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Encyclopedia > Sierra Nevada (U.S.)
Sierra Nevada
Range
Little Lakes Valley: typical eastside terrain
Country United States
States California, Nevada
Highest point Mount Whitney
 - elevation 14,505 ft (4,421 m)
 - coordinates 36°34′42.9″N 118°17′31.2″W / 36.578583, -118.292
Length 400 mi (644 km), North-South
Geology batholith, igneous
Period Triassic
Position of Sierra Nevada inside California

The Sierra Nevada (Spanish for "Snowy Range") is a mountain range located in the U.S. state of California. In a few places, it overlaps into neighboring Nevada. The range is also known informally as the Sierra, the High Sierra, and the Sierras. Sierra Nevada, meaning snowy range in Spanish, is the name of at least three mountain ranges: Sierra Nevada (Spain) in Andalusia, Spain Sierra Nevada (US) in California and Nevada, United States Sierra Nevada (Mexico) in Mexico There are also two single mountains named Sierra Nevada in the Andes which are... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixel Image in higher resolution (1600 × 1200 pixel, file size: 793 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Bear Creek Spire, Sierra Nevada (US), from Little Lakes Valley. ... This article is about the U.S. state. ... This article is about the U.S. State of Nevada. ... Mount Whitney is the highest point in the contiguous United States at elevation 14,505 feet (4,421 meters). ... A foot (plural: feet or foot;[1] symbol or abbreviation: ft or, sometimes, ′ – a prime) is a unit of length, in a number of different systems, including English units, Imperial units, and United States customary units. ... This article is about the unit of length. ... “Miles” redirects here. ... “km” redirects here. ... Half Dome, a granite monolith in Yosemite National Park and part of the Sierra Nevada batholith. ... Igneous rocks are formed when molten rock (magma) cools and solidifies, with or without crystallization, either below the surface as intrusive (plutonic) rocks or on the surface as extrusive (volcanic) rocks. ... The Triassic is a geologic period that extends from about 251 to 199 Ma (million years ago). ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... For exotic financial options, see Mountain range (options). ... Federal courts Supreme Court Circuit Courts of Appeal District Courts Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Local Government Other countries Atlas  US Government Portal      A U.S. state is any one of the fifty subnational entities of... This article is about the U.S. state. ... This article is about the U.S. State of Nevada. ...

Contents

Geography

The Sierra Nevada stretches 400 miles (650 km), from Fredonyer Pass in the north to Tehachapi Pass in the south.[1] It is bounded on the west by California's Central Valley, and on the east by the Great Basin. Fredonyer Pass is a mountain pass in Lassen County, California, USA, at an elevation of 5775 feet (1760m) located at 40°2132N, 120°523W. [1] California State Route 36 passes through Fredonyer Pass. ... Tehachapi Pass Tehachapi Pass (elevation 3793 ft/1156 m, location 35°06′08″ N 118°16′58″ W) is a mountain pass in southern California in the United States. ... This article is about the U.S. state. ... The California Central Valley Part of the Valley as seen from overhead A typical Central Valley scene at ground level The California Central Valley is a large, flat valley that dominates the central portion of the U.S. state of California. ... Drainage map showing the Great Basin in orange Various Definitions of the Great Basin (NPS) Wheeler Peak in Great Basin National Park, Nevada. ...


Physiographically, it is a section of the Cascade-Sierra Mountains province, which in turn is part of the larger Pacific Mountain System physiographic division. (See legend) For purposes of description, the physical geography of the United States is split into several major physiographic divisions, one being the Pacific Mountain System. ...


