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Some of the features of the California landscape formed as the result of Answer 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.

Interactions between tectonic plates built the Answer in California. Millions of years ago, the Answer of an oceanic plate beneath the North American plate formed large pools of magma. Some of the magma crystallized beneath the surface to form large masses of igneous rock. Uplift and erosion eventually exposed these batholiths, which form the Sierra Nevada mountains.
Subduction of the Juan de Fuca plate beneath the North American plate produced the Answer in the Cascade Range. The Coast ranges formed as large slabs of crust were accreted, or stuck, onto the North American plate.
The tectonic forces that uplifted mountains also caused a Answer boundary called the San Andreas Fault.

California’s Mineral Resources

California’s geology has resulted in a wealth of mineral resources, including industrial, metallic, and nonmetallic minerals. These minerals are important too the state’s Answer. The tem mineral resources includes minerals plus various types of rocks and sediment.

Industrial Minerals

You may be surprised to learn that sand and Answer are California’s most valuable industrial minerals. Most sand and gravel is mined from Answer deposits, which include sediment from streams and alluvial fans. Another important industrial mineral is crushed stone. It is mostly limestone and is used to make Answer. Most Answer forms from the shells and skeletons of marine organisms. Much of the Answer quarried in California is from the Sierra Nevada batholith. Because of its hardness and beauty, the granite is used for building stone, counter tops, and cemetery markers.

Metallic Minerals

Gold, silver, and iron are the major metallic minerals mined in California. Gold and silver often occur in Answer veins in igneous and metamorphic rocks that formed during mountain building. When moving water and ice weather the veins, the gold and silver may collect to form Answer. Recall that placer deposits form when dense minerals settle out of moving Answer. Placer deposits of gold include large particles called Answer.
The most productive gold and silver mines are in the Sierra Nevada’s. Iron is an important metal found in the Mojave Desert region. Deposits of minerals containing iron formed in areas where magma heated rock and water beneath the surface. This heating produced hot water solutions that were rich in iron. As the solutions cooled, iron minerals were deposited in Answer in the rock.

Nonmetallic Minerals

California has an abundance of minerals resources in addition to metals. Three of the most significant are borates, gypsum, and clay. Everyday materials such as fiberglass, detergents, glass, ceramics, and insulation often contain borates. Borates form when water rich in the element Answer flows into desert lakes and evaporates. The boron that is left behind combines with oxygen to form Answer.
Gypsum, a compound of calcium, sulfur, and oxygen, forms when alt water evaporates. It also forms when sulfur-rich waters evaporate in caves and around hot springs. Much of the gypsum mined in California is used in wallboard, plaster, and cement.
Clay minerals are a group of Answer that contain water. Most of the clay deposits in California formed from weathered feldspar. Clay is used in ceramics and in building materials such as bricks.

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