The heartland of California is the Central Valley, which runs for 450 miles ( 725 kilometer ) through the center of the state, forming a public treasury between the Coast Ranges to the west and the Sierra Nevada to the east. The valley is the state ’ s agricultural center. Its single orifice is the delta through which the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers drain into San Francisco Bay. The valley is sealed off by the Cascade Range to the northeast and by the Klamath Mountains to the northwest. In the far north the terrain is rugged and heavily forested, becoming wetter on the coastal side and dry and barren in the higher northeast. In the south the Central Valley is closed off by the cross ranges, most notably the Tehachapi Mountains, which are regarded as a dividing wall between southerly and central California.
Most of easterly California is defect. The sparsely settled northeastern corner of the state is a jumble of barren plains and mountains, equally well as a volcanic tableland. In the east-central region is the Trans-Sierra defect, which extends along the diaphanous east escarpment of the Sierra Nevada range and comprises part of the huge interstate Great Basin of the Basin and Range Province. The Trans-Sierra defect ranges from 2,000 to 7,400 feet ( 600 to 2,300 metres ) above ocean tied. Its largest towns are in the Owens Valley, which was a prolific farmland until its groundwater run was diverted to Los Angeles through a mammoth serial of conduits built in 1908–13. The Sierra Nevada rises just to the west of the Trans-Sierra desert. The easterly slope of the Sierra Nevada is sheer, dropping some 10,000 feet ( 3,000 metres ) within a 10-mile ( 16-km ) stretch near Owens Lake. On the west the range slopes in gradually declining foothills toward the Central Valley, comprising the San Joaquin and Sacramento river valleys. From the wall that rises near Lassen Peak in the north, the Sierra Nevada extends south for 430 miles ( 700 kilometer ) to the fringes of Los Angeles. Aside from Mount Whitney ( 14,494 feet [ 4,418 metres ] above ocean level ), 10 early peaks in the Sierra Nevada exceed 14,000 feet ( 4,200 metres ) in aggrandizement. East-west passes are few but high ; some are found at more than 9,000 feet ( 2,700 metres ) in elevation. There are three national parks in the Sierra Nevada : Kings Canyon, Sequoia, and Yosemite. The last, which was designated a UNESCO World Heritage web site in 1978, rises from the purple foothills of the Mother Lode Country and extends through the ice-carved valley of the Merced and Tuolumne rivers. Its valley feature waterfalls and granite domes. In the southeasterly lies the Mojave Desert, which, at more than 25,000 square miles ( 65,000 squarely kilometer ), occupies one-sixth of the bring area of California. Its landmarks are broad basins and eroded mountains, fault blocks, and alluvial surfaces, most of which are more than 2,000 feet ( 600 metres ) above sea level. Vegetation includes the evergreen creosote bush, yucca, saltbush, burroweed, encelia, cottonwood, and mesquite. Higher up are retem and piñon pine .brittlebush Brittlebush ( Encelia farinosa ) .Copyright Louisa Preston/Photo Researchers precisely south of the Mojave Desert is the lower Colorado Desert, an elongation of the Sonoran Desert, which begins in the Coachella Valley. The Colorado Desert descends to the Imperial Valley adjacent to the mexican frame. The valley is a heavily water agricultural sphere known for its winter crops. More than 4,000 feather miles ( 10,500 square kilometer ) of the desert lie below sea flush, including the 300-square-mile ( 800-square-km ) Salton Sea, a lake with no release that was created in 1905–07 when the nearby Colorado River broke out of its channel.
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The roughly 1,100-mile- ( 1,800-km- ) long coastline of California is mountainous, most dramatically so in the Santa Lucia Range south of San Francisco, where towering cliffs rise about 800 feet ( 240 metres ) above the ocean. Hills of lesser elevation flank entrances to the slide ’ s three major natural harbor, at San Diego, San Francisco, and Eureka. Coastal mountains, made up of many indistinct chains, are from about 20 to 40 miles ( 30 to 65 kilometer ) in width and from 2,000 to 8,000 feet ( 600 to 2,400 metres ) in elevation. Southern California ’ s dense colonization lies along a coastal tableland and in valleys ranging from about 10 to 60 miles ( 16 to 100 km ) inland. Along the coast north of the Tehachapi Mountains, the population becomes sparser, though the central coastal region has grown quickly since the 1990s. The populous coastal area around San Francisco Bay gives way to the less-developed northern slide, where lumbering and fishing villages lie beside brook and rivers flowing from the Coast Ranges. This is the area of coastal redwood forests and Redwood National Park, which was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1980 .redwood trees redwood trees in Redwood National Park, northwestern California .Comstock/Thinkstock The 800-mile ( 1,300-km ) San Andreas Fault is a major fault course running through most of California. Tectonic movement along the fault has caused massive earthquakes, including the San Francisco earthquake of 1906. The Hayward Fault in the San Francisco Bay Area and the San Gabriel blame zone in metropolitan Los Angeles have produced respective major earthquakes, though the destructive earthquake centred in the Los Angeles suburb of Northridge in 1994 occurred along one of the San Andreas ’ s larger junior-grade faults. separate defect systems in the Sierra Nevada and the Klamath Mountains are tectonically active as well .San Andreas Fault At the San Andreas Fault in California, the north american Plate and the Pacific Plate slither past each other along a giant fracture in Earth ‘s crust.
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U.S. Geological SurveyKlamath Mountains: Trinity Alps The Trinity Alps, a subrange of the Klamath Mountains, northerly California, U.S .Ottofunk9