In west-east cross section, the Sierra is shaped like a trapdoor: the elevation gradually increases on the west slope, while the east slope forms a steep escarpment.[1] Thus, the crest runs principally along the eastern edge of the Sierra Nevada range. Rivers flowing west from the Sierra Crest eventually drain into the Pacific Ocean, while rivers draining east flow into the Great Basin and do not reach any ocean.[2] However, water from several streams and the Owens River is redirected to the city of Los Angeles (see Los Angeles Aqueduct). Thus, by artificial means, some east-flowing river water does make it to the Pacific Ocean. In geology, an escarpment is a transition zone between different physiogeographic provinces that involves an elevation differential, often involving high cliffs. ... Owens Valley The Owens River is a river in eastern California in the United States, approximately 120 mi (193 km) long. ... Los Angeles and L.A. redirect here. ... There are two Los Angeles Aqueducts--the original Los Angeles Aqueduct was designed by William Mulholland (an Irish immigrant who became a self-taught engineer and head of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power) and completed in 1913 to deliver water from the Owens River to the city...


There are several notable geographical features in the Sierra Nevada:

  • Lake Tahoe is a large, clear freshwater lake in the northern Sierra Nevada, with an elevation of 6,225 feet (1,897 m) and an area of 191 square miles (489 km²).[3] Lake Tahoe lies between the main Sierra and the Carson Range, a spur of the Sierra.[3]
  • Hetch Hetchy Valley, Yosemite Valley, Kings Canyon, Tehipite Valley and Kern Canyon are the most well-known of many beautiful, glacially-scoured canyons on the west side of the Sierra.
  • Yosemite National Park is filled with stunning features, such as waterfalls and granite domes.
  • Mount Whitney, at 14,505 feet (4,421 m),[4] is the highest point in the contiguous United States. Mt. Whitney is on the eastern border of Sequoia National Park.
  • Groves of Giant Sequoias Sequoiadendron giganteum occur along a narrow band of altitude on the western side of the Sierra Nevada. Giant Sequoias are the most massive trees in the world.[5]
East Face of Mt. Whitney as seen from the way up on Whitney Portal.
East Face of Mt. Whitney as seen from the way up on Whitney Portal.

The height of the mountains in the Sierra Nevada gradually increases from north to south. Between Fredonyer Pass and Lake Tahoe, the peaks range from 5,000 feet (1,524 m) to 8,000 feet (2,438 m). The crest near Lake Tahoe is roughly 9,000 feet (2,700 m) high, with several peaks approaching the height of Freel Peak (10,881 feet, 3,316 m), including Mount Rose (10,776 feet, 3,285 m), which overlooks Reno from the north end of the Carson Range. The crest near Yosemite National Park is roughly 13,000 feet (4,000 m) high at Mount Dana and Mount Lyell, and the entire range attains its peak at Mount Whitney (14,505 feet, 4,421 m). South of Mount Whitney, the range diminishes in elevation, but there are still several high points like Florence Peak (12,405 feet, 3,781 m) and Olancha Peak (12,123 feet, 3,695 m). The range still climbs almost to 10,000 feet (3,048 m) near Lake Isabella, but south of the lake, the peaks reach only to a modest 8,000 feet (2,438 m).[6][7] At cORDOVA Lane Bye This article is about the lake in California/Nevada. ... The Carson Range is a range of mountains in eastern California and western Nevada that spurs off of the Sierra Nevada mountain range south of Lake Tahoe. ... Hetch Hetchy Valley is a glacial valley in Yosemite National Park in California. ... Yosemite Valley with Half Dome in the distance. ... This article is about Kings Canyon National Park, USA. For Kings Canyon, Australia, see Kings Canyon (Northern Territory). ... Yosemite redirects here. ... A granite dome is a dome of granite, formed by exfoliation. ... Mount Whitney is the highest point in the contiguous United States at elevation 14,505 feet (4,421 meters). ... The continental United States refers (except sometimes in U.S. federal law and regulations) to the largest part of the U.S. that is delimited by a continuous border. ... Giant Sequoia (Sequoiadendron) trees in the Giant Forest Sequoia National Park is a national park in the southern Sierra Nevada, east of Visalia, California in the United States of America. ... Binomial name Sequoiadendron giganteum (Lindl. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1536x1024, 742 KB) Please see the file description page for further information. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1536x1024, 742 KB) Please see the file description page for further information. ... Freel Peak is a mountain located in the Carson Range near Lake Tahoe in California. ... Places Reno, Nevada Reno, Pennsylvania Reno, Lamar County, Texas Reno, Parker County, Texas A valley in Italy Other Uses Reno, a Turk from the popular videogame and CG movie by Square-Enix, Final Fantasy VII. Reno a 1939 film A band named Reno Reno is a drug Reno 911! - A... The Carson Range is a range of mountains in eastern California and western Nevada that spurs off of the Sierra Nevada mountain range south of Lake Tahoe. ... Yosemite redirects here. ... Mount Dana is a mountain on the eastern edge of Yosemite National Park and is the second highest peak within the park after Mount Lyell. ... Mount Lyell is the highest point in Yosemite National Park. ... Mount Whitney is the highest point in the contiguous United States at elevation 14,505 feet (4,421 meters). ... Lake Isabella is a census-designated place located in Kern County, California. ...


