Skip to Main Content
Book Chapter

Quaternary geology of the Basin and Range Province in California

By
John C. Dohrenwend
John C. Dohrenwend
U.S. Geological Survey, 345 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park, California 94025
Search for other works by this author on:
William B. Bull
William B. Bull
Geosciences Department, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721
Search for other works by this author on:
Leslie D. McFadden
Leslie D. McFadden
Department of Geology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87131
Search for other works by this author on:
George I. Smith
George I. Smith
U.S. Geological Survey, 345 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park, California 94025
Search for other works by this author on:
Roger S. U. Smith
Roger S. U. Smith
Exploration Research and Services Division, Conoco Incorporated, 1000 South Pine Street, Ponca City, Oklahoma 74603
Search for other works by this author on:
Stephen G. Wells
Stephen G. Wells
Department of Geology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87131
Search for other works by this author on:
Published:
January 01, 1991

Abstract

The geomorphology and Quaternary geology of the Basin and Range Province in California are the result of a complex interplay between tectonic and climatic influences. The general characteristics of the regional landscape (e.g., the size, shape, orientation, and spatial distribution of the basins and ranges) were created by at least two phases of middle to late Cenozoic extensional tectonism. In response to this tectonism, late Tertiary and Quaternary clastic sediments were stripped from the actively forming uplands and deposited in the intervening basins. In areas such as the southwest Great Basin and the Salton Trough where rapid extension has continued to the present day, fill continues to accumulate in subsiding basins as active tectonism continues to dominate landscape and stratigraphy. However, throughout most of the Mojave Desert, where extensional tectonism has been largely inactive since at least latest Miocene time, the effects of climate have assumed a more important role regarding landscape evolution. In this area, the larger topographic elements (e.g., the mountain ranges and intermontane basins) were formed by middle to late Miocene tectonism, but the patterns, rates, and types of surficial processes that have operated since that time largely reflect climate and climatic change. Thus, the landscape of the southwestern Basin and Range presents a striking and instructive juxtaposition of tectonic and climatic elements.

You do not currently have access to this article.

Figures & Tables

Contents

DNAG, Geology of North America

Quaternary Nonglacial Geology

Roger B. Morrison
Roger B. Morrison
Morrison and Associates 13150 West Ninth Avenue Golden, Colorado 80401
Search for other works by this author on:
Geological Society of America
Volume
K-2
ISBN electronic:
9780813754611
Publication date:
January 01, 1991

GeoRef

References

Related

Citing Books via

A comprehensive resource of eBooks for researchers in the Earth Sciences

Close Modal
This Feature Is Available To Subscribers Only

Sign In or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal