Chapter 3: Modern Geology and Geomorphology

California’s Recent, Current, and Future Physical Landscapes

In this chapter, we will explore the modern topographic features (geomorphology) of California and some of the more recent and current geologic processes that continue to shape them. This is the nebulous area where the geologic history that left ancient rocks and landscapes behind gradually yields to the current processes that are shaping modern landscapes. The processes are similar, but the magnitude and location of geologic events continues to change. At times, the line separating the past from the present is very blurry, while the connections between past and present geologic events become more clear. Today, we have the privilege of witnessing not only the recently born landscapes that have had little time to be altered, but also the current events which continue to change California landscapes.

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