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Neotectonics of the northern Mojave Desert

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View of an hour-glass-shaped canyon and alluvial fan complex on the east flank of the Panamint Mountians in Death Valley, California

The Mojave Desert - An Ideal Geologic Research Area!

Views similar to this are common throughout the Mojave Desert region and illustrate why the region is a geologist's dream field area! Excellent exposure of bedrock, soils, and alluvium amid sparse plant cover make for easier study of geologic features (such as fold, faults, and rock units) and geologic processes (such as weathering, erosion and deposition processes, and the interplay of tectonics with these processes). The undeveloped Mojave Desert landscape provides an excellent observatory for these natural processes and features that can be then used to investigate and interpret geologic processes and geologic features in more difficult investigation locations such as in urbanized areas with limited access, or regions that are covered in vegetation (forests and agriculture).

This view shows a massive alluvial fan system on the eastern flank of the Panamint Mountains in Death Valley, California.
graphic provided by Phil Stoffer

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