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Soda Lakes

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Geological Features of Soda Lakes:
– Eruption of Soda Lakes volcano occurred less than 6000 years ago
– Maar volcanoes like Soda Lakes are formed by explosive eruptions
– Lahontan Valley floor around the lakes consists of ancient Lake Lahontan sediments
– Fault lines in the Carson Valley trend to the northeast
– Other older volcanoes nearby include the Upsal Hogback and Rattlesnake Hill

Volcano Monitoring and Hazards:
– Soda Lakes is the only volcano in Nevada listed on the USGS Volcano Hazards Program
– Added in 2018 with a moderate threat potential
– Monitored by the USGS California Volcano Observatory
– Inclusion on the list due to inferred eruptive activity within the Holocene
– Young age of the volcano compared to local sediments

Geothermal Plant at Soda Lakes:
– Exploration of the geothermal field near Soda Lakes began in the 1970s
Soda Lake I & II geothermal energy plants came online in 1987 and 1991
– Located in the Carson Desert
– Continuous development by multiple owners

Historical and 19th-Century Exploration:
– Big Soda Lake provided drinkable water for 1800s wagon travelers
– Classified as soda lakes with commercial facilities built in 1875 for soda extraction
– Early study by Russell (1885) describes the Soda Lake basin in detail
– Big Soda Lake’s depth increased by 60 feet in the early 20th century

Ecological and Limnological Features of Soda Lakes:
– Big Soda Lake became meromictic due to water level rise
– Lower layer is colder, saline, and anoxic with chemocline depth monitored since 1933
– Tufa formations grew due to interaction with incoming springs
– Tufa formations over 3 meters high in less than a century
– Research interest due to constrained age of tufa to a century.

Soda Lakes (Wikipedia)

The Soda Lakes are two lakes located northwest of Fallon, Nevada. They occupy two basaltic maar volcano craters which may have erupted in the last 1500 years. The larger lake, called Soda Lake or Big Soda Lake, is somewhat elongated, stretching 2 kilometers (1.2 mi) in length. The smaller one, Little Soda Lake, is 200 meters (660 ft) across. Considered to be a single volcano, the combined craters are young enough that future activity can't be ruled out. A geothermal power plant is located on the northeast flank of the volcano.

Soda Lakes
east rim of Big Soda Lake
Soda Lakes is located in Nevada
Soda Lakes
Soda Lakes
Location in Nevada
LocationChurchill County, Nevada, US
Coordinates39°31′48″N 118°52′12″W / 39.53000°N 118.87000°W / 39.53000; -118.87000
Typemeromictic, volcanic crater lake
Primary inflowsaquifer
Primary outflowsevaporation
Max. depth207 ft (63 m)
Surface elevation4,104 ft (1,251 m)

A significant increase in level of Big Soda Lake occurred in the early 20th century due to increased groundwater table. It became a meromictic lake where the deeper water no longer mixes with surface waters. New tufa formations have served as a rare research example of tufa's rate of growth within a century.

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