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Encyclopedia > Central Valley (California)
The Central Valley of California
The Central Valley of California
Part of the Valley as seen from overhead
Part of the Valley as seen from overhead
A typical Central Valley scene at ground level
A typical Central Valley scene at ground level

The Central Valley is a large, flat valley that dominates the central portion of the U.S. state of California, United States. It is home to many of California's most productive agricultural efforts. The valley stretches nearly 400 miles (600 km) from north to south. Its northern half is referred to as the Sacramento Valley, and its southern half as the San Joaquin Valley. The two halves are joined by the shared delta of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers, a large expanse of interconnected canals, streambeds, sloughs, marshes and peat islands. Official language(s) English Capital Sacramento Largest city Los Angeles Largest metro area Greater Los Angeles Area  Ranked 3rd  - Total 158,302 sq mi (410,000 km²)  - Width 250 miles (400 km)  - Length 770 miles (1,240 km)  - % water 4. ... The California Central Valley The California Central Valley dominates the central portion of the state of California. ... Image File history File links Map_california_central_valley. ... Image File history File links Map_california_central_valley. ... Image File history File links The California Central Valley as seen from 20,000 feet. ... Image File history File links The California Central Valley as seen from 20,000 feet. ... A typical Central Valley road, as photographed on July 7, 2004. ... A typical Central Valley road, as photographed on July 7, 2004. ... Federal courts Supreme Court Circuit Courts of Appeal District Courts Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Local Government Other countries Atlas  US Government Portal      A U.S. state is any one of the fifty subnational entities of... Official language(s) English Capital Sacramento Largest city Los Angeles Largest metro area Greater Los Angeles Area  Ranked 3rd  - Total 158,302 sq mi (410,000 km²)  - Width 250 miles (400 km)  - Length 770 miles (1,240 km)  - % water 4. ... The Sacramento Valley is the portion of the California Central Valley that lies to the north of the San Joaquin-Sacramento Delta. ... The Central Valley of California The San Joaquin Valley (English pronunciation in IPA: [sæn wɑˈkin]) refers to the area of the Central Valley of California that lies south of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta in Stockton. ... The San Joaquin-Sacramento Delta. ...

Contents

Boundaries and population

Bounded by the Cascade Range to the north, the Sierra Nevada to the east, the Tehachapi Mountains to the south, and the Coast Ranges and San Francisco Bay to the west, the valley is a vast agricultural region drained by the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers. “Cascades” redirects here. ... This article is about the mountain range in the Western United States. ... The Tehachapi Mountains (IPA: ) are a short transverse range in southern California in the United States, running SW-NE connecting the Coast Ranges on the west with the southern end of the Sierra Nevada mountains on the east. ... The Coast Ranges of California constitute one of the eleven traditional geomorphic provinces of California. ... San Francisco Bay, San Pablo Bay, and the Golden Gate San Francisco Bay is a shallow, productive estuary through which water draining approximately forty percent of California, flowing in the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers from the Sierra Nevada mountains, enters the Pacific Ocean. ... The Sacramento River is the longest river in the U.S. state of California. ... The San Joaquin River, 330 miles (530 km) long, is the second-longest river in California, United States. ...


These counties are commonly associated with the Central Valley:

About 6.5 million people live in the Central Valley today and it is the fastest growing region in California. There are 10 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) in the central valley. Below, they are listed by (MSA) population. Shasta County is a county located in the northern portion of the U.S. state of California, in the Cascade Mountains. ... Tehama County (pronounced teh-HAY-muh) is a county located in the northern part of the U.S. state of California. ... Glenn County is a county located in the California Central Valley north of Sacramento County. ... Butte County is a county located in the Central Valley of the U.S. state of California, north of state capital Sacramento. ... Colusa County is a county located in Californias Central Valley, northwest of Sacramento. ... Sacramento County is a county in the U.S. state of California. ... El Dorado County is a county located in the Gold Country of the U.S. state of California, in the Sierra Nevada. ... Sutter County is a county located along the Sacramento River in the Central Valley of the U.S. state of California, north of state capital Sacramento. ... Yuba County is located in the U.S. state of Californias Central Valley, north of Sacramento, along the Feather River. ... Yolo County is located in the northern part of the U.S. state of California, bordered by the counties of Sacramento, Solano, Napa, Lake, Colusa, and Sutter. ... Placer County is a county located in California, USAs Sierra Nevada, in the Gold Country. ... San Joaquin County is a county located in Central Valley of the U.S. state of California, just east of the San Francisco Bay Area. ... Stanislaus County is a county located in Californias California Central Valley, between Stockton and Fresno. ... Merced County is a county located in Californias Central Valley, north of Fresno and southeast of San Jose. ... Madera County is a county of California, located in the Central Valley north of Fresno County. ... Fresno County is a county located in the Central Valley of the U.S. state of California, south of Stockton and north of Bakersfield. ... Kings County is a county located in the Central Valley of the U.S. state of California, southeast of Fresno County. ... Tulare County is a county located in U.S. state of Californias Central Valley, south of Fresno. ... Kern County is a county located in the southern Central Valley of the U.S. state of California. ... In the United States, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has produced a formal definition of metropolitan areas, which are organized around county boundaries. ...

