Geology Cafe

Landscape Evolution

How Surface Processes Change California's Landscape
A Collection of Images and Illustrations
Table Of Contents
The Rock Cycle: Recycling Processes Within the Earth System
Tectonics and Igneous Activity: Processes That Raise the Land
Weathering and Erosion: Processes That Wear Down the Land
The Water Cycle and Climate in California
Depositional Environments: Modern, Ancient, and Future
Terraces (Stream,Coastal, Lake, and Fault Features)
Alluvial Fans
Desert, Dust, and Dunes
Inland Basins: Lakes and Playas
Salts and Precipitation
Coastal Environments:
Offshore: From the Continental Shelf to the Deep Sea Basin
Humans: Agents of Weathering, Erosion, and Deposition
Landslides and Mass Wasting
Teaching About Landslides (.pdf)
Processes that change the surface of the earth, over time, are gradual, often intermittent, and are typically complex. Forces driven by both gravity, heat, and biological activity within the atmosphere (the air, precipitation), the hydrosphere (oceans, lakes, streams, and glaciers), and the lithosphere (below the land's surface) combine to shape landscape around us. This guide provides an overview of many of these processes in the context of the California landscape.

Click on Next image links to follow a series of pages in a chronological order through the website.
Click on images for a larger view.
Coachella Valley
View of Coachella Valley from Keyes View in Joshua Tree National Park. California hosts some of the most dynamic landscapes in North America.
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