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Tectonic Events During the Cenozoic Era



Tectonic Events During the Cenozoic Era
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   high interest, readability grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.49

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    pull-apart, oceanic, subducted, subduction, collision, tectonic, northward, recent, thermal, sulfur, explosive, valuable, mantle, mass, swampy, volcanic
     content words:    Cenozoic Era, Western North America, Rocky Mountains, North America, Cascade Mountains, North American Plate, San Andreas Fault, Range Province, United States, Yellowstone National Park


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Tectonic Events During the Cenozoic Era
By Patti Hutchison
  

1     Cenozoic means "recent life." You are living during the Cenozoic Era. Many tectonic events have taken place in the last 66 million years! They have shaped the world as we know it today.
 
2     Western North America has been active during the Cenozoic Era. Huge blocks of crust have been uplifted. The Rocky Mountains were formed. Large basins formed next to the mountains. They were filled with nearly three kilometers of sediment from the eroded mountain land.
 
3     Basins in Wyoming filled with swampy river deposits. Eventually they formed great amounts of coal. These coal deposits begin close to the surface and go nearly 50 meters deep. This coal is very valuable because it burns cleanly. This is due to its low sulfur content.
 
4     An oceanic plate was subducted under the western coast of North America. Volcanic action created the Cascade Mountains. The North American Plate was forced over the Pacific coast. This created the San Andreas Fault during the early Cenozoic Era.

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