Definition of Lake Lahontan

Lake Lahontan is here used as the name of the old lake that formed the tufa, beaches, bars, and other shore features now visible in its basin and that deposited the sediment exposed in the canyons of the present streams of the basin. This is the sense in which the name was used by King, Russell, and Antevs.

Statement of the Problem

A recent attack2 on the problem of the age of the lake by three geologists led to diverse conclusions. The points agreed on are:

  1. The deposition of the tufa by algæ does not necessitate a strongly saline solution, as Russell3 supposed.

  2. Lake Lahontan had three periods of flood and intervening periods of low water.

  3. Lake Lahontan was never completely desiccated; otherwise the Lahontan fish that still live in Pyramid Lake would have been exterminated.

  4. Walker Lake became a part of . . .

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