The Sierra Nevada of California has long contained paradoxes between the age of the range and the cause of uplift. In the 19th century, J.D. Whitney and J. LeConte disagreed about the interpretation of late Cenozoic incision evident in the Sierra. Whitney (1880, 1882) viewed the incision of Pliocene and older rocks as a result of climatic changes. LeConte (1880, 1886) argued that the recent incision reflected a tilting of the Sierra, which also caused uplift of the crest of the range. LeConte’s view was basically upheld and amplified by further geological work (e.g., Christensen, 1966; Huber,...

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