California is a large and diverse state with many distinct local and regional characteristics. The following chapter quizzes will test your basic knowledge of the state and some of its distinctive characteristics.
Thank you for taking an interest in California and the geography of this superlative state. The following quiz will test your basic knowledge of geographic concepts and how they apply to the Golden State.
California’s situation on an active tectonic plate boundary means there is never a dull moment for a geologist. The state has been and continues to be shaped by tectonic forces and movements within the Earth’s crust.
While the monumental forces of plate tectonics and volcanism continue to reshape California (sometimes in sudden upheavals) the patient process of weathering over eons has contributed greatly to the landscapes of the Golden State.
Latitude, elevation and situation on the Pacific Coast are the three major factors that effect California’s overall climate. Local variables add yet another layer making for an abundance of different conditions and weather phenomena.
California plays host to an astounding variety of biotic communities with a diverse collection of plants and animals. This quiz is designed to test your knowledge of California’s ecosystems and the unique species that call the Golden State home.
Access to water resources are a critical issue in California where over half the land area receives less than 20 inches of precipitation a year. The hydrology of the state is complex. The incredible diversity of the topography, coupled with the large expanse of the state mean that water resources are unevenly distributed. As a result billions of dollars have been spent in the state to redirect water from where it is to where it is consumed.
California has the largest and most diverse population of any U.S. state. Approximately 1 out of every eight Americans lives in California. Long before Spanish, Mexican or American governance, California was home to one of the largest concentrations of Native Americans on the continent. Since becoming a state in 1850, California has attracted immigrants from all over the world.
Due to its large and diverse population, California’s cultural imprint is among the most complex and dynamic in the world. The interaction of so many ethnicities and cultures, in relatively close proximity to one another, has produced a stunning array of cultural expression. Many styles, trends, fashions and lifestyles either originated here or reach their most vivid examples within the boundaries of the Golden State.
The bountiful natural resources of California have proved a major lure for settlers throughout its history. Agriculture and other primary industries continue to play a crucial role in California’s economy.
If California were its own country its economy would be the ninth largest in the world. Few places on Earth have as large or as diverse of an economic base than does California. The Golden State leads the nation and the world in many important industries.
The Greater Los Angeles area is the nation’s second largest urban conglomeration. The Bay Area is the 4th largest. Huge urban environments have been created in San Diego and in a string of Central Valley cities. Needless to say, the urban landscape is home for most of California’s residents. And the urban trends that developed in California have had implications for cities all across America.
This chapter surveys coastal processes and applies geographic concepts to address some of the challenges that face Californians as we head deeper into the 21st Century.