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Exercises and Discussions using NBMG maps

 

Educational Series E-16, Earthquakes in Nevada, E-30, Generalized Geologic Map of Nevada,
E-36,  Drainage Map of Southern Nevada and Adjacent Regions, and an article on the Geology
of Nevada
  are available on line at the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology's Web site 
http://www.nbmg.unr.edu. Numbers in parentheses are references to the Nevada Science
Standards available on line at the Nevada Department of Education's web site 
http://www.nde.state.nv.us/
.


Exercise using the
 Drainage Map of Southern Nevada and Adjacent Regions.

  1. Color (in blue) the Colorado River and its tributaries. Also color (in blue) the Amargosa
    River and its tributaries. [16.8.3, 16.8.2, 11.8.3, 11.12.3]
  2. Outline the drainage basin (in yellow) for the Colorado River (or at least the part that shows up on this map). Also outline (in yellow) the drainage basin for the Amargosa River. [16.8.3, 16.12.2, 16.8.1]
  3. Discuss the geomorphology of the region. [10.8.2, 10.12.2]

    1. Why does the Amargosa River change its course from south to north?

    2. Where does the Colorado River start? And where does it end?

    3. Is Las Vegas in the Great Basin?

    4. Why don't streams in the Great Basin drain to the ocean?

    5. Why don't the Nevada Science Education Standards exactly follow the National Science Education Standards with regard to rivers and streams flowing into the ocean?

    6. Where might you find rapids along the Colorado River?

    7. What exercises could you develop with this map and the Nevada and National Science Education Standards? [13.12.3 & National Science Education Standards, p. 160]

  4. Discuss the cultural history and scientific-societal issues of the region. [18.8.4]
    1. Why were the towns of Las Vegas, Moapa, Mesquite, Alamo, Overton, and Boulder City located where they are? [11.8.2, 16.8.2, 16.8.3]

    2. Why were the towns of Nelson, Searchlight, and Goodsprings located where they are? [16.8.1, 16.8.2, 16.8.3]

    3. Why might agricultural practices of using fertilizers and pesticides along Pahranagat Wash and the Muddy River be of concern to people in Las Vegas? [16.12.1]

    4. From where does Las Vegas get its drinking water? [16.12.2, 16.8.2]

    5. Where does most of the precipitation in the region fall? [15.12.4]

    6. What can happen when we pump more groundwater from the ground than is recharged by natural processes? [16.12.1, 17.12.1, 17.8.4, 16.12.1, 16.12.4, 16.8.5, 16.12.5]

    7. What can we do to eliminate problems that arise from overpumping? [16.12.1, 16.12.4, 16.8.5, 16.12.5, 17.8.1]

    8. If groundwater flowing through Yucca Mountain were to be contaminated with nuclear waste, where would the water most likely reach the surface? [16.12.3, 18.12.2, 17.8.4]

Exercise using the Drainage Map of Southern Nevada and Adjacent RegionsGeneralized Geologic Map of NevadaEarthquakes in Nevadaand the Geologic Time Scale with Major Events in Nevada History.

  1. Draw (in red) on the Rivers and Streams map the approximate locations of Quaternary faults (shown on the Generalized Geologic Map of Nevada). [10.12.6, 10.8.6]

  2. Determine how many Quaternary faults there are within 40 miles of Las Vegas. [22.8.2, 22.12.2]

  3. Discuss earthquake hazards in the Las Vegas area. [19.8.2, 20.8.5, 20.12.5]

    1. Examine the earthquake map and the geologic map and discuss whether Las Vegas or Reno is likely to have a higher earthquake hazard. [19.8.1, 20.8.5, 20.12.5, 11.8.2, 11.8.3]

    2. Discuss the relative populations of Las Vegas and Reno and the differences in risk from earthquakes. [19.12.2]

    3. What are some possible causes of the earthquakes in the Lake Mead area. [10.8.6]

    4. What are some possible causes of the earthquakes in southern Nye County. [10.8.6]

    5. Are there regular patterns to the orientations of Quaternary faults in Nevada? (How many faults are mostly northwest versus north versus northeast versus east in orientation?) [22.8.2, 22.12.2]

    6. How might the faults in Nevada relate to the San Andreas fault in California? [10.12.6]

Another exercise using the Drainage Map of Southern Nevada and Adjacent RegionsGeneralized Geologic Map of NevadaEarthquakes in Nevadaand the Geologic Time Scale with Major Events in Nevada History.

