Nevada is a state in the Western United States. It is bordered by Oregon to the northwest, Idaho to the northeast, California to the west, Arizona to the southeast and Utah to the east. Nevada is the 7th most extensive, the 32nd most populous, but the 9th least densely populated of the U. S. states. Nearly three-quarters of Nevada's people live in Clark County, which contains the Las Vegas–Paradise metropolitan area where three of the state's four largest incorporated cities are located. Nevada's capital, however, is Carson City. Nevada is known as the "Silver State" because of the importance of silver to its history and economy, it is known as the "Battle Born State", because it achieved statehood during the Civil War. Nevada is desert and semi-arid, much of it within the Great Basin. Areas south of the Great Basin are within the Mojave Desert, while Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada lie on the western edge. About 86% of the state's land is managed by various jurisdictions of the U. S. federal government, both civilian and military.
Before European contact, Native Americans of the Paiute and Washoe tribes inhabited the land, now Nevada. The first Europeans to explore the region were Spanish, they called the region Nevada because of the snow. The area formed part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain, became part of Mexico when it gained independence in 1821; the United States annexed the area in 1848 after its victory in the Mexican–American War, it was incorporated as part of Utah Territory in 1850. The discovery of silver at the Comstock Lode in 1859 led to a population boom that became an impetus to the creation of Nevada Territory out of western Utah Territory in 1861. Nevada became the 36th state on October 31, 1864, as the second of two states added to the Union during the Civil War. Nevada has a reputation for its libertarian laws. In 1940, with a population of just over 110,000 people, Nevada was by far the least-populated state, with less than half the population of the next least-populated state. However, legalized gambling and lenient marriage and divorce laws transformed Nevada into a major tourist destination in the 20th century.
Nevada is the only U. S. state where prostitution is legal, though it is illegal in Clark County, Washoe County and Carson City. The tourism industry remains Nevada's largest employer, with mining continuing as a substantial sector of the economy: Nevada is the fourth-largest producer of gold in the world; the name "Nevada" comes from meaning "snow-covered", after the Sierra Nevada. Most Nevadans pronounce the second syllable of their state name using the TRAP vowel. Many from outside the Western United States pronounce it with the PALM vowel. Although the latter pronunciation is closer to the Spanish pronunciation, it is not the pronunciation preferred by most Nevadans. State Assemblyman Harry Mortenson proposed a bill to recognize the alternate pronunciation of Nevada, though the bill was not supported by most legislators and never received a vote; the Nevadan pronunciation is the de facto official one, since it is the one used by the state legislature. At one time, the state's official tourism organization, TravelNevada, stylized the name of the state as "Nevăda", with a breve mark over the a indicating the locally preferred pronunciation, available as a license plate design.
Nevada is entirely within the Basin and Range Province, is broken up by many north-south mountain ranges. Most of these ranges have endorheic valleys between them, which belies the image portrayed by the term Great Basin. Much of the northern part of the state is within the Great Basin, a mild desert that experiences hot temperatures in the summer and cold temperatures in the winter. Moisture from the Arizona Monsoon will cause summer thunderstorms; the state's highest recorded temperature was 125 °F in Laughlin on June 29, 1994. The coldest recorded temperature was −52 °F set in San Jacinto in 1972, in the northeastern portion of the state; the Humboldt River crosses the state from east to west across the northern part of the state, draining into the Humboldt Sink near Lovelock. Several rivers drain from the Sierra Nevada eastward, including the Walker and Carson rivers. All of these rivers are endorheic basins, ending in Walker Lake, Pyramid Lake, the Carson Sink, respectively. However, not all of Nevada is within the Great Basin.
