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Are you aware The Central Valley Was Once An Inland Sea?

The middle 1 / 2 of California is covered with the towering Sierra Nevada ranges towards the east and the Coast Ranges to the west. Within the center may be the aptly named Central Valley. This valley is known for its agricultural productivity and horticulture. It offers around half or even more from the vegetables, nuts, and fruit grown in the usa.

But this fertile valley has an interesting geologic good reputation for its very own – one which was shaped by the mountains around it. It was once a large inland sea that was home to prehistoric animals which have long since vanished. The large prehistoric sea of North America was the huge Western Interior Seaway that once flooded the truly amazing Plains and was filled with rich marine life.

The Central Valley: Size, Formation, and Prehistoric Sea

The Central Valley is around 40 to 60 miles wide and stretches for around 450 miles and covers around 18,000 sq miles. It occupies around 11% of the section of California and includes their state capital of Sacramento. Other cities include Redding, Chico, Stockton, Modesto, Merced, Fresno, Visalia, and Bakersfield.

  • Width: 40 to 60 Miles
  • Length: 450 Miles
  • Size: 18,000 sq miles

The flatness of the valley is really a stark contrast with the rugged hills and delicate mountains that surround it. It's been enclosed through the uplift of the Coast Ranges and over the millennia the valley full of sediments flowing into it and has filled it in overtime. It had been these sediments that caused it being so flat.

  • Sediments: Have Filled The Central Valley Sea In Over Millions Of Years
  • Flatness: Due to the Sediments That Have Washed Into It

The sediments are now a large number of meters deep and started throughout the Cretaceous period around 80 million years back. It absolutely was filled in by enough sediment being mostly dry land by around 1.5 million years ago. It's believed that the truly amazing Valley Sea continued for very long within the San Joaquin Valley compared to Sacramento Valley.

  • Vanished: The Last Of The Central Valley Disappeared around 1.5 Million Years back

In yesteryear, it is believed that the Central Valley was an inland sea. Actually, since the Central Valley is so low-lying, before California's flood control and aqueduct system was built, annual snowmelt turned much of the valley into something of an inland sea.

The Central Valley's Walrus

Today all of the walrus species only reside in the Arctic regions far towards the north. They may be found in the Canadian high arctic, Greenland, Siberia, and Alaska. However the Central Valley once had its very own types of Walrus win it had been an inland sea.

  • Pliopedia pacific: The Types of Walrus Discovered In the Central Valley
  • Lived: Late Miocene
  • Discovered: In 1909

The types of walrus ground with what is now the Central Valley is called Pliopedia pacific. It's believed to have lived within the late Miocene and was initially known from the holotype specimen (USNM 13627) which was collected in 1909 by Robert Anderson.

Fossils of these Californian walruses put together within the Paso Robles Formation of San Luis Obispo County in the valley. The Paso Robles Formation is known for preserving many fossils that go as far back so long ago as 23 million years back.

Visiting The Central Valley

Today there are many attractions in the Central Valley. It's renowned for its orchards and vineyards in addition to a number of California's finest museums and galleries. Make reference to the Central Valley's tourism web site to plan one's trip.

There are a number of wine trails to consider following so see probably the most stunning from the wineries in the area. One wine trail is the Madera Wine Trail in Madera Country.

The Madera is a unique grape-growing region where visitors can enjoy the local tasting rooms and discover the region.

Many people just skip the Central Valley in favor of the Coastal Ranges, the Sierra Nevadas, the Redwoods, or even the coastal cities like LA and the San francisco bay area. But while all those regions in California are stunning, the Central Valley has numerous attractions of their own – particularly wineries.

The Fasi East Winery

There are far too many wineries (and even wine trails) to list off in California. But one winey on the Madera Wine Trail may be the Fasi Estate Winery near Fresno. They are a small winery that focuses on quality and never quantity.

Their first vintage was at 2003 and also, since then, each vintage since has received Gold Medals, often even reaching the “Best of Class” acclamation, proving the important point that Madera can contend with fine wines from any locale.

  • Address: 42415 Road 208, Friant

Tasting Room Hours:

  • Open Daily: 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. | $10.00 tasting fee, waived with two bottle minimum purchase

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