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esas0102__LayOfLand-stu

esas0102__LayOfLand-stu - FormsoftheLand,theowofwater,...

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The lay of the land Relief map of the Southwest and environs (USGS) EARTH SCIENCE in ARIZONA and the SOUTHWEST Forms of the Land, the flow of water, the occurrence of what us’d to be called Miracles, all are Text, to be attended to, manipulated, read, remember’d. From the novel Mason & Dixon (Pynchon, 1997)
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2 The lay of the land The lay of the land is an idiom that refers to patterns in the surface of the geosphere. It is also known as topography : the general configuration of a land surface, which can be described in terms of three quantities: (image from Reynolds, Johnson, Kelly, Morin, & Carter, 2010) Elevation : height above mean sea level Relief : relative difference in elevation; “rugged” = high relief “subdued” = low relief Slope steepness : in degrees or fractions, from gentle to steep Surface Subsurface ( Depth below sea level for underwater surfaces)
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3 The lay of the land Explore the topography of the Southwest. How do elevation and relief vary ( high—moderate—low ) across the region ? Distinguish different areas according to their relative elevation and relief. Relief map of the Southwest and environs (USGS) L T
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4 The lay of the land What is the topography of the Southwest? The Southwest is subdivided into topographically distinct provinces . Let’s explore the basic characteristics of each province. Great Plains Colorado Plateau Southern Rocky Mountains Transition Zone (R íoGrande Rift) Relief map of the Southwest and environs (USGS) Boundaries are approximate. Southern Basin and Range Northern Basin and Range
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5 The lay of the land Basin Range (Southern) Basin and Range Province This province is characterized by low elevation and low to moderate relief. Rocky ranges alternate with basins that are filled with sand and gravel eroded from the ranges. Surface water is limited to through‐going rivers that originate in other provinces. Basin ecosystems are mostly deserts : Sonoran, Mojave, Great Basin, and Chihuahuan. View from Big Maria Mountains to McCoy Mountains, Basin and Range, near Blythe, California (S. Semken) Sierra Estrella, Basin and Range, Gila River Indian Community, Arizona (S. Semken) Sand and gravel fill desert basins. Ranges are rocky and rugged.
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6 The lay of the land The Río Grande Rift , a long, narrow chain of range‐bounded basins, is a northeastern extension of the Basin and Range Province. Southern Basin and Range R íoGrande Rift Relief map of the Southwest and environs (USGS) Albuquerque Santa Fé El Paso Ciudad Juárez (NASA) R íoGrande Four Corners NM TX NM CH CO NM CH TX
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7 The lay of the land Tsé bii’ Ndzisgaii (Diné, “clearing among the rocks”): a.k.a. Monument Valley, Colorado Plateau, Navajo Nation, Arizona‐Utah border (S. Semken) Colorado Plateau Province This province is characterized by high elevation but low relief ( plateau = broad, elevated, flat area).
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