Chapter 15

It seems unbelievable, but a small corner of Nevada actually lies in the California region. That corner is the westernmost part of Nevada, which includes Reno, Carson City, and Lake Tahoe.


Although all of Nevada has earthquakes, this part is most seismically active.nevada-earthquakes Other than that, the Reno-Carson City-Lake Tahoe area doesn’t have a lot in common with California. It doesn’t suffer from a shortage of water, doesn’t have smog, and is not subject to the perils of urban congestion. It also doesn’t have a huge agricultural industry. It’s hard to figure out why it’s considered part of the California region.

Information from…/ papers/renoeq/renoeq.html. Images from Google.

Published in: on 29 April, 2009 at 8:24 am  Leave a Comment  

Chapter 14

Only a tiny southernmost corner of Nevada falls in the Southwest Border area. But Nevada does have Native Indian populations in almost all of its counties, and it has huge numbers of Latinos, both in the north and the south of the state. There are 4 Indian reservations in Nevada, and there are 3 native tribes local to the area. These are the Shoshone, the Paiutes, and the Washoe. The first two are related, but the last is unlike any other tribe in customs and language, and are famous for their basketry.

Some baskets made by a Washoe woman.Some baskets made by a Washoe woman.

Nevada has two counties where poverty levels exceed 15%. This makes Nevada a lot better off than its neighbors Utah and Arizona, who both have counties with over 25% poverty. Nevada’s Las Vegas definitely ranks alongside Phoenix, Tuscon, and Albuquerque in population growth.

Population trends in Las Vegas.Population trends in Las Vegas.

Information from and

Images from Google.

Published in: on 29 April, 2009 at 8:06 am  Leave a Comment  

Chapter 13

Finally, a region that Nevada is part of! The Empty Interior includes almost all of Nevada, except for a tiny western corner that lies in the transitional zone, and includes Nevada’s capital, Carson City, as well as Nevada’s oldest gambling center, Reno.


Carson City


Much of Nevada was covered by Pleistocene lakes during the last Ice Age. Most of these are gone now, but Pyramid Lake, in the northern part of the state, remains. Since it has no drainage to the ocean, its water is highly saline.

Satellite View of Pyramid Lake.Satellite View of Pyramid Lake.

Almost 90% of all land in Nevada is controlled by the U.S. government. This seems hard to believe, considering the amount of development around Las Vegas, and all the “For Sale” signs you see driving around.


Nevada only has one National Park, the Great Basin. It may not be one of the country’s better known parks, but it still has amazing scenery, and an incredible range of vistas, trees, and rock formations.

Great Basin National Park.Great Basin National Park.

Great Basin National Park vista.Great Basin National Park vista.

This park even has caves!


Supposedly, there is a fairly large Mormon population in Nevada, which seems odd, given the liberal gambling, divorce, and prostitution laws.

Nevada uses only 1.8% of Colorado River Basin water, but it does get a lot of its power from the Hoover Dam, which is on the Colorado River.

hoover dam bridge

Gambling is the main contributor to Nevada econcomy ~ 45% of state revenue comes from gaming taxes.

Mining is not nearly important as it was in the late 19th century, when the Comstock Lode near Virginia City drew thousands of people, and miners were the second largest group, after Mormons, to settle the area.

Perhaps the name Empty Interior is not really appropriate anymore, since Las Vegas is the fastest growing city in the region.

Information from textbook. Images from Google.

Published in: on 8 April, 2009 at 2:58 am  Comments (1)  

Chapter 12

Nevada is not located on the Great Plains, but it shares some characteristics with them. For example, Nevada is quite mountainous, and has areas which resemble South Dakota’s Badlands, and Colorado’s Rockies. See if you can tell which place is which, in the three photos below.

Mystery image 2


mystery image 3

Nevada also has areas which are really flat, and resemble parts of the High Plains, as you can see from the two pictures below.

flatlands 1

flatlands 2

Where Nevada really differs from the Great Plains is in its annual amount of precipitation. The Great Plains get much more rain than Nevada, though both places can have really violent storms. Most of Nevada gets less than 17 inches of rain per year, while the Great Plains get between 20 and 55 inches.

Both Nevada and the Great Plains have extensive ranching, but Nevada has far less farming, due to its drier climate and more mountainous terrain. However, Nevada has a better developed mining industry, since mining in the Great Plains has only recently started to be explored.

Information from and Images from Google.

Published in: on 6 April, 2009 at 12:14 am  Leave a Comment