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Contact: Mike Wolterbeek
University of Nevada, Reno

Nearshore Zone of Lake Tahoe

Caption: University of Nevada, Reno, researchers were joined by a Scripps Institution of Oceanography research team, spending many days on Fallen Leaf Lake to gather sonar and side-scan radar data to study earthquake faults and paleoshorelines. The low-tech boat was adorned with high-tech hardware, such as gyroscopes used on rockets, to gather high-resolution images of the lake bottom. Using standing trees they found submerged under 130 feet of water, the team confirmed and reported in their paper, a culmination of a comprehensive high-tech assessment of Fallen Leaf Lake -- a small moraine-bound lake at the south end of the Lake Tahoe Basin -- that stands of pre-Medieval trees in the lake suggest the region experienced severe drought at least every 650 to 1,150 years during the mid- and late-Holocene period.

Credit: Photo by Mike Wolterbeek, University of Nevada, Reno

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