  1. On the Rivers and Streams map color (in green) the locations of Mesozoic and upper Paleozoic sedimentary rocks within 30 miles of Las Vegas. [11.8.3, 12.12.2]

  2. On the Rivers and Streams map color (in orange) the locations of Tertiary volcanic rocks within 30 miles of Las Vegas. [11.8.3, 12.12.1]

  3. Discuss mineral resources of Nevada. [16.8.1, 16.12.1, 17.8.4]

    1. If crushed limestone is a good material for construction, where would be good locations for limestone quarries? [16.12.2, 16.8.5, 16.12.5, 19.8.2, 19.12.2, 20.8.5, 20.12.5]

    2. If most gold and silver deposits in Nevada are located in or near either Tertiary volcanic or intrusive rocks, where are you most likely to find gold and silver deposits in southern Nevada? [16.12.2, 20.8.5, 20.12.2]

    3. Where in southern Nevada are good sources of sand or sandstone for making glass and high-purity silicon? [16.12.2, 16.8.5, 16.12.5]

    4. Where in southern Nevada are good sources of gypsum? [16.12.2, 20.12.5]

  4. Discuss groundwater resources of Nevada. [16.12.2, 20,12.5]

    1. A. What types of rocks are mapped in the highest mountains of southern Nevada? [10.12.6, 15.12.4]

    2. What types of rocks are mapped in the valleys of southern Nevada? [10.12.6, 15.12.4]

    3. From where is most of the groundwater pumped for use in southern Nevada? [15.12.4, 16.12.1]

    4. Is there a connection between groundwater in the different types of rocks? [15.12.4]

  5. Discuss nuclear waste issues. [16.12.1, 17.12.3]

    1. How close are the youngest mapped volcanic rocks to Yucca Mountain? [20.8.5, 20.12.5]

    2. How close are Quaternary faults to Yucca Mountain? [20.12.5]

    3. What types of rocks occur at Yucca Mountain? [11.8.3]

    4. What are the geological concerns regarding nuclear waste? [16.12.4, 20.12.5]

  6. Discuss other geological hazards. [20.8.5, 20.12.5]

    1. How close are volcanic and intrusive rocks to Las Vegas? [11.8.3, 20.8.5]

    2. How close are volcanic and intrusive rocks to Lake Tahoe, Carson City, and Reno? [11.8.3, 20.8.5]

    3. Is it generally warmer in towns in southern Nevada than in towns in northern Nevada? [11.8.3]

    4. Most radon (a naturally occurring radioactive gas) comes from the decay of naturally occurring uranium, which tends to be more concentrated in certain types of volcanic and intrusive rocks. Why does there appear to be less of a problem with radon in indoor air in southern Nevada than in northern Nevada? [20.8.5, 20.12.5]

  7. Discuss rock and mineral collecting in the Las Vegas area. [11.8.2]

    1. Why is it possible to find samples of igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks at one location in the gravel along Las Vegas Wash south of Lake Las Vegas? [10.12.6]

    2. Where is the great unconformity (between deformed Precambrian metamorphic and igneous rocks and overlying Cambrian and younger Paleozoic sedimentary rocks that you can see at the bottom of the Grand Canyon) exposed in the Las Vegas area? [10.12.6]

    3. Where might you be able to collect gypsum crystals? [10.12.6]

    4. Where might you find orthoclase feldspar crystals eroded from intrusive rocks? [10.12.6]

Developed by Jonathan G. Price, Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology, and Elisabeth M. Price, Washoe County School District,
14 April 2000.