Tufa Formations and Ancient Lake Lahontan

June 16, 2015

Tufa, Toulon, Nevada s

Photographer: Glenn McCreery
Summary AuthorGlenn McCreery

The photo above shows tufa formations as observed north of Toulon, Nevada. In the background is dry Lake Humboldt, where a swirling dust storm can be seen. Tufa is a porous limestone (calcium carbonate, CaCO3). This piece was formed between about 26,000 to 13,000 years ago when the climate was much wetter than now, and present Lake Humboldt was a small part of the more extensive pluvial Lake Lahontan. Tufa typically forms at the mouth of a spring, from lake water, or from a mixture of spring and lake water. Lake Humboldt and the adjacent West Humboldt Mountain Range were named by explorer John C. Fremont for the German naturalist Alexander von Humboldt. Fremont wrote about tufas during his 1843-44 expedition. Photo taken on April 14, 2015.

Photo Details: Canon 5D II camera; Canon L lens, 24mm; 1/160 sec. exposure; f/11; ISO 160.