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Question #1-What physical barriers helped to keep California isolated from European intrusion during its early settlement history?

The first native American settlers, whose origins are still up for debate, were mainly isolated by both vast deserts and topographic barriers such as other North American Indian tribes and groups of other settlers hoping to prosper from California’s abundance. The great southwestern deserts such as the Great Basin, the Mojave, and the Sonoran deserts, and large mountain ranges such as the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevadas are all a part of California’s geography. These geographical barriers helped protect California from its earliest European intrusion. Consequently, the first European explorers and settlers of California almost always arrived by boat. A Spanish sea exposition from the south headed by Juan Rodriguez in 1542 was the first to “discover” California for the Europeans. Many Spanish and other European explorations took place along the coast of California. It wasn’t until 1769 that Europeans were able to make any attempts at settling in the inland and isolated regions of California.

-William A Selby Rediscovering the Golden State Page

Question #4- What role has the south coast of California played in the overall development of the state?

The california coastal region stretches 1,264 beautiful miles. During the mid 20th century, California’s southern coastal economy was booming. San Diego county thrived on such staples as tourism, military bases, retirement communities, and new construction. San Diego county, being one of the mildest climates in the world, became the fastest growing county in the state in the mid 80’s. The southern California coastal cities used to be covered with vast citrus, avocado and flower fields. Today there is the abundance of housing tracts, urban developments, Hotel Circle and Mission Valley, Tourist attractions, such as Sea World, the San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park and many aquariums. It continues to thrive and grow, bringing new revenue to the area.

-William A Selby Rediscovering the Golden State Pages 22&23

Question #5- What factors make the San Francisco Bay region unique?

The San Francisco Bay area has much to offer. From their convenient location for ships to enter the bay through the golden gate to the vast fishing opportunities, the abundance of trade, multiple recreational activities, and mild year-round climate. All of these factors have put the San Francisco Bay area in the top 4 populated regions in California.

But what is most unique about the area is that it is most often used as a break between the north and south Coast Ranges. The path from the Golden Gate into the Bay and Carquinez Strait and onto the Delta is the only major natural break across the Coastal Ranges. This path allows ocean air to flow into the central valley and is also a channel for deepwater vessels into the valley. It allows for the entrance of saltwater during high tide, and freshwater from the Delta to flush the system during heavy runoff and low tide.

-William A Selby Rediscovering the Golden State Pages 11&31

Question #7- Name some areas in California where intrusive igneous rocks occur and explain why they are there.

There are 2 kinds of igneous rock, intrusive igneous rocks and extrusive igneous rocks. Intrusive igneous rocks are formed when molten hot magma is trapped and cooled deep inside the earth, forming large crystals or grains. Granitic rocks, an igneous rock containing an abundance of quartz and feldspar, make up the cores of nearly every major mountain range in California. The Klamath, Transverse, and Peninsular ranges and especially the Sierra Nevadas are all home to these rock formations. The famous boulders of the Alabama Hills and Joshua Tree National Park are one example of gigantic intrusive rock that was formed and cooled under the earth’s surface and were lifted up and exposed all throughout California.

-William A Selby Rediscovering the Golden State Page 47

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