GeologyCafe.com
Physiographic Provinces of California
California Education Standards / California Resources
For examples of regional reports, click on a province below, or click on the map.
Basin and Range
Cascade Range
Coast Ranges
Colorado Desert
Great Valley
Klamath Mountains
Modoc Plateau
Mojave Desert
Peninsular Ranges
Sierra Nevada
Transverse Ranges

What makes one region different or unique from others? Many factors are involved, including geologic history and landscape evolution, past and modern climates, elevation, precipitation, soils, vegetation, and wild life. These factors influence how humans use and interact with the environment, including agriculture, the location and development history of population centers, mining, energy, water use, recreation, preservation, culture, industry, and politics. These factors also influence the risk associated with natural hazards and disasters (past and future).
Also See! -- California Geomorphic Provinces California Geological Survey Note 36
http://www.conservation.ca.gov/cgs/information/publications/cgs_notes/note_36/Documents/note_36.pdf
Physiographic provinces map of California with geology
Basin and Range Province
 

Central Basin and Range Ecoregion
US Geological Survey Land Cover Trends Project
http://landcovertrends.usgs.gov/west/eco13Report.html

California Volcano Observatory (USGS Volcano Hazards Team)

http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/observatories/calvo/

Death Valley National Park - Virtual Geology Field Trip
http://geomaps.wr.usgs.gov/parks/deva/devaft.html

Death Valley National Park (National Park Service website)
http://www.nps.gov/deva/

Photo of 3D glasses 3D Geology Tour of Death Valley National Park
http://geologycafe.comdeva/
   
Cascade Range Province
 
Cascades Summary Report
US Geological Survey Land Cover Trends Project
http://landcovertrends.usgs.gov/west/eco4Report.html

Photo of 3D glasses 3D Tour of Mount Shasta
http://geologycafe.comshasta/
This website shows landscape features on and around Mount Shasta, the largest volcano of the Cascade Range.
Coast Ranges Province
General Interest Educational Guides and Resources


Geology and Natural History of the San Francisco Bay Region (USGS Bulletin 2188)
http://geopubs.wr.usgs.gov/bulletin/b2188/
This guidebook contains field trip guides to popular Bay Area destinations and discussion on Bay Area history, climate, archeology, minerals, and popular regional publications and websites.

Rocks and Geology of the San Francisco Bay Region (USGS Bulletin 2195)
http://geopubs.wr.usgs.gov/bulletin/b2195/
This field guide describes common rocks (igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic) that occur throughout the Coast Ranges of California. provides illustrative images of rocks, and descriptions of how they form and where they occur.

The San Andreas Fault In The San Francisco Bay Area, California:
A Geology Fieldtrip Guidebook To Selected Stops On Public Lands

http://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/2006/16/
This field guide provides descriptions of the section of the San Andreas Fault that ruptured in the Great San Francisco Earthquake of 1906. Descriptions of places the public can go range from the South Bay regions near Holister, San Juan Bautista, throughout the Santa Cruz Mountains between San Jose and San Francisco, and Point Reyes National Seashore. Introductory materials include an overview of the San Andreas Fault System, geology, landscape features, and plant communities that reveal information about the underlying geology.

Maps and Technical Reports

San Francisco Bay Area Geology website

http://geomaps.wr.usgs.gov/sfgeo/
This website contains links to geologic maps and associated reports for all Bay Area counties.

National Parks in the Coast Ranges

Carrizo Plain National Monument


Carrizo Plain National Monument (BLM website)
Photo of 3D glasses 3D Tour of Carrizo Plain National Monument
http://3dparks.wr.usgs.gov/carrizo/

Golden Gate National Recreation Area


Golden Gate National Recreation Area (National Park Service website)
http://www.nps.gov/goga/


Photo of 3D glasses 3D Tour of Golden Gate National Recreation Area
http://3dparks.wr.usgs.gov/goldengate

Muir Woods National Monument

Muir Woods National Monument (National Park Service website)
http://www.nps.gov/muwo

Photo of 3D glasses Muir Woods National Monument (San Francisco Bay Region 3D image tour)
http://geologycafe.com3Dbayarea/html/MuirWoods.htm

Pinnacles National Monument


Pinnacles National Monument (National Park Service website)

http://www.nps.gov/pinn/
Photo of 3D glasses 3D Tour of Pinnacles National Monument
http://geologycafe.compinnacles/

