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Geologic Map
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Generalized Geologic Map of the Conterminous United States
North America Shaded Relief


  The North American Tapestry of Time and Terrain

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Basin and Range


Close-up of
 basin and range region

The Basin and Range is an immense region centered on the state of Nevada and extending from southern Oregon to western Texas. The province was created about 20 million years ago as the crust spread apart, creating a pattern of parallel north-south faults along which surface rocks slid, forming an alternating series of mountain ranges and valleys or basins. About 400 mountain blocks were formed this way, and they have rotated slightly from their originally horizontal positions. These mountains of late Precambrian and Paleozoic rock continue to erode and fill the intervening valleys with fresh sediment.