwasserenstock and Piz Lunghin runs the European Watershed separating the basin of the Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea; the European watershed lies in fact only on the main chain. Switzerland possesses 6% of Europe's fresh water, is sometimes referred to as the "water tower of Europe". Since the highest dams are located in Alpine regions, many large mountain lakes are artificial and are used as hydroelectric reservoirs; some large artificial lakes can be found above 2,300 m, but natural lakes larger than 1 km2 are below 1,000 m. The melting of low-altitude glaciers can generate new lakes, such as the 0.25 km2 large Triftsee which formed between 2002–2003. The following table gives the surface area above 2000 m and 3000 m and the respective percentage on the total area of each canton whose high point is above 2000 metres.
The composition of the great tectonic units reflects the history of the formation of the Alps. The rocks from the Helvetic zone on the north and the Austroalpine nappes – Southern Alps on the south come from the European and African continent respectively; the rocks of the Penninic nappes belong to the former area of the Briançonnais microcontinent and the Tethys Ocean. The closure of the latter by subduction under the African plate preceded the collision between the two plates and the so-called alpine orogeny; the major thrust fault of the Tectonic Arena Sardona in the eastern Glarus Alps gives a visible illustration of mountain-building processes and was therefore declared a UNESCO World Heritage. Another fine example gives the Alpstein area with several visible upfolds of Helvetic zone material. With some exceptions, the Alps north of Rhône and Rhine are part of the Helvetic Zone and those on the south side are part of the Penninic nappes; the Austroalpine zone concerns only the Eastern Alps, with the n