Geology

See Geology of the Yosemite area for a detailed article about the geology of the central Sierra Nevada.

The well-known granite that makes up most of the southern Sierra started to form in the Triassic period. At that time, an island arc collided with the West coast of North America and raised a set of mountains, in an event called the Nevadan orogeny.[8] This event produced metamorphic rock. At roughly the same time, a subduction zone started to form at the edge of the continent. This means that an oceanic plate started to dive beneath the North American plate. Magma from the melting oceanic plate rose in plumes (plutons) deep underground, their combined mass forming what is called the Sierra Nevada batholith. These plutons formed at various times, from 115 million to 87 million years ago.[9] By 65 million years ago, the proto-Sierra Nevada was worn down to a range of rolling low mountains, a few thousand feet high. The exposed geology of the Yosemite area includes primarily granitic rocks with some older metamorphic rock. ... The Triassic is a geologic period that extends from about 251 to 199 Ma (million years ago). ... North American redirects here. ... For other uses, see Mountain (disambiguation). ... The Nevadan Orogeny was a major mountain building event that took place along the western edge of ancient North America between the Mid to Late Jurassic(between about 180 and 146 million years ago). ... Quartzite, a form of metamorphic rock, from the Museum of Geology at University of Tartu collection. ... Categories: Geology stubs | Plate tectonics ... The tectonic plates of the world were mapped in the second half of the 20th century. ...  The North American plate, shown in brown The North American Plate is a tectonic plate covering most of North America, extending eastward to the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and westward to the Cherskiy Range in East Siberia. ... Glacier-sliced Half Dome, Yosemite, a classic granite dome of the Sierra Nevada Batholith The Sierra Nevada Batholith is a large batholith in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, USA, and is a continuous granitic formation that forms much of the Sierra Nevada mountain range of California. ...

Image of the Sierra Nevada and Owens Valley from the International Space Station

By 20 million years ago, crustal extension associated with the Basin and Range Province caused extensive volcanism in the Sierra.[10] About 4 million years ago, the Sierra Nevada started to form and tilt to the west. Rivers started cutting deep canyons on both sides of the range. The Earth's climate cooled, and ice ages started about 2.5 million years ago. Glaciers carved out characteristic U-shaped canyons throughout the Sierra. The combination of river and glacier erosion exposed the uppermost portions of the plutons emplaced millions of years before, leaving only a remnant of metamorphic rock on top of some Sierra peaks. Download high resolution version (750x750, 86 KB)On February 6th 2003, astronauts aboard the International Space Station looked obliquely down at the steep eastern flank of California’s Sierra Nevada. ... Download high resolution version (750x750, 86 KB)On February 6th 2003, astronauts aboard the International Space Station looked obliquely down at the steep eastern flank of California’s Sierra Nevada. ... Owens Valley is the arid ranching valley of the Owens River in southeastern California in the United States. ... ISS redirects here. ... Full extent of the Basin and Range The Basin and Range Province is a particular type of topography that covers much of the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico that is typified by elongate north-south trending arid valleys bounded by mountain ranges which also bound adjacent valleys. ... Variations in CO2, temperature and dust from the Vostok ice core over the last 400 000 years For the animated movie, see Ice Age (movie). ...


