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It's a Butt(e)! EarthCache

Hidden : 10/30/2010
1 out of 5
1.5 out of 5

Size: Size:   other (other)

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Geocache Description:

At this location we can see the geology of the central valley at its earlist time.

The Central Valley runs from Redding in the north to Bakersfield in the south with hardly a hill or a dale to travel over. Here outside of Friant one can oberseve some of the few rises in the valley, and a hint to how to valley came to be as it is today.

At one time these buttes were underwater mountains. At that time this whole area was underwater as part of the young pacific ocean. At some time between 200 milion years ago and 150 million years ago the coastal ranges to the west started to get pushed up by tectonic action, cutting off this area and forming an inland sea. Eventally this sea was completely cut off from the Pacific, so it formed rivers through the new western mountains and drained back into the pacific. Since the bottom of the sea was flat, this draining caused the new valley to be very flat as well. The area is also rich with fossil deposits, mainly fish and shellfish. Their bodies became intombed in the mud at the bottom of the sea when they died. The mud and the bodies of the animal hardened into limestone and shale when the sea drained, forming the bedrock of the Central Valley today. These buttes were left behind with a layer of limestone on top of them because of this process. They dried out and you have the buttes you see today.

To get credit for this earthcache email me the answers to the following questions:
1. The GC code and name of this cache.
2. The number of people in your group.
3. How far above you do you estimate the top of the nearest butte is?
4. Using your answer to question 1, about how much of it is limestone?
5. Explain why limestone is usually a good indication of fossils.

Good Luck and Happy Caching!

Additional Hints (No hints available.)