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Southern California Geology


Geology and Environment in Southern California

The geologic setting of southern California plays a critical role in determining such environmental factors as biogeography, ecosystem diversity, biogeochemistry, and landscape modification by climate and human activities. Geologic factors that affect the physical and biological environment include:


  • the physical character of the land surface (grain size, substrate hardness)
  • the chemical composition (lithology, mineralogy, geochemistry) of geologic units on which the landscape is developed
  • geologic structures that underlie the landscape (faults, folds, joints)
  • slope stability (landslides and other slope failures)

Within the SCAMP area, the USGS has participated in geologic studies within the Mojave Desert ecosystem . These investigations are part of a broad inter-governmental study of the Mojave Desert Ecosystem . Some links to Mojave Desert environmental-geology activities include:


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This site last updated September 3, 2004 (ps)

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