Railroad Valley
3235 of 4106

Railroad Valley

October 15, 2005

The approximate center of this image depicts Railroad Valley in central Nevada. The dark patch of green on the left side is the Sierra Nevada range (mostly in California). The dark grey-blue patch on the left side on the border of California and Nevada is Lake Tahoe, a major resort city.

Las Vegas is located in the bottom center of the image. Most of the state of Nevada is high altitude desert; however, there are numerous springs in the Railroad Valley (and throughout the state) that support wildlife. One of these is a threatened species, the Railroad Valley springfish.

Many of the springs are under pressure because of the pumping of ground water for agriculture, mining, ranching, and housing developments. It is also home to a meteorological and scientific research station; ground measurements are taken there that are used to calibrate satellite images. Oil was discovered in the Valley in 1983; subsequently two wells located there have produced tens of millions of barrels of oil.

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