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High streamflow for Lehman Creek fed by snow melt, Lehman Cr., Nevada

Detailed Description

Snowmelt runoff: High level of stream flow for Lehman Creek fed by snow melt in the high country, Great Basin National Park, Nevada, USA

Mountain snow fields, and glaciers, to a lesser extent, act as natural reservoirs for water in some areas, such as the western United States and Canada. These semi-permanent ice fields store precipitation from the cool season, when most precipitation falls and forms snowpacks, until the warm season when snowpacks melt and release water into rivers.

As much as 75 percent of water supplies in some western states are derived from snowmelt. As this picture of Lehman Creek, Nevada, shows, spring meltwater can provide for some dramatic viewing for visiting tourists. Here the water is carrying some sediment, giving it a brownish shade. Glacier-melt runoff often has a distinctive greenish color, often due to the suspension of very fine minerals in the water.

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