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Earth Science Geology - Land Forms - Essay Example

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The world may compose only of one-fourth land from its total composition, but it brings out thousands of captivating sceneries and landforms when, apparently, almost each country and every continent has something to brag about. Primarily, land formations around the world are…
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Earth Science Geology - Land Forms
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Landforms Found in Southern California First and of Landforms Found in Southern California 0. Introduction The world may compose only of one-fourth land from its total composition, but it brings out thousands of captivating sceneries and landforms when, apparently, almost each country and every continent has something to brag about. Primarily, land formations around the world are caused by the theory of tectonic plates--the motion of the surfaces of Earth against its igneous core (News Staff, 2008). All land formations were believed to have surfaced because form this very idea. The focus of this paper is to identify landforms found in the Southern California.
2.0. Southern California Landforms
2.1. Transverse Ranges
These mountains compose the very complicated group of mountain ranges in US due to the wide scope they have reached in all directions (“Transverse Ranges,” 2012). The Transverse Ranges, as it is popularly known, captures Los Angeles until in San Diego and holds three major forests in California. Unlike other mountain ranges, it extends an east-west pattern, which was caused by tectonic movements of Pacific and North American plates million years ago (Roberts, n.d.). Roberts (n.d.) further indicated that as long as the San Andreas Fault finally aligns from its crooked trend, tectonic movements will be continuously felt in some areas of the mountain ranges and transformations in some areas will occur. With changes in sea levels, Transverse Ranges are expected to regain their original formation - being a set of mountains in one island.
2.2. Cowles Mountain
Another land formation in Southern California is Cowles Mountain locally known as “S” mountain, which rises 448 from the ground and is known as the highest peak in San Diego (McNair, 2012). Cowles Mountain was formed due to tectonic movements near San Diego which caused the convergence of two plates. It is mostly composed of granite and sedimentary cover. Its edges in the eastern part prove that they are “remnants of a wave-cut terrace” (“Cowles Mountain,” n.d.). Since it is visited by many hikers, some accessibility improvements can be expected. Nevertheless, its features will be practically preserved.
2.3. Point Loma Formation
This rock formation found in the west part of Point Loma Peninsula near San Diego is composed of sandstone and siltstone (Hall, 2007). Cutting across its vicinity is the Rose Canyon fault zone, which has not yet caused any movements (Moore, 1972 as cited in Girty, n.d.). Girty (n.d.) further proved that this ancient rock formation was formed from tectonic movements that occurred million years ago. Since the nearby fault remains to have no signs of tectonic movements, then Point Loma formation is expected to retain its form.
3.0. Conclusion
Upon going through different landforms in California such as Transverse Ranges, Cowles Mountain, and Point Loma formation, it can be deduced that most of its land formations are created out of tectonic movements. Even if those tectonic movements occurred million years ago, the certainty of another set of tectonic movements cannot be undermined as California is surrounded with number of faults. While these tectonic movements were able to create distinct land formations in Southern California, it can also be expected that the same movements can both destroy the aesthetics of these land formations. Perhaps, they can reconstruct these formations into another set of Southern California physical features.
References
Cowles_Mountain. (n.d.). Retrieved from
http://www.reference.com/browse/Cowles_Mountain
Girty, G. (n.d.). Sandstone provenance, Point Loma formation, San Diego, California: Evidence
for uplift of the peninsular ranges during the laramide orogeny. Retrieved from
http://www.ruf.rice.edu/~ctlee/GirtySanDiegoProvenance.pdf
Hall, C. (2007). Introduction to the geology of Southern California and its native plants. Los
Angeles, CA: University of California Press.
McNair, J. (2012). Hiking Cowles Mountain: Tallest mountain in San Diego City. [Web log].
Retrieved from http://californiathroughmylens.com/2011/10/
hiking-cowles-mountain-tallest-mountain-in-san-diego-city/
News Staff. (2008, December 1). New study says plate tectonics began 500 million years earlier
than believed. Retrieved from http://www.science20.com/news_releases/
new_study_says_plate_tectonics_began_500_million_years_earlier_believed
Roberts, G. (n.d.). Geological Formations. Retrieved from
http://www.nps.gov/chis/naturescience/geologicformations.htm
Transverse Ranges: Overview. (2012). Retrieved from
http://www.summitpost.org/transverse-ranges/176861 Read More
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