Uplift of the Sierra Nevada continues today, especially along its eastern side. This uplift causes large earthquakes, such as the Lone Pine earthquake of 1872. Lone Pine fault scarp The Great Lone Pine earthquake was one of the largest earthquakes to hit California in recorded history. ...


Ecology

Upper montane forest

Main article: Ecology of the Sierra Nevada Upper montane red fir forest. ... Upper montane red fir forest. ... Biotic zones in Yosemite The Ecology of the Sierra Nevada is diverse and complex: the plants and animals are a significant part of the scenic beauty of the mountain range. ...


The Sierra Nevada is divided into a number of biotic zones[9] The Life Zone concept was developed by C. Hart Merriam in 1889 as a means of describing areas with similar plant and animal communities. ...

Species Section Cembroides     Pinus cembroides     Pinus orizabensis     Pinus johannis     Pinus culminicola     Pinus remota     Pinus edulis     Pinus monophylla     Pinus quadrifolia Section Rzedowskiae     Pinus rzedowskii     Pinus pinceana     Pinus maximartinezii Section Nelsoniae     Pinus nelsonii The pinyon (or piñon) pine group grows in the southwestern United States and in Mexico. ... Species Junipers are coniferous plants in the genus Juniperus of the cypress family Cupressaceae. ... Binomial name Gymnorhinus cyanocephalus Wied, 1841 The Pinyon Jay (Gymnorhinus cyanocephalus) is a jay between the North American Blue Jay and the Eurasian Jay in size. ... Trinomial name Ovis canadensis nelsoni The Desert Bighorn Sheep (Ovis canadensis nelsoni) is a subspecies of Bighorn Sheep that occurs in the desert Southwest regions of the United States. ... Binomial name Pinus ponderosa Douglas ex C. Lawson Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa) is a widespread and very variable pine native to western North America. ... Binomial name Pinus jeffreyi Balf. ... Binomial name Newb. ... Species Calocedrus decurrens Conservation status: Secure Calocedrus formosana Conservation status: Vulnerable Calocedrus macrolepis Conservation status: Vulnerable The Incense-cedars, Calocedrus, are a genus of two to three species of coniferous trees in the cypress family Cupressaceae. ... Binomial name Sequoiadendron giganteum (Lindl. ... Binomial name Junco hyemalis (Linnaeus, 1758) The Dark-eyed Junco, Junco hyemalis, is the best-known species of junco, a genus of small American sparrows. ... Binomial name Poecile gambeli or Parus gambeli Linnaeus, 1766 The Mountain Chickadee, Parus gambeli or Poecile gambeli, is a small songbird. ... Binomial name Sciurus griseus Ord, 1818 The Western Gray Squirrel (Sciurus griseus) is a tree squirrel found along the western coast of the United States and Canada. ... Binomial name (Rafinesque, 1817) The mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) is a deer whose habitat is in the western half of North America. ... Binomial name Pallas, 1780 Synonyms Euarctos americanus The American Black Bear (Ursus americanus) is the most common bear species native to North America. ... Binomial name Pinus contorta Douglas Lodgepole Pine (Pinus contorta) is a common tree in western North America. ... Binomial name Abies magnifica A.Murray The Red Fir (Abies magnifica) is a western North American fir, native to the mountains of southwest Oregon and California in the United States. ... Binomial name Tsuga mertensiana (Bong. ... Binomial name Juniperus occidentalis Hook. ... Binomial name Catharus guttatus (Pallas, 1811) The Hermit Thrush, Catharus guttatus, is a medium-sized thrush. ... Species Centrocercus urophasianus, (Bonaparte, 1827) Centrocercus minimus, (Young et. ... Binomial name Strix nebulosa Forster, 1772 The Great Grey Owl or Lapland Owl (Strix nebulosa) is a very large owl. ... Binomial name Spermophilus lateralis (Say, 1823) The Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel (Spermophilus lateralis) lives in all types of forests across North America. ... Species Martes americana Martes flavigula Martes foina Martes gwatkinsii Martes martes Martes melampus Martes pennanti Martes zibellina For the Wiltshire village see Marten, Wiltshire. ... The Sierra Nevada subalpine zone is positioned between the upper montane zone (such as red fir forest) at its lower limit, and treeline at its upper limit. ... Binomial name Pinus albicaulis Engelm. ... Binomial name Pinus balfouriana Balf. ... Binomial name Nucifraga columbiana (Wilson, 1811) The Clarks Nutcracker (Nucifraga columbiana), is a large passerine bird, in the family Corvidae. ... For other uses, see Tundra (disambiguation). ... Binomial name Nutt. ... Type Species Ochotona minor Link, 1795 (= Lepus dauuricus Pallas, 1776) Species See text The name pika (archaically spelled pica) is used for any member of the Ochotonidae, a family within the order of lagomorphs, which also includes the Leporidae (rabbits and hares). ... Species about 38: see text. ... Binomial name (Audubon and Bachman, 1841) The Yellow-bellied Marmot (Marmota flaviventris), also known as the Rock Chuck, is a ground squirrel in the marmot genus. ... Trinomial name Ovis canadensis sierrae (Grinnell, 1912) Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep (Ovis canadensis sierrae) is a subspecies of Bighorn Sheep. ...

