Background Information of Death Valley Essay

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Background Information of Death Valley
Established as a National Park in 1933 under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Death Valley is the largest national park in the continental United States even though its total length is no more than approximately 100 miles in length. The valley is located in the Mojave Desert in eastern California and is surrounded by the Amargosa Range on the east, the Panamint Range on the west, and the Sylvania Mountains and Owlshead Mountains on the northern and southern boundaries. The topography of this region is varied and complex; and has a lengthy geologic history that explains why it is riddled with a variety of sand dunes, craters, and flood-carved canyons to name a few. The total area of the valley is
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Immediately following the upheaval, various collisions between the Pacific and Farralon plates resulted in the reversal of the original plate movement. At one point, some geologist believe that Death Valley and the surrounding mountains Panamint, Black, and Cottonwood were actually all stacked on top of each other and the separation lead to the present valley.
Precambrian: Death Valley Dawn - 1.8 billion to 570 million years ago
The oldest rocks found in the Death Valley region were formed in the Precambrian time period no more than 1.8 billion years ago during the latter half of the Proterozoic Eon. The rocks are seen on the steep face of the Black Mountains above the current area of Badwater and were formed via deposits of mud and sand from an ancient volcanic mountain belt. Sometime between 1.8 and 1.7 billion years ago, the volcanic and sedimentary rocks were severely altered when chemical or structural changes occurred because of intense heat or pressure from the Earth's core. Because of this process, any fossilized information about the region was lost making it impossible to truly understand the origin of the region. There is some debate on whether basalt or schist was the original and dominate rock in the region before it was transformed into contorted gneiss, but again, there is no way to prove either theory.
Evidence in the Mosaic Canyon; however, do suggest that the area was covered by a warm
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