Sacramento is the county seat of Sacramento County, California and the capital of the U.S. state of California. ... Fresno redirects here. ... Bakersfield is the county seat of Kern County, California, in the United States. ... Stockton is a city in California and the county seat of San Joaquin County. ... Modesto is the county seat of Stanislaus County in the U.S. state of California. ... The Greater Visalia Area is a metropolitan statistical area in Central California known officially by the United States Census Bureau as the Visalia-Porterville metropolitan statistical area. ... Merced is the county seat of Merced County, California in the San Joaquin Valley of Central California. ... Nickname: Location of Chico in California Coordinates: , Country State County Butte Settled 1843 Founded 1860 Incorporated January 8, 1872 Government  - Mayor Andrew Holcombe  - City Council Scott Gruendl Steve Bertagna Larry Wahl Ann Schwab Mary Flynn Tom Nickell  - City Manager Area  - Total 27. ... Nickname: Location Redding in Shasta County, California Coordinates: , Country State County Settled 1873 Incorporated October 4, 1887 Government  - Mayor Dick Dickerson  - City Council Rick Bosetti Ken Murray Patrick H. Jones  - City Manager Kurt Startman Area  - City 154. ... {{Infobox Metropolitan Area | MSA_name = Yuba City Metropolitan Statistical Area | primary_cities = Yuba City & Marysville | other_cities = - Live Oak - Wheatland - Linda - Nicolaus - Rio Oso - Olivehurst - Sutter - Meridian - Robbins - Loma Rica - Challenge-Brownsville - [[Plumas Lake, CA|Plumas Lake | rank_us = 143nd | population = 156,029[1] | density_mi2 = 152. ...

Geology

An example of the extreme differences between the geology of the valley floor and that of the rugged hills of the Coast Ranges (Between Tracy and Patterson, CA:Interstate 5)
An example of the extreme differences between the geology of the valley floor and that of the rugged hills of the Coast Ranges (Between Tracy and Patterson, CA:Interstate 5)

The flatness of the valley floor contrasts with the rugged hills or gentle mountains that are typical of most of California's terrain. The valley is thought to have originated below sea level as an offshore area depressed by subduction of the Farallon Plate into a trench further offshore. Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (3072 × 2304 pixel, file size: 2. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (3072 × 2304 pixel, file size: 2. ... The Juan de Fuca plate sinks below the North America plate at the Cascadia subduction zone. ... The Farallon Plate is an ancient tectonic plate which began subducting as Pangaea broke apart during the Jurassic period. ...


It was later enclosed by the uplift of the Coast Ranges, with its original outlet into Monterey Bay. Faulting moved the Coast Ranges, and a new outlet developed near what is now San Francisco Bay. Over the millennia, the valley was filled by the sediments of these same ranges, as well as the rising Sierra Nevada to the east; that filling eventually created an extraordinary flatness just barely above sea level; before California's massive flood control and aquaduct system was built, the annual snow melt turned much of the valley into an inland lake. The Pacific Coast Ranges are the series of mountain ranges that stretch along west coast of North America from Alaska to Mexico. ... A view of Monterey Bay Monterey Bay is a bay of the Pacific Ocean, on the coast of California, south of San Francisco. ... San Francisco Bay, San Pablo Bay, and the Golden Gate San Francisco Bay is a shallow, productive estuary through which water draining approximately forty percent of California, flowing in the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers from the Sierra Nevada mountains, enters the Pacific Ocean. ... This article is about the mountain range in the Western United States. ...