History

History of exploration

The earliest identified inhabitants of the Sierra Nevada were the Paiute tribe on the east side and the Mono and Sierra Miwok tribe on the western side. Today, passes such as Duck Pass are littered with discarded obsidian arrowheads that date back to trade between tribes. There were also prehistorical territorial disputes between the Paiute and Sierra Miwok tribes[11] European-American exploration of the mountain range started in the 1840s. In the winter of 1844, Lieutenant John C. Frémont, accompanied by Kit Carson, was the first white man to see Lake Tahoe. “Piute” redirects here. ... The Valley and Sierra Miwok (also called the Plains and Sierra Miwok), were the largest group of Miwok Native American people. ... This article is about a type of volcanic glass. ... For other uses, see Arrowhead (disambiguation). ... John Charles Frémont (January 21, 1813 – July 13, 1890), was an American military officer, explorer, the first candidate of the Republican Party for the office of President of the United States, and the first presidential candidate of a major party to run on a platform in opposition to slavery. ... Kit Carson Christopher Houston Kit Carson (December 24, 1809 – May 23, 1868) was an American frontiersman. ... At cORDOVA Lane Bye This article is about the lake in California/Nevada. ...

Red Slate Mountain - Peter Pande trail (photo taken in 1963)
Red Slate Mountain - Peter Pande trail (photo taken in 1963)

By 1860, even though the California Gold Rush populated the flanks of the Sierra Nevada, most of the Sierra remained unexplored.[12][13] Therefore, the state legislature authorized the California Geological Survey to officially explore the Sierra (and survey the rest of the state). Josiah Whitney was appointed to head the survey. Red Slate Mountain. ... Red Slate Mountain. ... Red Slate Mountain is the highest peak in the Sherwin Range, which is part of the Sierra Nevada. ... The California Gold Rush (1848–1855) began shortly after January 24, 1848 (when gold was discovered at Sutters Mill in Coloma). ... Although it was not until 1880 that the California State Mining Bureau, predecessor to the California Geological Survey, was established, the roots of Californias state geological survey date to an earlier time. ... Portrait of Josiah Whitney by Silas Selleck, 1863 Josiah Dwight Whitney (November 23, 1819-August 15, 1896) was a professor of geology at Harvard University (from 1865), and was chief of the California Geological Survey (1860-1874). ...


