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California's Resources and Natural Hazards
Transcript of California's Resources and Natural Hazards
California's Resources and Natural Hazards
Geology of California
California's Volcanic Hazard
California's Mineral Resources
California's Energy Resources
California's Soil Resources
California's Water Supply
California's Water Projects
California's Earthquake Hazards
California's Storm Hazards
- The main sources of California's freshwater supply are precipitation, surface water, and groundwater.
- California receives an average of 58 cm of precipitation per year.
- California's precipitation flows back into lakes, rivers, and streams that make up the state's drainage basins, or watersheds. More than half of the state's freshwater needs is provided by drainage basins in northern California.
- Accounts for 30% of California's freshwater supply.
Desalination of Sea Wate
r- Freshwater obtained by the removal of salt from ocean water. This is important for coastal communities.
Some of the features of the California landscape formed as the result of tectonic processes that took place deep beneath the surface. Wind, water, ice, and other agents of erosion at the surface carved other features of the landscape.
Geologic Processes Inside Earth
The mountains and volcanoes in California formed through the interactions of tectonic plates.
- Example: Sierra Nevada and Mount Shasta
Subduction of the plate underneath the North American plate caused batholiths to form, which then underwent erosion and uplift to form the Sierra Nevada mountains.
The volcanoes of the Cascade Range, such as Mount Shasta, formed from the subduction of the Juan de Fuca plate.
The tectonics forces caused mountains to uplift and formed the San Andreas
Fault, a transform boundary in Southern California.
California's major mineral resources include sand gravel, crushed stone, building stone, gold, silver, iron, evaporite minerals, and clay.
California is affected by tsunamis produced from:
massive undersea landslides of ocean sediment
earthquakes far across and along the faults of the Pacific Ocean
more than a dozen tsunamis struck California's coast. (In 1964, an earthquake in Alaska produced a tsunami that struck Crescent City.)
To inform people about tsunami risks...
Researchers create maps based on tsunami simulations and its history
Alaska/West Coast Tsunami Warning Center use instruments to detect tsunamis and issue warnings.
The farther the seismic shaking is from the epicenter of an earthquake, the smaller the seismic waves are.
Loose soil and areas increase shaking
modified Mercalli scale: measure of how strong earthquake felt and how much damage it did in a location based on Roman numerals.
occurs when water-soaked soil turns into thick soupy liquid -> causes structures to quickly collapse.
Seismic Hazards Mapping Act of 1990: requires states to identify where liquefaction and landslides can occur.
loose rock and soil on steep slopes that move
common and occur in areas of fractured rocks and weak soil
more likely to happen after forest fires or periods of drought
Cascade volcanoes originate from Pacific plate subduction.
A source of volcanic hazards is volcanic fields- areas covered by volcanic rocks.
Main hazards of active volcanoes (like Mount Shasta and Lassen Peak) and dormant volcanoes (like Medicine Lake and Black Butte) are volcanic ash, lava flows, and volcanic gases.
the carbon dioxide from the ground beneath Mammoth Mountain escaping -> kills trees in the area.
mass of wet soil or rock that flow quickly downhill.
causes that contribute to mudflows are:
rapid melting of snow
severe rainfall, especially in destroyed vegetation on slopes of soil
the movement of a mudflow ranges from 16 km/h to 60 km/h as mud consumes more debris and flows faster.
occur when excess rain and melted snow quickly in river channels.
occur in mountains and deserts
move and rise rapidly
occur from winter storms
Other cause for flooding is the failure of dams and levees. (In 2004, a levee in San Joaquin-Sacramento River Delta broke and caused a flood that destroyed many farms.)
in 2005, a landslide occurred
in Laguna Beach, CA
Surface Geologic Processes
Flowing waters, glaciers, and wind affected the surface through erosion and deposition.
- Water erosion
shaped the state's hillsides, mountains, and river valleys
Glaciers carved mountain peaks and vast U-shaped valleys.
Deserts with unusual landforms are often created by water and wind.
Example: Large sand dunes have been created by the wind in the Mojave
-To meet freshwater needs throughout the state, California has an intricate network of water storage and distribution systems, or water projects.
Local Water Projects
- Consists of channels called aqueducts that carry water from its sources to where it is needed, usually from a higher elevation to a lower elevation. In southern California, local water projects include the Los Angeles Aqueduct and the Colorado River Aqueduct.
