Digital-Desert : Mojave Desert Visit us on Facebook -- Desert Gazette -- Desert Link
Intro:: Nature:: Map:: Points of Interest:: Roads & Trails:: People & History:: Ghosts & Gold:: Communities:: BLOG:: Weather:: :?:: glossary


Desert Landforms & Surface Processes

ABSTRACT: Landscape features in the Mojave National Preserve are a product of ongoing processes involving tectonic forces, weathering, and erosion. Long-term climatic cycles (wet and dry periods) have left a decipherable record preserved as landform features and sedimentary deposits. This website provides and introduction to climate-driven desert processes influencing landscape features including stream channels, alluvial fans, playas (dry lakebeds), dunes, and mountain landscapes. Bedrock characteristics, and the geometry of past and ongoing faulting, fracturing, volcanism, and landscape uplift and subsidence influence the character of processes happening at the surface.


Several hundred thousand people travel along Interstate 15 between Los Angeles and Las Vegas every week, but typically less ...


The Mojave Desert comprises the southwestern quadrant of the Basin and Range physiographic province, a vast region dominated by ...

Weather Data

Historic weather data for the Eastern Mojave Desert is relatively scarce because there are no significant ...

Geologic History

The oldest rocks exposed in the eastern Mojave Desert are between 1.7 and 2.5 billion years old (early Proterozoic age). They consist ...

Changing Climates

The impact of both long-term and short-term climatic changes can be seen on the landscape. ...

Weathering and Erosion

Mountains form because, over long periods of time, uplift proceeds faster than erosion can keep pace. Through time, erosion progressively carves ...

Carbonate Rocks

In the Mojave, carbonate sedimentary rocks of Proterozoic and Paleozoic age crop out throughout the ...

Granitic Rocks

Weathering and erosion in arid regions underlain by granitic bedrock produce unique characteristic landforms. ...

Volcanic Rocks

Evidence of past volcanism can be seen throughout the Mojave Desert region. Two notable areas that display volcanic rocks and ...


Faults range in scale and complexity from small, simple offset measurable in inches or feet to massive thrust faults, normal faults, and ...


The term, mountain front, is an imaginary borderline between a mountainous area and a low, ...

Stream Channels

Progressive landscape development in any particular area is a function of many factors including climate, vegetation, slope ...

Stream Terraces

Stream terraces form when streams carve downward into their floodplains, leaving discontinuous remnants ...

The Mojave River

At its peak during this last ice age, the Mojave River drainage basin extended from the San Bernardino Mountains in the west; it flowed east and north ultimately merging with the Amargosa River before draining into ...


Although playas may appear as featureless plains, they are rich in features and characteristics that

Sand Dunes

The moving sand will stall and accumulate as dunes where the wind rises over a barrier (such as a mountain range). However, for dunes to persist, ...

Human Impacts

Evidence of human history in the Mojave region extends back to when perennial lakes existed in the region at the close of the Pleistocene, ...


... Next >


Geology Book Store

Desert Landforms and Surface Processes in the Mojave National Preserve and Vicinity

By Philip Stoffer

Western Earth Surface Processes Team

USGS Western Region Geology and Geophysics Science Center
The updated (2009) URL is

Use of any trade, firm or product name is for descriptive purposes only and does not constitute endorsement by the U.S. Government.

Cinder Cones

Providence Mountains

Kelso Dunes

Soda Lake

Afton Canyon
- Mojave River

Evidence of prehistoric man

Intro:: Nature:: Map:: Points of Interest:: Roads & Trails:: People & History:: Ghosts & Gold:: Communities:: BLOG:: Weather:: :?:: glossary
Country Life Realty
Wrightwood, Ca.
Mountain Hardware
Wrightwood, Ca.
Canyon Cartography
Links to Desert Museums

Grizzly Cafe
Family Dining

Custom Search

Abraxas Engineering
These items are historical in scope and are intended for educational purposes only; they are not meant as an aid for travel planning.
Copyright ©Walter Feller. 1995-2023 - All rights reserved.