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Basin and Range Topography

  • By: John F. Shroder
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Basin and range topography is a type of landscape where ridges and mountains alternate with depressions in a somewhat regular pattern. Such topography occurs wherever diastrophic processes have produced faults that have uplifted blocks and dropped down intervening basins. These features are not tied genetically in any way to arid areas but many of the best-known examples do occur in such regions, which allows for greater recognition of them partly because of good exposures of the causative structural processes. Many of the basins have entirely interior or endorheic drainage so that no water drains out to the sea. Such landscapes occur in the well-known Great Basin geomorphologic province of the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico, as well as the dry littoral regions of Chile ...

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