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The north shore boasts three peaks at 10,000 feet: Mount Rose, Houghton and Relay peaks. Rose is a very popular hiking and backcountry skiing destination.Eruptions from the extinct volcano Mount Pluto formed a dam on the north side.Lake Tahoe itself never held glaciers, but instead water is retained by damming Miocene volcanic deposits.Soils of the basin come primarily from andesitic volcanic rocks and granodiorite, with minor areas of metamorphic rock.The natural rim is at 6,223 ft (1,897 m) above sea level, with a spillway at the dam controlling overflow.The maximum legal limit, to which the lake can be allowed to rise in order to store water, is at 6,229.1 ft (1,898.6 m).Subsequent studies revealed submarine landslides in Fallen Leaf Lake and Lake Tahoe that are thought to have been triggered by earthquakes on the West Tahoe fault and the timing of these events suggests a recurrence interval of 3,000–4,000 years.Some of the highest peaks of the Lake Tahoe Basin that formed during the process of Lake Tahoe creation are Freel Peak at 10,891 feet (3,320 m), Monument Peak at 10,067 feet (3,068 m), Pyramid Peak at 9,984 feet (3,043 m) (in the Desolation Wilderness), and Mount Tallac at 9,735 feet (2,967 m).
Uplifted blocks created the Carson Range on the east and the main Sierra Nevada crest on the west.Lake Tahoe is the youngest of several extensional basins of the Walker Lane deformation zone that accommodates nearly 12 mm/yr of dextral shear between the Sierra Nevada-Great Valley Block and North America.Three principal faults form the Lake Tahoe basin: the West Tahoe Fault, aligned between Meyers and Tahoe City, and which is the local segment of the Sierra Nevada Fault, extending on shore north and south of these localities; the Stateline/North Tahoe Fault, starting in the middle of the lake and creating the relief that forms Stateline, NV; and the Incline Village Fault, which runs parallel to the Stateline/North Tahoe Fault offshore and into Incline Village.Melting snow filled the southern and lowest part of the basin to form the ancestral Lake Tahoe. The Sierra Nevada adjacent to Lake Tahoe were carved by scouring glaciers during the Ice Ages, which began a million or more years ago, and retreated ~15,000 years ago at the end of the Pleistocene.The glaciers carved canyons that are today iconic landmarks such as Emerald Bay, Cascade Lake, and Fallen Leaf Lake, among others.The basin soils (in the Lake Tahoe has a dry-summer continental climate (Dsb in the Köppen climate classification), featuring warm, dry summers and chilly winters with regular snowfall.Mean annual precipitation ranges from over 55 inches (1440 mm) for watersheds on the west side of the basin to about 26 inches (660 mm) near the lake on the east side of the basin.; Washo: dáʔaw) is a large freshwater lake in the Sierra Nevada of the United States.Lying at 6,225 ft (1,897 m), it straddles the state line between California and Nevada, west of Carson City.It accounts for one third of the water that leaves the lake, the rest evaporating from the lake's vast surface.The flow of the Truckee River and the height of the lake are controlled by the Lake Tahoe Dam at the outlet.