Tributaries of the Snake River drain the far north, while the Colorado River, which forms much of the boundary with Arizona, drains much of southern Nevada. The mountain ranges, some of which have peaks above 13,000 feet, harbor lush forests high above desert plains, creating sky islands for endemic species; the valleys are no lower in elevation than 3,000 feet, while some in central Nevada are above 6,000 feet. The southern third of the state, where the Las Vegas area is situated, is within the Mojave Desert; the area is closer to the Arizona Monsoon in the summer. The terrain is lower below 4,000 feet, creating conditions for hot summer days and cool to chilly winter nights. Nevada and California have by far the longest diagonal line as a state boundary at just over 400 miles; this line begins in Lake Tahoe nearly
A dry lake is either a basin or depression that contained a standing surface water body, which disappeared when evaporation processes exceeded recharge. If the floor of a dry lake is covered by deposits of alkaline compounds, it is known as an alkali flat. If covered with salt, it is known as a salt flat. If its basin is salt a dry lake is called a salt pan, pan, or salt flat. Hardpan is the dry terminus of an internally drained basin in a dry climate, a designation used in the Great Basin of the western United States. Another term for dry lake is playa; the Spanish word playa means "beach". Dry lakes are known by this name in some parts of the western United States; this term is used on the Llano Estacado and other parts of the Southern High Plains. In South America, the usual term for a dry lake is Spanish for salt pan. Pan is the term used in most of South Africa; these may include the small round highveld pans, typical of the Chrissiesmeer area, to the extensive pans of the Northern Cape province.
Terms used in Australia include salt pans and clay pans. In Arabic, an alkali flat is called a shott. In Central Asia, a similar "cracked mud" salt flat is known as a takyr. In Iran salt flats are called kavir. A dry lake is formed when water from rain or other sources, like intersection with a water table, flows into a dry depression in the landscape, creating a pond or lake. If the total annual evaporation rate exceeds the total annual inflow, the depression will become dry again, forming a dry lake. Salts dissolved in the water precipitate out and are left behind building up over time. A dry lake appears as a flat bed of clay encrusted with precipitated salts; these evaporite minerals are a concentration of weathering products such as sodium carbonate and other salts. In deserts, a dry lake may be found in an area ringed by bajadas. Dry lakes are formed in semi-arid to arid regions of the world; the largest concentration of dry lakes is in the southern High Plains of Texas and eastern New Mexico.
Most dry lakes are small. However, Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia, near Potosí, the largest salt flat in the world, comprises 4,085 square miles. Many dry lakes contain shallow water during the rainy season during wet years. If the layer of water is thin and is moved around the dry lake by wind, an exceedingly hard and smooth surface may develop. Thicker layers of water may result in a "cracked-mud" surface and "teepee" structure desiccation features. If there is little water, dunes can form; the Racetrack Playa, located in Death Valley, features a geological phenomenon known as "sailing stones" that leave linear "racetrack" imprints as they move across the surface without human or animal intervention. These rocks have been filmed in motion by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego and are due to a perfect coincidence of events. First, the playa has to fill with water, which must be deep enough to form floating ice during winter, but still shallow enough that the rocks are exposed.
When the temperature drops at night, this pond freezes into thin sheets of "windowpane" ice, which must be thick enough to maintain strength, but thin enough to move freely. When the sun comes out, the ice melts and cracks into floating panels; the stones only move once most tracks last for three or four years. While a dry lake is itself devoid of vegetation, they are ringed by shadscale and other salt-tolerant plants that provide critical winter fodder for livestock and other herbivores. In southwest Idaho and parts of Nevada and Utah there are a number of rare species that occur nowhere else but in the inhospitable environment of seasonally flooded playas. A new species of giant fairy shrimp was found in 2006. Although a large predatory species, it evaded detection because of the murkiness of the playa's water caused by winds and a fine clay load; this shrimp species is able to regenerate using tiny undetectable cysts that can remain in a dry lake bed for years until conditions are optimum for hatching.
Lepidium davisii is another rare species, a perennial plant whose habitat is restricted to playas in southern Idaho and northern Nevada. Far from major rivers or lakes, playas are the only water available to wildlife in the desert. Antelope and other wildlife gather there. Threats to dry lakes include pollution from concentrated animal feeding operations such as cattle feedlots and dairies. Results are erosion. A non-native shrub, used for rangeland restoration in the west, Kochia prostrata poses a significant threat to playas and their associated rare species, as it capable of crowding out native vegetation and draining a playa's standing water because of its root growth; the flat and hard surfaces of dry lakes make them ideal for motor vehicles and bicycles. Furthermore, large-sized dry lakes are excellent spots for pursuing land speed records, as the smoothness of the surface allows low-clearance vehicles to travel fast without any risk of disruption by surface irregularities, the path traveled has no obstacles to avoid.
