Lake Tahoe California Geology, Rock Formations

Geology


Lake Tahoe, on the border of California and Nevada, boasts some fascinating geology and has shown the power of Mother Nature in forming a combination of landscapes sculpted by glaciers and the movements of the earth. A lake of pristine beauty surrounded by mountains, a true wonderland of nature's best.

Lake Tahoe, the second deepest lake in the United States, lies in the Sierra Nevada Mountains along the Nevada/California border. The panorama surrounding this gorgeous lake and the lake itself was formed over millions of years of geologic activity and environmental changes.

Around two million years ago, the earth's crust felt an upheaval and huge blocks of earth shifting creating the eastern Carson Mountains and the western Sierra Nevada Range. When a large block of land simultaneously dropped lower, it created the basin known as the Lake Tahoe Basin. The lovely freshwater lake formed within the basin from melting snow, giving us this home to fabulous ski resorts and recreation areas.

High mountain peaks also came to be during this process, thus we have Monument Peak, which is the current home to Heavenly Ski Resort. It also formed Pyramid Peak, a whopping 9,983 feet high in the Desolation Wilderness, and Mount Tallac at 9,735 feet. Further sculpting occurred around one million years ago during the Ice Age, with glaciers carving the land.

It's said that because of the normal fault lines existing within the lake and the great depth of the water, earthquakes on those faults could create small tsunamis.


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