State Water Projects
- California's State Water Project brings rain and melted snow from the Feather River drainage basin in the north to cities in the south. Includes reservoirs, pumping plants, canals, pipelines, and several hydroelectric plants to generate electricity.
Federal Water Projects
- Includes the All-American Canal, the Coachella Canal, and the Central Valley Project.These canals are used to irrigate crops grown in the Imperial, Coachella, and Central valleys.
Sand and gravel are California's most valuable industrial minerals.
- both are used in construction and road-building
- majority are mined from alluvial deposits that include sediment from streams and
alluvial fans (form when a stream flows out of a mountain canyon, spreads out,
loses velocity, and deposits sediments)
Crushed stone, often limestone, is another important industrial mineral
- used to make cement
- forms from the shells and skeletons of marine organisms
Gold, silver, and iron are California's most mined metallic minerals.
- Gold and silver are found usually in igneous and metamorphic rocks that formed
during mountain building.
- Iron can be found in the Mojave Desert region.
- Minerals containing iron formed in areas where magma heated rocks and water
underneath the surface.
Borates, gypsum, and clay are the three most significant nonmetallic minerals.
forms when water rich in boron flows into desert lakes and evaporates
is used in ceramics, detergents, fiberglass, glass, and insulation
forms when salt water evaporates
is used in cement, plaster, and wallboard
formed from weathered feldspar
is used in ceramics and in building materials
- Most of California's water supply is used to grow crops. The rest is used in homes, businesses, and industries, or has been set aside for recreation or wildlife use.
- About 80% of California's fresh water supply is used for irrigating crops. two thirds of the water used for agriculture is surface water, the rest is groundwater
Houses and Business
- Daily water use includes drinking, cleaning, cooking, washing, bathing, and watering plants. The average person in the United States uses about 380 liters of water per day.
- Some industries use water to make products such as beverages, but the main use of water in industry is as a coolant. Power plants use water to produce steam that is used to generate electricity.
Recreation and Wildlife
- Wild and scenic rivers account for the largest use of freshwater resources for recreation and wildlife. California protects these rivers and other areas including wetlands from water projects.
California's major energy resources—oil, natural gas, and geothermal energy—are the result of geologic processes that occur deep beneath the surface.
- about 15% of the oil produced in the US comes from CA
- forms when tiny organisms die and become buried by sediment on the ocean
- source rocks are rocks in which oil or petroleum has originated
- reservoir rocks, aka porous rocks, is a place where oil migrates into from the source
- form when mineral-rich solutions crystallize deep underground
- some gemstones, such as agate, garnet, jade, and tourmaline are found in
- benitoite, the state gem, can be found in the Diablo Range in San Benito County
In 2000, a mudflow destroyed five homes in San Mateo County, CA
- forms along with oil
- a mixture of many gases, including methane
- less dense than oil, so it rises to the top of the reservoir
- is used for cooking, heating, and generating electricity
- California is the leading state in the production of geothermal energy
- is abundant near volcanic areas, where there is igneous activity near the
- an area of land where magma lies near the surface and heats
- is used to generate electricity and to heat commercial buildings
California's crop fields and orchards depend on the most precious resource—soil.
The soils of California include sols of the Sierras, soils of the Coast Ranges and Cascades, valley soils (including the Central Valley), and desert soils.
The most important soil resource is the fertile valley soils.
Depending on the topography, the soil varies.
- In the Sierra Nevada regions, the soils tend to be thin and low along
low elevation regions tend to be more fertile.
- In the Coast Ranges, heavy rains wash away the nutrients from the
soil, leaving the soils acidic and less fertile. However, areas under
grassland develop a more rich, fertile soil.
Soils suitable for agriculture are often located in flat areas, or valleys.
Conserving California's Soils
In order to protect California's valuable soil, conservation is important.
- Every year, the state's farmland is lost or damaged due to soil
erosion or the spread of urban areas.
-To build up 2.5 centimeters of soil, it can take 500 years!
-Salinization, or the buildup of salt inside of the soil, is another
threat to soils in California.
-If farmers install drainage systems to carry away excess
water, salinization can be reduced.
To the left, is the image of gold which is one of the most mined metallic minerals in California.
This is the image of California's state gem.