NEVADA, a State in the Western Di vision of the North American Union; bounded by Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, and California ; admitted to the Union, Oct. 31, 1864; counties, 17; capital, Car son City; area, 107,740 square miles; pop. (1890) 45,761; (1900) 42,335; (1910) 81,875; (1920) 77,407.
Topography.—The State is situated in the Great American Basin, having for its boundaries the Sierra Nevada Moun tains on the W., the Wahsatch Mountains on the E., and cross ranges on the N. and S. It is a table-land 4,000 to 8,000 feet above sea-level. The State is crossed by a series of parallel mountain ranges with a general N. and S. direction. The principal chains are the Virginia Moun tains, the Truckee Mountains, Antelope, East Humboldt, Toyabe and Santa Rosa Mountains. Between these mountains are deep valleys; the Colorado valley hav ing numerous abrupt ranges, and peaks rising above its plateaus. The most im portant ranges of the Colorado region are the Muddy, Vegas, Spring Mountain, and Kingston Mountains. There are numerous lakes, the rivers having no out let over the mountains. The largest lakes include Winnemucca, Und, and Pyramid lakes in the extreme W., Carson Lake and Humboldt and Carson Sink, E. of the W. Humboldt Mountains, and Eagle, Franklin, and Ruby lakes in the N. E. The Humboldt river crosses the N. part of the State and empties into Humboldt Lake. The Truckee river rises in Tahoe Lake, and flows S. into Pyramid Lake. Other important rivers are the Rio Virgin, Carson, Quinn's river, Reese river, and the Colorado river, which forms a large part of the S. E. boundary.
Geology.—The mountains of Nevada show formations of nearly every epoch, from the Azoic to the late Jurassic. The volcanic nature of the State is shown by the ancient and modern eruptive rocks, and by the lava beds of the N. W. The mountain ranges are in places composed entirely of limestone, in others of granite, syenite, porphyry, slate, or quartzite.
Mineralogy.—Nevada is rich in min erals, though, excepting silver and gold, they have been worked but little. The
Comstock silver lode, discovered in 1859, was for years the most valuable in the world. Important new discoveries of gold and silver mines were made in 1910 and in the following years. This re sulted in a greatly increased produc tion of these minerals of the State. The copper production has also greatly in creased in recent years. The gold pro duction in 1918 was 322,776 fine ounces, valued at $6,662,000. In the same year there were produced 10,113,405 fine ounces of silver, valued at $10,113,405. Copper production in 1918 was 106,266 603 pounds. Nevada ranks fourth among the States in the production of this metal. There is also a considerable production of lead.
Other minerals mined included tung sten, antimony, platinum, zinc, cinnabar, tin, manganese, plumbago, nickel, cobalt, and iron. Beds of sulphur, gypsum, rock salt, borax, saltpeter, and carbonate of soda are extensive. The building stones include limestone, granite, slate, sand stone, agate, and marble. Amethysts, carnelians, and tourmalines are also found.
Soil and Productions.—With the ex ceptions of the river valleys there is scarcely any arable land in the State. The valleys and basins however are well watered and adapted to agricultural pur suits, and under proper irrigation con siderable mountain land has been made productive. The principal crops are hay, wheat, oats, and barley. The figures for agricultural production in 1919 were as follows: oats, 384,000 bushels, valued at $384,000; barley, 420,000 bushels, valued at $630,000; wheat, 668,000 bushels, valued at $1,429,000; hay, 526, 000 tons, valued at $10,310,000; potatoes, 900,000 bushels, valued at $1,350,000. The forest trees are chiefly pines, firs, and spruces, of great size. The foothills are covered with mountain mahogany, dwarf cedar, willow, beech, cottonwood, and wild cherry. Apple, peach, pear, and plum trees flourish and bear excellent fruit. Stock raising and dairy farming are leading industries.