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CALIFORNIA

inhabitants returned and rebuilt the town, which in 1800 consisted of 5000 houses.

As the administrative headquarters of the district, Calicut maintains its historical importance. It is served by the Madras railway, and is the chief seaport on the Malabar coast, and the principal exports are coffee, timber and coco-nut products. There are factories for coffee-cleaning, employing several hundred hands; for coir-pressing and timber-cutting. The town has a cotton-mill, a saw-mill, and tile, coffee and oil works. A detachment of European troops is generally stationed here to overawe the fanatical Moplahs.

CALIFORNIA, one of the Pacific Coast states of the United States of America, physically one of the most remarkable, economically one of the more independent, and in history and social life one of the most interesting of the Union. It is bounded N. by Oregon, E. by Nevada and Arizona, from which last it is separated by the Colorado river, and S. by the Mexican province of Lower California. The length of its medial line N. and S. is about 780 m., its breadth varies from 150 to 350 m., and its total area is 158,207 sq. m., of which 2205 are water surface. In size it ranks second among the states of the Union. The coast is bold and rugged and with very few good harbours; San Diego and San Francisco bays being exceptions. The coast line is more than 1000 m. long. There are eight coast islands, all of inconsiderable size, and none of them as yet in any way important.

Physiography.—The physiography of the state is simple; its main features are few and bold: a mountain fringe along the ocean, another mountain system along the east border, between them—closed in at both ends by their junction—a splendid valley of imperial extent, and outside all this a great area of barren, arid lands, belonging partly to the Great Basin and partly to the Open Basin region.

Along the Pacific, and some 20–40 m. in width, runs the mass of the Coast Range, made up of numerous indistinct chains—most of which have localized individual names—that are broken down into innumerable ridges and spurs, and small valleys drained by short streams of rapid fall. The range is cut by numerous fault lines, some of which betray evidence of recent activity; it is probable that movements along these faults cause the earthquake tremors to which the region is subject, all of which seem to be tectonic. The altitudes of the Coast Range vary from about 2000 to 8000 ft.; in the neighbourhood of San Francisco Bay the culminating peaks are about 4000 ft. in height (Mount Diablo, 3856 ft.; Mount St Helena, 4343 ft.), and to the north and south the elevation of the ranges increases. In the east part of the state is the magnificent Sierra Nevada, a great block of the earth’s crust, faulted along its eastern side and tilted up so as to have a gentle back slope to the west and a steep fault escarpment facing east, the finest mountain system of the United States. The Sierra proper, from Lassen’s Peak to Tehachapi Pass in Kern county, is about 430 m. long (from Mt. Shasta in Siskiyou county to Mt. San Jacinto in Riverside county, more than 600 m.). It narrows to the north and the altitude declines in the same direction. Far higher and grander than the Coast Range, the Sierra is much less complicated, being indeed essentially one chain of great simplicity of structure. It is only here and there that a double line of principal summits exists. The slope is everywhere long and gradual on the west, averaging about 200 ft. to the mile. Precipitous gorges or canyons often from 2000 to 5000 ft. in depth become a more and more marked feature of the range as one proceeds northward; over great portions of it they average probably not more than 20 m. apart. Where the volcanic formations were spread uniformly over the flanks of the mountains, the contrast between the canyons and the plain-like region of gentle slope in which they have been excavated is especially marked and characteristic. The eastern slope is very precipitous, due to a great fault which drops the rocks of the Great Basin region abruptly downward several thousand feet. Rare passes cross the chain, opening at the foot of the mountains on the east and the west high on their flanks, 7000–10,000 ft. above the sea. Between 36° 20′ and 38° the lowest gap of any kind is above 9000 ft., and the average height of those actually used is probably not less than 11,000 ft. The Kearsarge, most used of all, is still higher. Very few in the entire Sierra are passable by vehicles. Some forty peaks are catalogued between 5000 and 8000 ft., and there are eleven above 14,000. The highest portion of the system is between the parallels of 36° 30′ and 37° 30′; here the passes are about 12,000 ft. in elevation, and the peaks range from 13,000 ft. upward, Mount Whitney, 14,502 ft., being the highest summit of the United States, excluding Alaska. From this peak northward here is a gradual decline, until at the point where the Central Pacific crosses in lat. 39° 20′ the elevation is only 7000 ft.

Of the mountain scenery the granite pinnacles and domes of the highest Sierra opposite Owen’s Lake, where there is a drop eastward into the valley of about 10,000 ft. in 10 m.; the snowy volcanic cone of Mt Shasta, rising 10,000 ft. above the adjacent plains; and the lovely valleys of the Coast Range, and the south fork of the King river—all these have their charms; but most beautiful of all is the unique scenery of the Yosemite Valley (q.v.). Much of the ruggedness and beauty of the mountains is due to the erosive action of many alpine glaciers that once existed on the higher summits, and which have left behind their evidences in valleys and amphitheatres with towering walls, polished rock-expanses, glacial lakes and meadows and tumbling waterfalls. Remnants of these glaciers are still to be seen,—as notably on Mt. Shasta,—though shrunk to small dimensions. Glacial action may be studied well as far south as 36°. The canyons are largely the work of rivers, modified by glaciers that ran through them after the rivers had formed them. All of the Sierra lakes and ponds are of glacial origin and there are some thousands of them. The lower lake line is about 8000 ft.; it is lower to the north than to the south, owing to the different climate, and the different period of glacial retrogression. Of these lakes some are fresh, and some—as those of the north-east counties—alkali. The finest of all is Tahoe, 6225 ft. above the sea, lying between the true Sierras and the Basin Ranges, with peaks on several sides rising 4000–5000 ft. above it. It is 1500 ft. deep and its waters are of extraordinary purity (containing only three grains of solid matter to the gallon). Clear Lake, in the Coast Range, is another beautiful sheet of water. It is estimated by John Muir that on an average “perhaps more than a mile” of degradation took place in the last glacial period; but with regard to the whole subject of glacial action in California as in other fields, there is considerable difference of opinion. The same authority counted 65 small residual glaciers between 36° 30′ and 39°; two-thirds of them lie between 37° and 38°, on some of the highest peaks in the district of the San Joaquin, Merced, Tuolumne and Owen’s rivers. They do not descend, on an average, below 11,000 ft.; the largest of all, on Mt. Shasta, descends to 9500 ft. above the sea.

Volcanic action has likewise left abundant traces, especially in the northern half of the range, whereas the evidences of glacial action are most perfect (though not most abundant) in the south. Lava covers most of the northern half of the range, and there are many craters and ash-cones, some recent and of perfect form. Of these the most remarkable is Mt. Shasta. In Owen’s Valley is a fine group of extinct or dormant volcanoes.

Among the other indications of great geological disturbances on the Pacific Coast may also be mentioned the earthquakes to which California like the rest of the coast is liable. From 1850 to 1887 almost 800 were catalogued by Professor E.H. Holden for California, Oregon and Washington. They occur in all seasons, scores of slight tremors being recorded every year by the Weather Bureau; but they are of no importance, and even of these the number affecting any particular locality is small. From 1769 to 1887 there were 10 “destructive” and 24 other “extremely severe” shocks according to the Rossi Forel nomenclatural scale of intensity. In 1812 great destruction was wrought by an earthquake that affected all the southern part of the state; in 1865 the region about San Francisco was violently disturbed; in 1872 the whole Sierra and the state of Nevada were violently shaken; and in 1906 San Francisco (q.v.) was in