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Posts Tagged ‘ancient lakes’


Saturday, July 24th, 2010

Bathymetry:the measurement of water depth. Sound boring? OK, I guess I agree. BUT apply it Lake Tahoe, one of only 17 ancient lakes in the world, and you’ve got my attention (for a minute at least). About a million or two years ago Tahoe was formed. Roughly a dozen years ago scientists figured out how to show us what the bottom looks like.

Tahoe Bathymetry

Tahoe Bathymetry (image from USGS)

Pretty cool. Then I learned that there was a massive avalanche or landslide that essentially extended the West Shore by almost 3 miles. See tha bulb of ‘water’ that extends the upper left section a bunch? Well that happened in one incident as actual mountains fell into Tahoe. Tahoe Tessie got one heck of a ride that day as a tsunami thought to be hundreds of feet high whitewashed the shoreline in every direction. The good news was that this landslide created a windfall for Granlibakken. Once located miles from Tahoe’s crystal clear waters, the Big G now became an almost-poolside paradise for all the dinosaurs in Placer County.

West Shore Landslide Bathymetry

West Shore Landslide Bathymetry (image from USGS)

When you look at the full bathymetry map and see all the debris scattered directly across from the landslide it’s impressive. But it’s truly mindblowing when you put the scale in perspective: those huge mountain-pieces traveled miles and miles through extremely deep water to finally rest where they now are – good stuff.

To learn more, check out this link. For a YouTube video go here. And to experience all of this firsthand (and look for dinosaur footprints) swing on over to Granlibakken and take a dip on Tahoe’s newest shoreline….

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