The one notable exception to the flat valley floor is Sutter Buttes, the remnants of an extinct volcano just to the northwest of Yuba City which is 44 miles north of Sacramento. The Sutter Buttes, also known as the Marysville Buttes or Histum Yani (Maidu), are a small circular complex of eroded volcanic lava domes which rise above the flat plains of the California Central Valley, USA. The highest peak, South Butte, reaches 2,117 feet (645 m) above sea level. ... Yuba City is the county seat of Sutter County, California. ... Sacramento is a Spanish- and Portuguese-language word meaning sacrament; it is a common toponym in parts of the world where those tongues were or are spoken. ...


Climate

The northern Central Valley has a hot Mediterranean climate (Koppen climate classification Csa); the more southerly parts in rainshadow zones are dry enough to be Mediterranean steppe (BShs, as around Fresno) or even low-latitude desert (BWh, as in Bakersfield). It is hot and dry during the summer and cool and damp in winter, when frequent ground fog known regionally as "tule fog" can be impenetrable. Summer temperatures reach into the mid to upper 90s°F (30s°C), and occasional heat waves might bring temperatures well over 100°F (38°C), with some locations topping out at around 115°F (46°C). Winter and spring comprise the rainy season — although during the late summer, southeasterly winds aloft can bring thunderstorms of tropical origin, mainly in the southern half of the San Joaquin Valley. The northern half of the Central Valley (the Sacramento Valley) has more precipitation than the dryer southern San Joaquin Valley.  Areas with Mediterranean climate A Mediterranean climate is a climate that resembles the climate of the lands in the Mediterranean Basin. ... The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. ... A Rainshadow is an area which is unusally dry due to nearby geographic features. ... Fresno, a Spanish word for ash tree (from Latin fraxinus) is a common placename in Spanish speaking areas. ... Bakersfield is the county seat of Kern County, California, in the United States. ... Tule fog (IPA: ) is a thick ground fog that settles in the San Joaquin Valley and Sacramento Valley areas of Californias Great Central Valley. ... For other uses, see Heat wave (disambiguation). ... The Central Valley of California The San Joaquin Valley (English pronunciation in IPA: [sæn wɑˈkin]) refers to the area of the Central Valley of California that lies south of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta in Stockton. ... The Sacramento Valley is the portion of the California Central Valley that lies to the north of the San Joaquin-Sacramento Delta. ...


Rivers and delta

The Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers flow through the northern and southern halves of the valley, respectively. The two rivers join to form the San Joaquin-Sacramento River Delta, an unusual inverted river delta, behind the Carquinez Strait. Streams in the southern third of the San Joaquin Valley terminate in Tulare Lake and Buena Vista Lake. By the mid twentieth century, however, nearly all of the water in these streams is diverted for agriculture and these lakes are dry except during snowmelt floods. Major tributaries include: The Sacramento River is the longest river in the U.S. state of California. ... The San Joaquin River, 330 miles (530 km) long, is the second-longest river in California, United States. ... The San Joaquin-Sacramento Delta. ... An inverted river delta is special category of river delta in which the narrow end of the delta is located at the point of outflow of the delta, rather than the point of inflow. ... Carquinez Strait The Carquinez Strait is a narrow tidal strait in northern California. ...


Sacramento Valley

The Sacramento River is the longest river in the U.S. state of California. ... The Pit River is a tributary of the Sacramento River, approximately 110 mi (176 km) long, in northeastern California in the United States. ... This article treats the river in California. ... The Yuba River is an important river in California and a major tributary of the Feather River, which is a tributary of the Sacramento River. ... Dry Creek is a stream in Placer County and Sacramento County, California, USA which is formed from the confluence of Cirby Creek and Linda Creek, which join within the city of Roseville, California. ... The American River, located in the US state of California, has a prominent place in American history for being the site of Sutters Mill, where gold was found in 1848, leading to the California Gold Rush. ...

San Joaquin Valley

View of the Tuolumne River near Waterford.
View of the Tuolumne River near Waterford.

