Lecture2CAEnviroHistory_EndemismW106slides

Lecture2CAEnviroHistory_EndemismW106slides - 1/6/10 Lecture...

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1/6/10 1 Lecture 2: California ʼ s Environmental History, Endemism and the California Hotspot! Suggested Readings: Atlas: pp. 12-21; review Part 1 the overview in the Field Guide. Video/podcast: KQED Ice Age Bay Area.m4v (iTunes) Los Angeles: Depiction of Rancho La Brea tar pits (ca. 40,000 yrs BP) by William Gordon Huff I. California ʼ s Environmental History: A. The Earth is believed to be about 4.6 billion years old as a planet; B. There is no evidence that any portion of the California land mass is that old, as the crustal plates have been continuously shifting, subducting, melting and reforming through time according to the Theory of Plate Tectonics and the Concept of Continental Drift; C. We do have CA rocks that go back to the Precambrian and fossils that go back to the Cambrian, but it has been the last 65 million years (Cenozoic or Tertiary + Quaternary) that has really shaped our current biota . California has experienced all 4 types of these plate margin events: (1) island arc formation (as in Japan now), (2) converging oceanic and continental crust, (3) diverging (spreading) crust, and (4) simple transform slippage. This creates a HIGH DIVERSITY OF ROCK TYPES,
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Lecture2CAEnviroHistory_EndemismW106slides - 1/6/10 Lecture...

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