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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Similarly, Carson River managers coordinated efforts across the system to mitigate "irreversible flood damage" by diverting flood water away from the city of Fallon (population: 8,500) to Carson Lake and the Carson Sink (see the sidebar "The Big Dig: Channeling floodwaters to the Great Basin").
A 17-mile and roughly 60-foot-wide channel, referred to as "the Big Dig," was built to divert approximately 3,000 cfs (85 cms) away from the city of Fallon to Carson Lake, the Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge, and eventually to its natural terminus at the Carson Sink (Fig.
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.
Scarps cutting alluvial fans along the eastern rim of Carson Sink attest to recent northwest-southeast crustal extension.
Southern Carson Sink is one such area, with temperatures routinely exceeding 365 [degrees] F in exploratory holes.
Depths-to-bedrock range from 0 ft in the mountain ranges to IlK ft in the northern part of Carson Sink. The 0-ft contours delineate the periphery of outcropping mountain ranges.
Thick accumulations of unconsolidated sediment occupy Carson Sink, Dixie Valley, and Fairview Valley.
An enormous ball of phosphorous bounds across the Carson Sink.