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Farallon Plate remnants
The Rockies are fifteen hundred kilometers, or one thousand miles, to the east. The cause must be the tectonic plate that built these mountains. Its name is Farallon. Farallon started off normally enough. It plunged beneath the North American Plate at a forty-five degree angle. This process sprouted volcanoes to form the Sierra Nevada in what is now California. Next, mantle motions pulled North America westward over Farallon, and the plate scraped along the bottom of the continent - for fifteen hundred kilometers. As North America continued its westward trek, Farallon settled to the bottom of the mantle.
Intended for grade levels:
  • College (13-14)
  • College (15-16)
  • Graduate / Professional
Type of resource:
  • Visual:
    • Visualization - scientific
  • Geographical Sciences:
    • Physical geography
  • Geological Sciences:
    • Geologic time
    • Geophysics
    • Structural geology
Technical requirements:
RealPlayer plug-in
Cost / Copyright:
No cost
Please give credit to NASA GSFC Scientific Visualization Studio.
DLESE Catalog ID: NASA-SVS-002410
Related resources:
This resource has a thumbnail image at 'Farallon is now hidden deep inside the Earth'
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Author: Stuart A. Snodgrass
NASA GSFC Scientific Visualization Studio

Principal Investigator: Hans-Peter Bunge
Princeton University