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A Delimitation of the Region

He said that this also applied to the state's mineral riches which were, he believed, "cut off almost completely" by the ranges (quoted in Carter 3).

More significantly, Trask noted the age of the rocks atop the ranges and a distinct difference between the levels of various Miocene deposits. The deposits constituted relatively horizontal beds in some areas while, in others, they were quite sharply inclined. Trask also speculated on the probable relationship between the Santa Monica Mountains and the Channel Islands.

William P. Blake, geologist with the Williamson exploration and survey project of 1853-1854, which was commissioned to find the best rail route to the Pacific, made the first extensive investigation of any part of the Transverse Ranges. Noting that California, in general, had "a greater variety of relief of its surface" than any comparably sized area in the U.S., Blake determined that the Transverse Ranges were distinguished not just by their direction, but by their geologic structure as well. The "granitic and metamorphic" character of its rocks clearly contrasted with the "more modern and sedimentary strata" of the Coast Ranges (quoted by Carter 3). Blake estimated that the Transverse Ranges extended 200 miles, from Point Conception through the San Bernardino Mountains. Among his other observations, Blake noted the ground water effect of the San Andreas fault (though he did not discern the cause) and was the first to describe the Pelona Schist.

In 1861 J. D. Whitney, another State geologist, discerned the fact that the slate of the Santa Monica Mountains was intruded and metamorphosed by granite, thus producing "one of the best possible examples of a truly anticlinal range of mountains" (quoted in Carter 4). This revealing contrast in the age of the province's rocks was pursued by those who followed. In 1876 reports from the George M. Wheeler geographical survey J. Marcou, who investigated the Santa Moni...

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