Men of the survey, including William H. Brewer, Charles F. Hoffmann, and Clarence King, explored the backcountry of what would become Yosemite National Park in 1863.[12] In 1864, they explored the area around Kings Canyon. King later recounted his adventures over the Kings-Kern divide in his book Mountaineering in the Sierra Nevada. In 1871, King mistakenly thought that Mount Langley was the highest peak in the Sierra and climbed it. However, before he could climb the true highest peak (Mount Whitney), fishermen from Lone Pine climbed it and left a note.[12] William Henry Brewer William Henry Brewer (September 14, 1828 -- November 2, 1910) was an American botanist. ... A native of Germany, trained as an engineer. ... Categories: Stub | 1842 births | 1901 deaths | Climbers | Geologists | Sierra Nevada ... Yosemite redirects here. ... This article is about Kings Canyon National Park, USA. For Kings Canyon, Australia, see Kings Canyon (Northern Territory). ... Mount Langley is located on the crest of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, on the border of Inyo and Tulare counties, in eastern California in the southwestern United States. ... Mount Whitney is the highest point in the contiguous United States at elevation 14,505 feet (4,421 meters). ... The main street in Lone Pine retains a frontier look Lone Pine is a census-designated place (CDP) in Inyo County, California, United States. ...


Between 1892 and 1897, Theodore Solomons was the first explorer to attempt to map a route along the crest of the Sierra (what would eventually become the John Muir Trail, along a different route).[12] On his 1894 expedition, he took along Leigh Bierce, son of writer Ambrose Bierce. Theodore Seixas Solomons (1870-1947) was an explorer and early member of the Sierra Club; from 1892 to 1897 he explored and named the Mount Goddard, Evolution Valley and Evolution Basin region in what is now northen Kings Canyon National Park in eastern California. ... John Muir Trail is a long-distance trail in California, running 211 miles (340 km) from the Yosemite Valley to Mount Whitney. ... Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce (June 24, 1842 – 1914?) was an American editorialist, journalist, short-story writer and satirist, today best known for his Devils Dictionary. ...

The Minarets, first climbed by Norman Clyde
The Minarets, first climbed by Norman Clyde

Other noted early mountaineers included:[12] The Minarets in the Sierra Nevada (US). ... The Minarets in the Sierra Nevada (US). ... For the building, see Minaret. ... Norman Clyde (April 8, 1885-December 23, 1972) was a famous mountaineer and nature photographer. ...

Features in the Sierra are named after these men. For other persons named John Muir, see John Muir (disambiguation). ... Joseph Nisbet LeConte (1870-1950) was a noted explorer of the Sierra Nevada. ... James Sather Hutchinson (1867-1959) was a lawyer in San Francisco. ... Norman Clyde (April 8, 1885-December 23, 1972) was a famous mountaineer and nature photographer. ... Walter A. Pete Starr, Jr. ...


History of the name

In 1542 Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, sighting the Santa Cruz Mountains while off the peninsula of San Francisco, gave them the name Sierra Nevada meaning "snowy range" in Spanish. As more specific names were given to California's coastal ranges, the name was used in a general way to designate less familiar ranges towards the interior.[14] In April of 1776 Padre Pedro Font on the second de Anza expedition, looking northeast across the Tulare Valley, described the mountains seen beyond: Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo, in Portuguese João Rodrigues Cabrilho, (ca 1499–January 3, 1543) was an explorer noted for his exploration of the west coast of North America while sailing for Spain. ... The Santa Cruz Mountains, part of the Pacific Coast Ranges, are a mountain range in central California, United States. ... Juan Bautista de Anza Juan Bautista de Anza Bezerra Nieto (July 1736 - December 19, 1788) was a Novo-Spanish explorer for the Spanish Empire. ... Tulare Lake is an extinct fresh-water lake that was formerly the largest to be completely enclosed within the territories of the Unites States. ...

