Most geologists believe the basin where the Salton Sea is now located was never part of the Gulf of California / Sea of Cortez and was actually far above sea level in the distant past. Geological evidence strongly indicates that it was tectonic movement through the ages that caused the region to subside hundreds of feet below sea level and create the basin the Salton Sea now occupies.
Origins (Geology and Water) of the Salton Sea
The Colorado River needs mentioning
Two most significant contributions, geology and water supply…
Geography of the region makes the natural tendancy of the Colorado River to change its course into the Salton Sink
Most of the region is inside of a large shallow depression
Which is made possible because of the unique geology of the region.
Most of the region falls inside of a large shallow depression
Most of the region is below sea level, with its deepest point almost 300 feet deep.
The unique geography of the region m almost 300 feet below sea level.
The formation of the sea was made possible by the unique geologic features of the region
The sea was able to form because of the unique geologic features of the region.
…splitting apart, with land to the north sinking, creating a depression in the Earths crust.
A unique geological feature of the regious is the fact that its surface is
It would not exist without the unique geology of southern California, USA and northwestern Mexico
Geology of the Salton Sea (Water incursions, tectonic plates); The Salton Trough p. 3, Geology of the Northeast Margin of the Salton Trough p. 324, Tectonic evolution of the Salton Sea inferred fromseismic reflection data p. 1
As the separation of the Baja peninsula continues, the land inbetween sinks. A pull apart basin.
The regions unique geological features are due to
The region is located at the southern end of the San Andres Fault where the Pacific Plate and North American Plate
The region where the Pacific Plate and North American Plate meet
And creates depression in the FAULT ZONE where plates (
with its lowest point about 280 feet below sea level
The sea was able to form because of the unique geology of the region which lies in a depression. At its deepest point the depression is almost 300 feet below sea level.
of the unique geologic features of the region
Water supplied from the Colorado River
water from the Colorado River.
Over the millenia the Colorado River has supplied water
Because of the unique geologic features of the regions, the has been occupied by various
Salton Trough (northern region of the fracture zone
Animation of Tectonic Plate Movement
This animation demonstrates the tectonic plate movement that created the California Baja Peninsula, Gulf of California / Sea of Cortez, and the region that would one day become the Salton Sea.