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The 1997 New Year's floods in western Nevada [BOOK AND PLATE]

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Price: $31.00

Product Code: SP023

Title: The 1997 New Year's floods in western Nevada

Author: Jim G. Rigby, E. James Crompton, Kate A. Berry, Unal Yildirim, Scott F. Hickman, and David A. Davis
Year: 1998
Series: Special Publication 23
Format: 111 pages, one 27 x 35 inches, color map

This report discusses the flooding and resultant damages along the Truckee, Carson, and Walker Rivers and their tributaries in January 1997. The extent of flooding is shown in several full-color maps, and there are numerous color and black-and-white photos of these floods and the damages they caused.

The New Year 's floods in western Nevada and northern California resulted from several moderate to heavy snowstorms in the northern Sierra Nevada during December 1996, followed by three subtropical, heavy rainstorms from the Pacific, the last of which moved through the region from late December 30, 1996, to early January 2, 1997. This third subtropical storm was dubbed the "Pineapple" connection because of its origin in the Hawaiian region. It produced heavy rains at nearly all elevations in the Sierra Nevada, including the headwaters of the Truckee, Carson, and Walker Rivers. The warm heavy rains melted most of the snowpack in the Sierra Nevada below about 7,000 feet in elevation, and produced heavy rainfall up to 10,000 feet in the mountains, contributing heavily to the runoff. The runoff from rainfall at higher elevations, combined with the meltwater from the snowpack at lower elevations, caused one of the most damaging floods the region has experienced in the last 150 years.

Related information:

Nevada Geology (newsletter), July 1998
The 1997 New Year's Floods in Western Nevada, by Jim Rigby

You can also see the extent of the 1997 floods for the Carson River, Reno area, and Walker River in NBMG’s MyHazards-Nevada interactive web map:

Click the “Floods and Drought” group (wave icon) then checkmark on the “Historical Floods – NBMG” layer to turn on the 1997 flood layers. Several sublayers available for each flood area, which can be viewed by clicking the gray triangle next to the layer names to expand the layers.

Other useful layers available in "MyHazards-Nevada" are live feeds for weather watches and advisories, radar, and current flooding—in addition to layers for other geologic hazards, including a live feed for recent earthquakes.

Landslide-induced flooding at Ophir Creek, Washoe County, western Nevada, May 30, 1983
by P.A. Glancy and J.W. Bell
USGS Professional Paper 1617

Other flood-related publications:

Original Product Code: SP23

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