Looking northeast we saw an immense plain without any trees, through which the water extends for a long distance, having in it several little islands of lowland. And finally, on the other side of the immense plain, and at a distance of about forty leagues, we saw a great Sierra Nevada whose trend appeared to me to be from south-southeast to north-northwest.[15]

Its most common nickname is the Range of Light. This nickname comes from John Muir.[16] This description is due in part to the unusually light colored granite exposed by glacial action. For other persons named John Muir, see John Muir (disambiguation). ...

Owens Valley and the Sierra Escarpment
Owens Valley and the Sierra Escarpment

Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (2359x600, 309 KB) Owens Valley, California, and the eastern escarpment of the Sierra Nevada mountains, looking southwest from the Inyo Mountains near Harkless Flat. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (2359x600, 309 KB) Owens Valley, California, and the eastern escarpment of the Sierra Nevada mountains, looking southwest from the Inyo Mountains near Harkless Flat. ...

Climate and meteorology

During the fall, winter, and spring, precipitation in the Sierra ranges from 20 to 80 in (500 to 2,030 mm) where it occurs mostly as snow above 6,000 ft (1,829 m). Rain on snow is common. Summers are dry with low humidity, however afternoon thunderstorms are not uncommon. Summer temperature averages 42 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit (5.5 to 15.5 degrees Celsius). The growing season lasts 20 to 230 days, strongly dependent on elevation.[17]


A unique peculiarity of the Sierra Nevada is that, under certain wind conditions, a large round tube of air begins to roll on the southeast side. This is known as the "Sierra Nevada Rotor." This "mountain wave" forms when dry continental winds from the east cause the formation of a stacked set of counter-revolving cylinders of air reaching into the stratosphere. As of 2004, no sailplane has found its top. Similar features occur on many mountain ranges, but it is often observed and utilized in the Sierra. The phenomenon was the subject of an Air Force-funded study in the early 1950s called the Sierra Wave Project.[18] All recent world altitude records set in unpowered aircraft were set in the Sierra Nevada Wave, most flown from Mojave Airport. Generation of Lee Waves (schematic drawing) 1 = Mountain 2 = Wind 3 = Rotor 4 = Lee Wave 5 = typical cloud (lenticularis) 6 = typical cloud (cumulus) In meteorology, Lee waves, also known as mountain waves, are periodic changes of pressure in a stream of air when the wind moves over mountains. ... USAF redirects here. ... The Mojave Spaceport, also known as the Mojave Airport and Civilian Flight Test Center, is the first facility to be licensed in the United States for horizontal launches of reusable spacecraft. ...


The Sierra Nevada casts the valleys east of the Sierra in a rain shadow, which makes Death Valley and Owens Valley "the land of little rain".[19] For the Australian television series see Rain Shadow (TV series). ... For other uses, see Death Valley (disambiguation). ... Owens Valley is the arid ranching valley of the Owens River in southeastern California in the United States. ...


Protected Status

In much of the Sierra Nevada, development is restricted or highly regulated. A complex system of National Forests, National Parks, Wilderness Areas and Zoological Areas designates permitted land uses within the 400-mile (640 km) stretch of the Sierra. These areas are jointly administered by the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the National Park Service. See List of Sierra Nevada topics for a list of protected areas. Logo of the U.S. Forest Service. ... The National Park Service (NPS) is the United States government agency that deals with U.S. National Parks and U.S. National Monuments. ... The Wilderness Act protects exceptional undisturbed natural areas and scenery, such as in the Ansel Adams Wilderness On federal lands in the United States, Congress may designate a wilderness area under the provisions of the Wilderness Act of 1964. ... The USDA Forest Service, a United States government agency within the United States Department of Agriculture, is under the leadership of the United States Secretary of Agriculture. ... US BLM logo The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is an agency within the United States Department of the Interior which administers Americas public lands, totaling approximately 261 million surface acres (1,056,229. ... The National Park Service (NPS) is the United States federal agency that manages all National Parks, many National Monuments, and other conservation and historical properties with various title designations. ... This is a list of Sierra Nevada topics, about the Sierra Nevada of California, USA. Please see Sierra Nevada for alternative meanings. ...