Point Reyes National Seashore


Point Reyes National Seashore (National Park Service website)
http://www.nps.gov/pore

Geologic Map of Point Reyes National Seashore and Vicinity
http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/1997/of97-456/

Photo of 3D glasses 3D Tour of Point Reyes National Seashore
http://3dparks.wr.usgs.gov/pore

Redwood National Park
(National Park Service website)
http://www.nps.gov/redw/

Colorado Desert Province
 
 
Photo of 3D glasses 3D Geology Tours of the Coachella Valley Preserve and Red Canyon Areas
http://3dparks.wr.usgs.gov/jotr/ - linked to Joshua Tree NP site.
 
Central Valley Province
 
Central Valley Report
US Geological Survey Land Cover Trends Project
http://landcovertrends.usgs.gov/west/eco7Report.html

California’s Central Valley Groundwater Study

US Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2009–3057 http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2009/3057/

Groundwater Availability of the Central Valley Aquifer, California
U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1766 http://pubs.usgs.gov/pp/1766/
 
Klamath Mountains Province
 
The Klamath Mountains Ecoregion
U.S. Geological Survey, Land Cover Trends Project
http://landcovertrends.usgs.gov/west/eco78Report.html
 
Modoc Plateau Province
 
 
Medicine Lake Vicinity: Medicine Lake Caldera, Lava Beds National Monument, and Glass Mountain Obsidian Flow and Domes
http://vulcan.wr.usgs.gov/Volcanoes/MedicineLake/description_medicine_lake.html

Lava Beds National Monument
(National Park Service website)
http://www.nps.gov/labe

Photo of 3D glasses Lava Beds National Monument: A 3D Photographic Tour Featuring Park Geology
http://3dparks.wr.usgs.gov/labe/
 
Mojave Desert Province
 
Mojave Basin and Range Ecoregion Summary
US Geological Survey Land Cover Trends Project
http://landcovertrends.usgs.gov/west/eco14Report.html

Desert Landforms and Surface Processes in the Mojave National Preserve and Vicinity

http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2004/1007/
Landscape features in the Mojave National Preserve are a product of ongoing processes involving tectonic forces, weathering, and erosion. Long-term climatic cycles (wet and dry periods) have left a decipherable record preserved as landform features and sedimentary deposits. This website provides and introduction to climate-driven desert processes influencing landscape features including stream channels, alluvial fans, playas (dry lake beds), dunes, and mountain landscapes. Bedrock characteristics, and the geometry of past and ongoing faulting, fracturing, volcanism, and landscape uplift and subsidence influence the character of processes happening at the surface.

Mojave National Preserve (National Park Service website)
http://www.nps.gov/moja

Desert Landforms and Surface Processes in the Mojave National Preserve and Vicinity
http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2004/1007/
This website provides descriptions of landscape processes throughout the Mojave National Preserve.

Photo of 3D glasses Mojave National Preserve: A 3D Photographic Tour Featuring Park Geology
http://3dparks.wr.usgs.gov/mojave/
   
Photo of 3D glasses Joshua Tree National Park: A 3D Photographic Tour Featuring Park Geology
http://3dparks.wr.usgs.gov/joshuatree/
 
Peninsular Ranges Province

Southern California Mountains
US Geological Survey
http://landcovertrends.usgs.gov/west/eco8Report.html

Sierra Nevada Province
 
Sierra Nevada Ecoregion Summary
US Geological Survey Land Cover Trends Project
http://landcovertrends.usgs.gov/west/eco5Report.html

Devils Postpile National Monument (National Park Service website)
http://www.nps.gov/depo/

Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park (National Park Service website)
http://www.nps.gov/seki/

Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park (National Park Service website)
http://www.nps.gov/yose/

Yosemite National Parks Geology
(Geologic Story of Yosemite Valley and Bedrock Geology of the Yosemite Valley Area) by King Huber
http://geomaps.wr.usgs.gov/parks//yos/

Photo of 3D glasses Geology of National Parks -Yosemite
http://3dparks.wr.usgs.gov/yose/index.html
 
Transverse Ranges Province
 

Southern California Mountains
US Geological Survey
http://landcovertrends.usgs.gov/west/eco8Report.html
Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (National Park Service website)
http://www.nps.gov/samo/

Channel Islands National Park (National Park Service website)
http://www.nps.gov/chis

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