Chapter 2: Geologic History and Processes

Modern Earth Resources Are Clues to California’s Past

We are reminded every time a California earthquake adds elevation to another mountain or a landslide rips apart another hillside slope that dynamic and sometimes violent geologic processes are shaping California. Each individual geologic event seems dramatic, but each event is a fleeting moment in California’s geologic history. However, the cumulative effects of millions of these events over millions of years are responsible for leaving us a landscape puzzle without rival. The puzzle would be solved if we could fast-forward a film showing crashing tectonic plates, mountains being lifted out of the ocean, and other geologic events that have so gradually distributed various rocks and ores to produce today’s California landscapes. Armed with modern tools and techniques, and the explosion of new discoveries in earth science, geologists are gradually solving the puzzles of California’s past. They are learning that, in terms of geologic time, California’s landscapes continue to experience quick and dramatic changes.

Chapter 2 Appendix

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