See also

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Sierra Nevada, USA

This is a list of Sierra Nevada topics, about the Sierra Nevada of California, USA. Please see Sierra Nevada for alternative meanings. ... The following is a partial list of guidebooks about the Sierra Nevada of California, USA. Please see Sierra Nevada for more information. ... Biotic zones in Yosemite The Ecology of the Sierra Nevada is diverse and complex: the plants and animals are a significant part of the scenic beauty of the mountain range. ... A list of Sierra Nevada wildfires includes notable wildfires in the Sierra Nevada mountain range of California, United States: This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it. ...

References

  1. ^ a b Sierra Nevada. Ecological Subregions of California. United States Forest Service.
  2. ^ The Great Basin. Great Basin National Park. U.S. National Park Service. Retrieved on 2007-05-12.
  3. ^ a b Facts about Lake Tahoe. USGS. Retrieved on 2007-05-12.}
  4. ^ Current Survey Control GT1811. National Geodetic Survey.
  5. ^ The General Sherman Tree. U.S. National Park Service.
  6. ^ Google Earth images.
  7. ^ California State map, 2007.
  8. ^ Shaffer, Jeffrey. Evolution of the Yosemite Landscape — The Nevadan Orogeny. One Hundred Hikes in Yosemite.
  9. ^ a b Schoenherr, Allan A. (1995). A Natural History of California. UC Press. ISBN 0-520-06922-6. 
  10. ^ Joel Michaelsen. Geologic History of California.
  11. ^ Hoffmann, Charles F. (1868). "Notes on Hetch-Hetchy Valley". Proceedings of the California Academy of Science 1 (3:5): 368-370. Retrieved on 2006-09-27. 
  12. ^ a b c d e Roper, Steve (1997). Sierra High Route: Traversing Timberline Country. The Mountaineers Press. 
  13. ^ Moore, James G. (2000). Exploring the Highest Sierra. Stanford University Press. ISBN 0-8047-3703-7. 
  14. ^ Farquhar, Francis P. (March 1925). "Exploration of the Sierra Nevada". California Historical Society Quarterly. 
  15. ^ 4/2/1776. Expanded Diary of Pedro Font. Retrieved on February 3, 2007.
  16. ^ Muir, John (1894). Mountains of California. 
  17. ^ Sierran Steppe - Mixed Forest - Coniferous Forest. Ecological Subregions of the United States. US Forest Service. Retrieved on 2007-01-27.
  18. ^ Ryan, Bertha. A Brief History of Soaring at Inyokern Airport. Inyokern Airport Album.
  19. ^ Austin, Mary (1974). The Land of Little Rain. University of New Mexico Press. ISBN 0826303587. 

Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 132nd day of the year (133rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 132nd day of the year (133rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Google Earth is a virtual globe program that was originally called Earth Viewer and was created by Keyhole, Inc. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 270th day of the year (271st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 34th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 27th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Sierra Nevada - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (164 words)
Sierra Nevada, meaning "snowy range" in Spanish, is the name of at least two mountain ranges:
There are also two single mountains named Sierra Nevada in the Andes which are volcanoes.
Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta (Colombia), though technically not in the Andes
Sierra Nevada (US) - definition of Sierra Nevada (US) in Encyclopedia (1481 words)
The Sierra Nevada stretches 400 miles (650 km), from Fredonyer Pass in the north to Tehachapi Pass in the south.
Lake Tahoe is a large, clear freshwater lake in the northern Sierra Nevada, with an elevation of 6225 feet (1,897 m) and an area of 191 square miles (489 km²).
The earliest identified inhabitants of the Sierra Nevada were the Paiute tribe on the east side and the Miwok tribe on the west.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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