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Unformatted text preview: 1. Introduction (Modified 29 Aug 2008) Welcome to Unit 5! Tearing Down Mountains I: Weathering, Mass Movement, & Landslides Fans of old-fogey rock music may recall that Paul Simon was "slip-sliding away," while Harry Chapin, when not slip-sliding on 30,000 pounds of truck-wreck bananas, was convinced that "All my life's a circle". Mother Nature plays the best rock, and the Grand Tetons slip-sliding away are part of a circle that remakes the mountains from shells and soil. So crank up the tunes and the worm poop, and let's get rolling. Image Source: http://soundwaves.usgs.gov/2008/01/landslideLG.jpg United States Geological Survey researchers investigate earthquake-caused landslide in Japan. PowerPoint Overview "There are certain other forms of waste which could be entirely stopped-the waste of soil by washing, for instance, which is among the most dangerous of all wastes now in progress in the United States, is easily preventable, so that this present enormous loss of fertility is entirely unnecessary. The preservation or replacement of the forests is one of the most important means of preventing this loss." —President Theodore Roosevelt, Seventh Annual Message to Congress, Dec. 3, 1907 The foggy drizzle of Redwood National Park requires a jacket for warmth as well as dryness, yet above the clouds Redwood gets about the same sunshine as toasty Death Valley; much of Death Valley's warmth can be traced to Redwood rain releasing heat that was stored during evaporation from the hot tropical ocean. Rain and other weather phenomena break down rocks, making soil while washing some materials to the ocean to be used for shells or other things. Landslides, rivers and other processes eventually remove soil about as rapidly as it is produced and deliver it to the ocean, where subduction and volcanoes recombine the soil, shells and other washed-away chemicals to make new rocks for weather to attack. Unit 5 1. Textbook 5.1: Redwood National Park (Modified 29 Sep 2008) Weather and Climate in the Redwoods Redwood National Park has the feel of a soaring, gothic cathedral—only more so. One of the great Sequoia sempervirens trees may live for two millennia, but when it falls, new trees will grow from the fallen trunk. (Hence the scientific name, which means “ever-living sequoia” in Latin.) The redwoods are the tallest trees on Earth, commonly more than 200 feet (60 meters) and with the very tallest soaring above 370 feet (more than 110 meters). If such a tree was growing on the goal line in Beaver Stadium and were cut down, it would stretch the length of the football field and the top branches would go into the stands at the end. Ferns growing in the duff beneath the redwoods are lost, inconsequential, despite occasionally standing shoulder-high or above....
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- The Land, Death Valley