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Sierra Nevada

Select a new feature About the Cretaceous Period
Sierra Nevada
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California's Sierra Nevada ("snow-capped mountain") is a west-tilting 350-mile (560-km)-long block of granite. Extending from 14,494 feet (Mt. Whitney, the highest peak in the lower 48 states) in the east to near sea level in the west, it contains the spectacular Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks (not indicated on the map). The massive granite intruded the crust in Mesozoic time and was uplifted and faulted in the Tertiary during formation of the Basin and Range province to the east. Eroded residue from the Sierra Nevada has filled the Central Valley of California, giving rise to both extensive agriculture and the 1849 Gold Rush.

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U.S. Geological Survey
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Last Modification: 18 Oct 2000 (ebj)
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