The dry lakes at Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah and Black Rock Desert in Nevada have both been used for setting land speed records. Lake Eyre and Lake Gairdner in South Australia have been used for variou
West Humboldt Range
The West Humboldt Range is a short mountain range in the western Great Basin in northwestern Nevada in the United States. The mountain range runs for 40 mi southwest to northeast in northern Churchill County and southern Pershing County; the southwest end of the range is 60 mi ENE of Reno. The range separates the lower course and terminus- of the Humboldt River and the Humboldt Sink on the northwest side from the expansive Carson Sink on the south and southeast side. Interstate 80 follows the course of the Humboldt along the northwest side of the range. During the last ice age, the range stood along the shore of Lake Lahontan, the prehistoric shorelines and beaches of which are visible along the sides of the range. Few peaks in the range are named. In 1905 the Saurian Expedition, led by John C. Merriam and financed by Annie Alexander, explored the Triassic limestones of the range, discovering 25 specimens of Ichthyosaur. Mountain ranges of Nevada Great Basin Basin and Range Province Exploring Nevada's Ice Age Lake: West Humboldt Range
North America is a continent within the Northern Hemisphere and all within the Western Hemisphere. It is bordered to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, to the west and south by the Pacific Ocean, to the southeast by South America and the Caribbean Sea. North America covers an area of about 24,709,000 square kilometers, about 16.5% of the earth's land area and about 4.8% of its total surface. North America is the third largest continent by area, following Asia and Africa, the fourth by population after Asia and Europe. In 2013, its population was estimated at nearly 579 million people in 23 independent states, or about 7.5% of the world's population, if nearby islands are included. North America was reached by its first human populations during the last glacial period, via crossing the Bering land bridge 40,000 to 17,000 years ago; the so-called Paleo-Indian period is taken to have lasted until about 10,000 years ago. The Classic stage spans the 6th to 13th centuries.
The Pre-Columbian era ended in 1492, the transatlantic migrations—the arrival of European settlers during the Age of Discovery and the Early Modern period. Present-day cultural and ethnic patterns reflect interactions between European colonists, indigenous peoples, African slaves and their descendants. Owing to the European colonization of the Americas, most North Americans speak English, Spanish or French, their culture reflects Western traditions; the Americas are accepted as having been named after the Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci by the German cartographers Martin Waldseemüller and Matthias Ringmann. Vespucci, who explored South America between 1497 and 1502, was the first European to suggest that the Americas were not the East Indies, but a different landmass unknown by Europeans. In 1507, Waldseemüller produced a world map, in which he placed the word "America" on the continent of South America, in the middle of what is today Brazil, he explained the rationale for the name in the accompanying book Cosmographiae Introductio:... ab Americo inventore... quasi Americi terram sive Americam.
For Waldseemüller, no one should object to the naming of the land after its discoverer. He used the Latinized version of Vespucci's name, but in its feminine form "America", following the examples of "Europa", "Asia" and "Africa". Other mapmakers extended the name America to the northern continent, In 1538, Gerard Mercator used America on his map of the world for all the Western Hemisphere; some argue that because the convention is to use the surname for naming discoveries, the derivation from "Amerigo Vespucci" could be put in question. In 1874, Thomas Belt proposed a derivation from the Amerrique mountains of Central America. Marcou corresponded with Augustus Le Plongeon, who wrote: "The name AMERICA or AMERRIQUE in the Mayan language means, a country of perpetually strong wind, or the Land of the Wind, and... the can mean... a spirit that breathes, life itself." The United Nations formally recognizes "North America" as comprising three areas: Northern America, Central America, The Caribbean.
This has been formally defined by the UN Statistics Division. The term North America maintains various definitions in accordance with context. In Canadian English, North America refers to the land mass as a whole consisting of Mexico, the United States, Canada, although it is ambiguous which other countries are included, is defined by context. In the United States of America, usage of the term may refer only to Canada and the US, sometimes includes Greenland and Mexico, as well as offshore islands. In France, Portugal, Romania and the countries of Latin America, the cognates of North America designate a subcontinent of the Americas comprising Canada, the United States, Mexico, Greenland, Saint Pierre et Miquelon, Bermuda. North America has been referred to by other names. Spanish North America was referred to as Northern America, this was the first official name given to Mexico. Geographically the North American continent has many subregions; these include cultural and geographic regions. Economic regions included those formed by trade blocs, such as the North American Trade Agreement bloc and Central American Trade Agreement.