These rivers are not tributary to the San Joaquin River: Image File history File linksMetadata TuolomneRiverWaterfordCA.jpg‎ View of the Tuolomne River from Waterford California. ... Image File history File linksMetadata TuolomneRiverWaterfordCA.jpg‎ View of the Tuolomne River from Waterford California. ... Waterford is the 8th largest city of the 9 incorporated cities in Stanislaus County, California, United States. ... The San Joaquin River, 330 miles (530 km) long, is the second-longest river in California, United States. ... The Cosumnes River is a tributary of the Mokelumne River, approximately 80 mi (128. ... The Mokelumne River is a river flowing from the Sierras to a confluence with the San Joaquin River in the Central Valley of California. ... The Calaveras River is a river in the California Central Valley. ... The Stanislaus River in California is one of the largest tributaries of the San Joaquin River. ... The Tuolumne River is one of the major rivers draining the western slope Sierra Nevada mountains of California. ... The Merced River is in California. ... The Chowchilla River is a river in Central California and a major tributary of the San Joaquin River. ... The Fresno River below Hidden Dam in Madera County, California. ...

The Kings River is a major river of California, USA. It arises in the Sierra Nevada, consisting of three forks. ... The Kern River north of Kernville The Kern River going through the Kern Canyon, just northeast of Bakersfield A Kern River hydroelectric power plant in the Kern River, at the entrance to part of Sequoia National Forest. ...

Flooding

Most lowlands of the Central Valley are prone to flooding. Major public works projects beginning in the 1930s sought to reduce the amount of snowmelt flooding by the building of large dams. In 2003 it was determined that Sacramento had both the least protection against and nearly the highest risk of flooding. Congress then granted a $220 million for upgrades in Sacramento County. [1] Other counties in the valley that face flooding often are Yuba, Stanislaus, and San Joaquin. The 1930s (years from 1930–1939) were described as an abrupt shift to more radical and conservative lifestyles, as countries were struggling to find a solution to the Great Depression, also known as the World Depression. ... Yuba County is located in the U.S. state of Californias Central Valley, north of Sacramento, along the Feather River. ... Stanislaus County is a county located in Californias California Central Valley, between Stockton and Fresno. ... San Joaquin County is a county located in the United States of America in Californias Central Valley, just east of the San Francisco Bay Area. ...


Economy

Agriculture remains the primary industry in the Central Valley. The Central Valley is one of the most productive agricultural regions in the world. It is commonly referred to as the "fruit basket of the world." A notable exception has been the Sacramento region, where the large and stable workforce of government employees helped steer the economy away from agriculture. Despite state hiring cutbacks and the closure of several military bases, the Sacramento economy has continued to expand and diversify and now more closely resembles that of the nearby San Francisco Bay Area. Primary sources of population growth are people migrating from the San Francisco Bay Area seeking lower housing costs, as well as immigration from Asia, Central America, Mexico, Ukraine and the rest of the former Soviet Union.


Agriculture

Virtually all non-tropical crops are grown in the Central Valley, which is the primary source for a number of food products throughout the United States, including tomatoes, almonds, grapes, cotton, apricots, and asparagus. Early farming was concentrated close to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, where the water table was high year round and water transport more readily available, but subsequent irrigation projects have brought many more parts of the valley into productive use. For example, the Central Valley Project was formed in 1935 to redistribute and store water for agricultural and municipal purposes with dams and canals. The Central Valley Project (CVP) is a federal water project undertaken by the Bureau of Reclamation in 1935 as a long-term plan to use water in Californias Central Valley. ... 1935 (MCMXXXV) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar). ...


National Farmworkers Association (NFWA)

It was in the Central Valley, especially in and around Delano, that farm labor leader Cesar Chavez organized Mexican American grape pickers into a union in the 1960s, the National Farmworkers Association (NFWA), in order to improve their working conditions. Delano is a city located in Kern County, California. ... 2003 USPS stamp featuring Chávez and the fields that were so important to him César Estrada Chávez (March 31, 1927 – April 23, 1993) was an American farm worker, labor leader, and activist who co-founded the National Farm Workers Association, which later became the United Farm Workers. ... The ethnonym Mexican-American describes United States citizens of Mexican ancestry (14 million in 2003) and Mexican citizens who reside in the US (10 million in 2003). ... A trade union or labor union is an organization of workers. ...


