California Coast Ranges

California Coast Range
Conepeak 135711.jpg
Santa Lucia Range
Highest point
PeakMount Linn
Elevation8,098 ft (2,468 m)
Dimensions
Length400 mi (640 km)
Geography
CountryUnited States
StateCalifornia
Parent rangePacific Coast Ranges

The Coast Ranges of California span 400 miles (640 km) from Del Norte or Humboldt County, California, south to Santa Barbara County.[1] The other three coastal California mountain ranges are the Transverse Ranges, Peninsular Ranges and the Klamath Mountains.[1]

Physiographically, they are a section of the larger Pacific Border province, which in turn are part of the larger Pacific Mountain System physiographic division. UNESCO has included the "California Coast Ranges Biosphere Reserve" in its Man and the Biosphere Programme of World Network of Biosphere Reserves since 1983.[2]

Physiography

Northern and Southern Coast Ranges and other major mountain ranges of California

The northern end of the California Coast Ranges overlap the southern end of the Klamath Mountains for approximately 80 miles on the west. They extend southward for more than 600 miles to where the coastline turns eastward along the Santa Barbara Channel, around the area of Point Conception. Here the southern end meets the Los Angeles Transverse Ranges, or Sierras de los Angeles.[3] The rocks themselves that comprise the mountains are of a great variety and widely varying geologic ages. Most of the rocks were formed during the Tertiary, Cretaceous and Jurassic periods. Most were deposited on the sea bottom as sediments, but in many places also had the cracks, crevices and other gaps infused with molten lava or other masses of igneous rock, which were forced in molten condition into the sedimentary rocks. All of the range has been folded and faulted during several periods, with erosion of the softer rock giving much of the current appearance.