Linguistically and culturally, the continent could be divided into Latin America. Anglo-America includes most of Northern America and Caribbean islands with English-speaking populations; the southern North American continent is composed of two regions. These are the Caribbean; the north of the continent maintains recognized regions as well. In contrast to the common definition of "North America", which encompasses the whole continent, the term "North America" is sometimes used to refer only to Mexico, the United States, Greenland; the term Northern America refers to the northern-most countries and territories of North America: the United States, Bermuda, St. Pierre and Miquelon and Greenland. Although the term does not refer to a unifie
The Great Basin is the largest area of contiguous endorheic watersheds in North America. It spans nearly all of Nevada, much of Oregon and Utah, portions of California and Wyoming, it is noted for both its arid climate and the basin and range topography that varies from the North American low point at Badwater Basin to the highest point of the contiguous United States, less than 100 miles away at the summit of Mount Whitney. The region spans several physiographic divisions, biomes and deserts; the term "Great Basin" is applied to hydrographic, floristic, physiographic and ethnographic geographic areas. The name was coined by John C. Fremont, based on information gleaned from Joseph R. Walker as well as his own travels, recognized the hydrographic nature of the landform as "having no connection to the ocean"; the hydrographic definition is the most used, is the only one with a definitive border. The other definitions yield not only different geographical boundaries of "Great Basin" regions, but regional borders that vary from source to source.
The Great Basin Desert is defined by plant and animal communities, according to the National Park Service, its boundaries approximate the hydrographic Great Basin, but exclude the southern "panhandle". The Great Basin Floristic Province was defined by botanist Armen Takhtajan to extend well beyond the boundaries of the hydrographically defined Great Basin: it includes the Snake River Plain, the Colorado Plateau, the Uinta Basin, parts of Arizona north of the Mogollon Rim; the Great Basin physiographic section is a geographic division of the Basin and Range Province defined by Nevin Fenneman in 1931. The United States Geological Survey adapted Fenneman's scheme in their Physiographic division of the United States; the "section" is somewhat larger than the hydrographic definition. The Great Basin Culture Area or indigenous peoples of the Great Basin is a cultural classification of indigenous peoples of the Americas and a cultural region located between the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada.
The culture area covers 400,000 sq mi, or just less than twice the area of the hydrographic Great Basin. The hydrographic Great Basin is a 209,162-square-mile area. All precipitation in the region sinks underground or flows into lakes; as observed by Fremont, streams, or rivers find no outlet to either the Gulf of Mexico or the Pacific Ocean. The region is bounded by the Wasatch Mountains to the east, the Sierra Nevada and Cascade Ranges to the west, the Snake River Basin to the north; the south rim is less distinct. The Great Basin includes most of Nevada, half of Utah, substantial portions of Oregon and California and small areas of Idaho and Mexico; the term "Great Basin" is misleading. The Great Salt Lake, Pyramid Lake, the Humboldt Sink are a few of the "drains" in the Great Basin; the Salton Sink is another closed basin within the Great Basin. The Great Basin Divide separates the Great Basin from the watersheds draining to the Pacific Ocean; the southernmost portion of the Great Basin is the watershed area of the Laguna Salada.
The Great Basin's longest and largest river is the Bear River of 350 mi, the largest single watershed is the Humboldt River drainage of 17,000 sq mi. Most Great Basin precipitation is snow, the precipitation that neither evaporates nor is extracted for human use will sink into groundwater aquifers, while evaporation of collected water occurs from geographic sinks. Lake Tahoe, North America's largest alpine lake, is part of the Great Basin's central Lahontan subregion; the hydrographic Great Basin contains multiple deserts and ecoregions, each with its own distinctive set of flora and fauna. The ecological boundaries and divisions in the Great Basin are unclear; the Great Basin overlaps four different deserts: portions of the hot Mojave and Colorado Deserts to the south, the cold Great Basin and Oregon High Deserts in the north. The deserts can be distinguished by their plants: the Joshua tree and creosote bush occur in the hot deserts, while the cold deserts have neither; the cold deserts are higher than the hot, have their precipitation spread throughout the year.
