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Pollution Threats to Lake Mead, USA

36.1N 114.4W

June 12th, 2013 Category: Lakes MODISAqua

USA – June 9th, 2013

Two large artificial reservoirs can be seen in this image of arid Western USA: Lake Mead (left) and Lake Powell (right). This week, a mysterious brown foam found floating on the surface of Lake Mead, in its northern extension, the Overton Arm. The foam was seen extending about eight miles from near the mouth of the Virgin River to Echo Bay.

Although the Southern Nevada Water Authority is monitoring water quality at two intakes and so far hasn’t found anything problematic, hundreds of dead fish were seen floating in the water near the foam.

Fires in Western USA, Southeast of Lake Mead

36.1N 114.4W

November 26th, 2012 Category: Fires, Lakes

USA – November 25th, 2012

Visible in the upper left corner of this image is Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the United States in maximum water capacity. It is located on the Colorado River, southeast of Las Vegas, Nevada, in the states of Nevada and Arizona.

Following the green area that extends in a diagonal band southeastward from the lake, one can see two fires burning near the center right edge of the image, in the state of Arizona. The twin fires are both releasing plumes of smoke that blow northeastward.

Dropping Water Levels in Lake Mead, USA – April 6th, 2012

36.1N 114.4W

April 6th, 2012 Category: Image of the day, Lakes, Rivers

USA - April 3rd, 2012

Two large reservoirs can be observed in this image of western USA: Lake Mead, by the left edge, and Lake Powell, created by the Glen Canyon Dam, by the right edge. Both are important sources of water in this arid region. Lake Mead straddles the Arizona-Nevada border, and Lake Powell is on the Arizona-Utah border. Aqueducts carry water from the system to Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Diego, and other communities in the Southwest.

There is, however, a 50 percent chance that Lake Mead, which was created by the Hoover Dam and the Colorado River, will go dry by 2021 because of escalating human demand and climate change, according to a study by Tim Barnett and David Pierce of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography of the University of California at San Diego.

By 2017, there is a 50 percent chance that the reservoir could drop so low that Hoover Dam could no longer produce hydroelectric power. Water conservation and mitigation technologies and policies thus need to be implemented now, the study stated.

The disappearance of the manmade lake would create a tidal wave of ill effects for the southwestern U.S. The lake provides water for large cities like Los Angeles and Las Vegas, as well as for several agricultural interests. The power also keeps on the lights in that region of the country.

Western USA from Great Salt Lake to Lake Mead

39.1N 114.7W

July 27th, 2010 Category: Lakes, Salt Flats

USA - June 26th, 2010

USA - June 26th, 2010

Rows of mountains and hills separated by lowlands and desert characterize this part of the western United States of America. Two large lakes can also be observed: the Great Salt Lake (upper right) and Lake Mead (bottom center).

The Great Salt Lake is located in the state of Utah. The upper and lower halves of this body of water appear different colors, as they are separated by a concrete causeway, the Lucin Cutoff, that limits hydrological mixing. The Great Salt Lake Desert, an expansive area of white salt flats, can be seen west of the lake.

Moving south, Lake Mead is easily identified by its three-pronged shape. It is located on the Colorado River, in the states of Nevada and Arizona. Formed by water impounded by the Hoover Dam, it is largest reservoir in the United States.

Arms and Basins of Lake Mead, USA

36.0N 114.1W

March 11th, 2010 Category: Lakes, Rivers

USA - March 5th, 2010

USA - March 5th, 2010

Lake Mead is the largest reservoir in the United States. It is located on the Colorado River about 30 miles (48 km) southeast of Las Vegas, Nevada, in the states of Nevada and Arizona. Formed by water impounded by the Hoover Dam, it extends 112 miles (180 km) behind the dam, holding approximately 28.5 million acre feet (35 km³) of water.

The lake is divided into several bodies. The large body closest to the Hoover Dam is Boulder Basin. The narrow channel, which was once known as Boulder Canyon and is now known as The Narrows, connects Boulder Basin to Virgin Basin to the east.

The Virgin River and Muddy River empty into the Overton Arm, which is connected to the northern part of the Virgin Basin. The next basin to the east is Temple Basin, and following that is Gregg Basin, which is connected to the Temple Basin by the Virgin Canyon.

When the lake levels are high enough, a section of the lake farther upstream from the Gregg Basin is flooded, which includes Grand Wash Bay and the Pearce Ferry Bay and launch ramp.

In addition, there are two tiny basins, the Muddy River Inlet and the Virgin River Basin, that are flooded when the lake is high enough where these two rivers flow into the lake. As of now, however, these basins remain dry.

Jagged mountain ranges surround the lake. There are two mountain ranges within view of the Boulder Basin, the River Mountains, oriented north-west to south-east and the Muddy Mountains, oriented west to north-east. From the Virgin Basin, one can view the majestic Bonelli Peak towards the east.