Social issues

San Joaquin Valley Congestion

Since the 1980s, Bakersfield, Fresno, Visalia, Tracy and Modesto have exploded in both area and population, as housing values along the coast increased. Many people from Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area relocated to growing San Joaquin Valley suburbs in search of more affordable housing while retaining employment outside the Valley. This has led to traffic congestion between their Valley residences and their Bay Area employment, as well as increased violent crime, drug trafficking, organized crime, and air pollution. Air pollution is a principal environmental and health concern. The San Joaquin Valley now has the worst air quality in California, along with the highest asthma rates. The 1980s refers to the years from 1980 to 1989. ... Bakersfield is the county seat of Kern County, California, in the United States. ... Fresno, a Spanish word for ash tree (from Latin fraxinus) is a common placename in Spanish speaking areas. ... Visalia is a Central California city situated in the heart of California’s agricultural San Joaquin Valley, approximately 230 miles southeast of San Francisco and 190 miles north of Los Angeles. ... 11th Street and Central Avenue, Tracy Tracy is a city in San Joaquin County, California, in the United States. ... Modesto is the county seat of Stanislaus County in the U.S. state of California. ... Flag Seal Nickname: City of Angels Location Location within Los Angeles County in the state of California Coordinates , Government State County California Los Angeles County Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D) Geographical characteristics Area     City 1,290. ... USGS satellite photo of the San Francisco Bay Area. ... This article needs additional references or sources to facilitate its verification. ... A violent crime or crime of violence is a crime in which the offender uses or threatens violent force upon the victim. ... Retail selling Street selling is the bottom of the chain and can be accomplished through purchasing from prostitutes, through cloaked retail stores or refuse houses for users in the act located in red-light districts which often also deal in paraphernalia, dealers marketing merriment at night clubs and other events... Organized crime or criminal organizations are groups or operations run by criminals, most commonly for the purpose of generating a monetary profit. ... Air pollution is the modification of the natural characteristics of the atmosphere by a chemical, particulate matter, or biological agent. ...


Highways and Infrastructure

Highways Interstate 5 and California State Route 99 run, roughly parallel, north-south through the valley, meeting at its north and south ends. Interstate 80 crosses it northeast-southwest from Rocklin to Vacaville. In addition to highways, the California Aqueduct follows I-5 from Tracy on southwards to Southern California across the Transverse Ranges and the federal Central Valley Project includes numerous facilities between Red Bluff and Bakersfield. PG&E's and Western Area Power Administration's system of three 500 kV wires (Path 15 and Path 66) run through the valley. Path 26 also runs in the southernmost part of the San Joaquin Valley. Interstate 5 (abbreviated I-5) is the westernmost interstate highway in the continental United States. ... JUNCTION POSTMILE I-5 KER 0. ... Interstate 80 (abbreviated I-80) is the second-longest Interstate Highway in the United States. ... Rocklin is a city in Placer County, California. ... Vacaville, California is a city located in Solano County, California, between Sacramento and San Francisco. ... The California Aqueduct is the concrete-lined aqueduct that transports water from Northern California to Southern California. ... Tracy is a city located in San Joaquin County, California. ... This article is about the region of Southern California. ... The Transverse ranges are a group of mountain ranges of southern California, part of the North American Coast Ranges that run along the Pacific coast from Alaska to Mexico. ... The Central Valley Project (CVP) is a federal water project undertaken by the Bureau of Reclamation in 1935 as a long-term plan to use water in Californias Central Valley. ... Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is the utility that provides power to most of Northern California. ... The Western Area Power Administration (Western) markets and delivers cost-based hydroelectric power and related services within a 15-state region of the central and western U.S. It is one of four power marketing administrations within the U.S. Department of Energy whose role is to market and transmit... Path 15 is the name of a major north-south power transmission corridor in California. ... Path 66 is the name of a 500 kV power line that was built by Western Area Power Administration (WAPA) in the early 1990s and completed (energized) in 1993. ... Path 26 is a set of three 500 kV power lines that is Southern California Edisons (SCE) intertie with Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) to the north. ...


External links

Coordinates: 37°30′11″N, 121°34′29″W Map of Earth showing lines of latitude (horizontally) and longitude (vertically), Eckert VI projection; large version (pdf, 1. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
California Central Valley - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (996 words)
The California Central Valley is a large, flat valley that dominates the central portion of the U.S. state of California.
The California Central Valley stretches nearly 400 miles (600 km) north to south, its northern half referred to as the Sacramento Valley and its southern half as the San Joaquin Valley.
The Central Valley is hot and dry during the summer and cool and damp in winter with frequent ground fog known regionally as "tule fog".
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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