The climate and flora of the Great Basin is dependent on elevation: as the elevation increases, the precipitation increases and temperature decreases. Because of this, forests occur at higher elevations. Utah juniper/single-leaf pinyon and mountain mahogany form open pinyon-juniper woodland on the slopes of most ranges. Stands of limber pine and Great Basin bristlecone pine can be found in some of the higher ranges. In riparian areas with dependable water cottonwoods and quaking aspen groves exist; because the forest ecosystem is distinct from a typical desert, some authorities, such as the World Wildlife Fund, separate the mountains of the Great Basin desert into their own ecoregion: the Great Basin montane forests. Many rare and endemic species occur in this ecoregion, because the individual mountain ranges are isolated from each other. During the last ice age, the Great Basin was wetter; as it dried during the Holocene, some species retreated to the higher isolated mountains and have high genetic diversity.
Other authorities divide the Great Basin depending on their own criteria. Armen Takhtajan defined the "Great Basin floristic province"; the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency divides the Great Basin into three ecoregions according to latitude: the Northern B
Reno is a city in the U. S. state of Nevada, located in the northwestern part of the state 22 miles from Lake Tahoe. Known as "The Biggest Little City in the World", Reno is known for its casino industry, it is the county seat of Washoe County. The city sits in a high desert at the foot of the Sierra Nevada and its downtown area occupies a valley informally known as the Truckee Meadows; the city is named after Union Major General Jesse L. Reno, killed in action at the Battle of South Mountain on Fox's Gap. Reno, with an estimated population of 248,853 as of 2017, is the fourth-most populous city in Nevada after Las Vegas and North Las Vegas, all three of those cities being part of the Las Vegas metropolitan area. Reno is the most populous city in the state outside of the Las Vegas metropolitan area. Reno is part of the Reno–Sparks metropolitan area which consists of all of Washoe and Storey counties. Archaeological finds place the eastern border for the prehistoric Martis people in the Reno area.
As early as the mid 1850s a few pioneers settled in the Truckee Meadows, a fertile valley through which the Truckee River made its way from Lake Tahoe to Pyramid Lake. In addition to subsistence farming, these early residents could pick up business from travelers along the California Trail, which followed the Truckee westward, before branching off towards Donner Lake, where the formidable obstacle of the Sierra Nevada began. Gold was discovered in the vicinity of Virginia City in 1850, a modest mining community developed, but the discovery of silver in 1859 at the Comstock Lode led to a mining rush, thousands of emigrants left their homes, bound for the West, hoping to find a fortune. To provide the necessary connection between Virginia City and the California Trail, Charles W. Fuller built a log toll bridge across the Truckee River in 1859. A small community that would service travelers soon grew up near the bridge. After two years, Fuller sold the bridge to Myron C. Lake, who continued to develop the community with the addition of a grist mill and livery stable to the hotel and eating house.
He renamed it "Lake's Crossing". In 1864, Washoe County was consolidated with Roop County, Lake's Crossing became the largest town in the county. Lake had earned himself the title "founder of Reno". By January 1863, the Central Pacific Railroad had begun laying tracks east from Sacramento, California connecting with the Union Pacific Railroad at Promontory, Utah, to form the First Transcontinental Railroad. Lake deeded land to the CPRR in exchange for its promise to build a depot at Lake's Crossing. Once the railroad station was established, the town of Reno came into being on May 9, 1868. CPRR construction superintendent Charles Crocker named the community after Major General Jesse Lee Reno, a Union officer killed in the American Civil War at the Battle of South Mountain. In 1871, Reno became the county seat of the newly expanded Washoe County, replacing the previous county seat, located in Washoe City. However, political power in Nevada remained with the mining communities, first Virginia City and Tonopah and Goldfield.
