Common questions

How was the Owens Valley formed?

How was the Owens Valley formed?

Owens Valley is a graben—a downdropped block of land between two vertical faults—the westernmost in the Basin and Range Province. This graben was formed by a long series of earthquakes, such as the 1872 Lone Pine earthquake, that have moved the graben down and helped move the Sierra Nevada up.

What type of geologic feature is Owens Lake?

The Owens (dry) Lake dust problem. Owens (dry) Lake (fig. 1) was a perennial lake at the terminus of the Owens River throughout historic time; the lake held water continuously, and at times overflowed to the south, for at least the last 800,000 years (Smith et al., 1997).

What is the importance of Owens Valley?

The Owens Valley in eastern California helped transform distant Los Angeles to today’s sprawling megalopolis. Roughly 100 years ago, Los Angeles recognized the need to augment local water supplies and decided to tap faraway sources.

When was Owens Valley formed?

80 to 120 million years ago
This rock was created by the eruption of magma chambers 80 to 120 million years ago (Darla Heil, Overview of Owens Valley). This rock was further exposed two to five million years ago, which corresponds with other eruptions and earthquakes in the area caused by the subduction of the Farralon plate.

What is the deepest valley in the United States?

Owens Valley
Between the Sierra crest on the west rising to heights above 14,000 feet, and the White Mountains to the east — with summits above 12,000 feet — Owens Valley is the deepest valley in the United States. It’s elevation varies, but is typically around 4,000 feet, so you are looking at a valley that is 8,000 feet deep.

What is Owens River?

The Owens River is a river in eastern California in the United States, approximately 183 miles (295 km) long. It drains into and through the Owens Valley, an arid basin between the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada and the western faces of the Inyo and White Mountains.

What impact has the aqueduct project had on the Owens Valley?

The construction of the Los Angeles Aqueduct effectively eliminated the Owens Valley as a viable farming community and eventually devastated the Owens Lake ecosystem.

What type of fault is Owens Valley?

Owens Valley is bounded on west by frontal faults at base of Sierra Nevada and on east by frontal faults at base of lnyo and White Mountains.

What did the US Bureau of Recreation want with Owens Valley?

Obtaining water rights 1902–1907. At the start of the 20th century, the United States Bureau of Reclamation, at the time known as the United States Reclamation Service, was planning on building an irrigation system to help the farmers of the Owens Valley, which would block Los Angeles from diverting the water.

Why is the Owens River important to Los Angeles?

The aqueduct provided the City of Los Angeles with a uniform annual flow of 440 cubic feet per second, enough to supply the population of two million for the following 20 years, until the system needed expansion people flocked to southern California.

Where does the water from Owens Valley come from?

The bed of Owens Lake, now a predominantly dry endorheic alkali flat, sits on the southern end of the valley. The valley provides water to the Los Angeles Aqueduct, the source of one-third of the water for Los Angeles, and was the area at the center of one of the fiercest and longest-running episodes of the California Water Wars.

Where is the Owens Valley in Los Angeles?

Below are publications discussing USGS work in the Owens Valley, CA. The Owens Valley, a long, narrow valley along the east side of the Sierra Nevada in eastcentral California, is the main source of water for the city of Los Angeles.

How big is the Owens Valley in Nevada?

Owens Valley is a deep north-south trending basin lying between the Sierra Nevada on the west and the White-Inyo Mountains on the east. The valley’s maximum topographic relief is about 10,800 feet between Mt. Whitney (14,494 ft.) and Lone Pine (~3,700 ft.), a horizontal distance of only about 13 miles.

How old is the Owens Valley Fault System?

About three million years ago, the Sierra Nevada Fault and the White Mountains Fault systems became active with repeated episodes of slip earthquakes gradually producing the impressive relief of the eastern Sierra Nevada and White Mountain escarpments that bound the northern Owens Valley-Mono Basin region.

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