Carson Sink


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Carson Sink,

swampy area, c.100 sq mi (260 sq km), W Nev.; a remnant of ancient Lake Lahontan. Fallon National Wildlife Refuge is located there. The Carson River (c.125 mi/200 km long), fed by melted snow, flows into the sink. The river's course was followed by California-bound travelers in the 1850s and 1860s. Mercury used in the mining of gold and silver in the latter half of the 19th cent. contributed to massive pollution of the river. Lahontan Dam, part of the Newlands project, impounds river water for irrigation and produces electricity.
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Battleground Point #14, a 1999 chromogenic print by Richard Misrach, starkly depicts a gracefully curving desert sand dune reflected perfectly in a vast shimmering temporary lake created by a flash flood in Nevada's Carson Sink.
We used these gross characteristics to select three study sites within north-south-oriented valleys: Pueblo Valley, Oregon (42[degrees] 00' N, 118[degrees] 36' W; 7 to 24 Sep); Silver State Valley, Nevada (41[degrees] 21' N, 117[degrees] 53' W; 3 to 26 Oct); and Carson Sink, Nevada (39[degrees] 54' N, 118[degrees] 14' W; 27 Oct to 10 Nov).
We obtained weather data from the nearest weather station (Pueblo Valley barometric pressure = KREO, 121 km; Pueblo Valley all other measurements = FLSO3, 46 km; Silver State Valley = KWMC, 48 km; Carson Sink = CSNSK, 18 km) compiled in the MesoWest data archive (Horel 2007).
We radiomarked 38 Sage Sparrows (Pueblo Valley = 2 AHY, 3 HY; Silver State Valley = 4 AHY, 8 HY; Carson Sink = 5 AHY, 16 HY).
One bird at the Carson Sink site used an area >1,400 ha during 10 days of observation.
Other areas evaluated included San Diego Bay, San Francisco Bay, Monterey Bay, Humboldt Bay, Mono Lake, and Tule Lake in California; Willapa Bay, Grays Harbor, and Puget Sound in Washington; Blackfoot Reservoir, Mormon Reservoir and Bear Lake in Idaho; and Pyramid Lake and Carson Sink areas in Nevada.
An enormous ball of phosphorous bounds across the Carson Sink.