The extension of the Virginia and Truckee Railroad to Reno in 1872 provided a boost to the new city's economy. In the following decades, Reno continued to grow and prosper as a business and agricultural center and became the principal settlement on the transcontinental railroad between Sacramento and Salt Lake City; as the mining boom waned early in the 20th century, Nevada's centers of political and business activity shifted to the non-mining communities Reno and Las Vegas, today the former mining metropolises stand as little more than ghost towns. Despite this, Nevada is still the third-largest gold producer in the world, after South Africa and Australia; the "Reno Arch" was erected on Virginia Street in 1926 to promote the upcoming Transcontinental Highways Exposition of 1927. The arch included the words "Nevada's Transcontinental Highways Exposition" and the dates of the exposition. After the exposition, the Reno City Council decided to keep the arch as a permanent downtown gateway, Mayor E.
E. Roberts asked the citizens of Reno to suggest a slogan for the arch. No acceptable slogan was received until a $100 prize was offered, G. A. Burns of Sacramento was declared the winner on March 14, 1929, with "Reno, The Biggest Little City in the World". Reno took a leap when the state of Nevada legalized open-gambling on March 19, 1931, along with the passage of more liberal divorce laws than places like Hot Springs, offered. No other state offered what Nevada had in the 1930s, casinos like the Bank Club and Palace were popular. Within a few years, the Bank Club, owned by George Wingfield, Bill Graham, Jim McKay, was the state's largest employer and the largest casino in the world. Wingfield owned most of the buildings in town that housed gaming and took a percentage of the profits, along with his rent. Ernie Pyle once wrote in one of his columns, "All the people you saw on the streets in Reno were there to get divorces." In Ayn Rand's novel The Fountainhead, published in 1943, the New York-based female protagonist tells a friend, "I am going to Reno,", taken as a different way of saying "I am going to divorce my husband."
Among others, the Belgian-French writer Georges Simenon, at the time living in the U. S. came to Reno in 1950. The divorce business died as the other states fell in line by passing their own laws easing the requirements for divorce, but gambling continued as a major Reno industry. While gaming pioneers like "Pappy" and Harold Smith of Harold's Club and
Humboldt Wildlife Management Area
The Humboldt Wildlife Management Area is a wildlife management area in the U. S. state of Nevada, encompassing the salt marshes at the terminus of the Humboldt River. The Humboldt WMA contains habitats ranging from alkali desert scrub to open water, in three shallow intermittent lakes: Upper Humboldt Lake, Lower Humboldt Lake, Toulon Lake. Due to high climatic variation from month to month and from year to year in the Great Basin, the amount of water that reaches the Humboldt Sink can vary enormously, from up to 25,000 acres during years of high flow to the entire area going dry. Water flows into the Humboldt WMA depend in part upon the amount of irrigation water used by farms upstream in the Lovelock Valley. Although resident populations of fish and other wildlife rise and fall according to the level of flow into the Humboldt WMA, the wetlands provide a valuable stopover for migratory and breeding bird populations. Ducks, such as mallards, Canada geese, American coots are common, as are shorebirds such as the American avocet and raptors such as owls and hawks.
Some mule deer live among the stands of invasive tamarix. The WMA is used recreationally for hunting, as well as fishing during the occasional periods of high water flow. Camping is permitted; the WMA is open year-round at all hours, with no charge for entry. The area of the Humboldt WMA has a history of human habitation dating back several thousand years. Just outside the WMA's boundaries is Lovelock Cave, an important archaeological site in which Native American artifacts have been found, including the world's oldest known duck decoys, which have been dated at over 2000 years old. During the mid-1800s, emigrants following the California Trail came to this area, known as Big Meadows, for their last chance to collect water and graze their animals before crossing the dreaded Forty Mile Desert; the WMA was created in 1953 and grew to its current size of 37,140 acres through a series of leases, land trades, donations. The Humboldt WMA, since it is located at the end of the Humboldt River which has the largest drainage basin in Nevada, absorbs anthropogenic pollutants from areas upstream.
Through the process of bioaccumulation, pollution from sewage, irrigation drainage, dewatering from mines, etc. can reach high enough concentrations to harm fish and wildlife, as well as humans who consume them. A study published in the 1990s found that concentrations of arsenic, boron and selenium exceeded levels associated with harm to avian species. Humboldt Sink Humboldt Salt Marsh Humboldt Lake List of Nevada Wildlife Management Areas Nevada Wildlife Management Areas - Nevada Department of Wildlife Detailed map of the Humboldt WMA and areas upstream