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Glossary - Landforms
Glossary - Selected Landforms
Note: yellow lines delineate the upper edge of three alluvial fans.

Alluvial Fan. A fan-shaped deposit of alluvium (water deposited rocks, gravel, and sand) on a hillside below the mouth of a mountain canyon where the alluvium spreads out across the hillside and down to the valley floor in the form of an old-time folding fan.

Bajada. Along the side of a mountain or mountain range, a series of alluvial fans (one per canyon) that have coalesced into one larger landform.

Canyon. A narrow chasm with steep sides cut by running water; a gorge or ravine.

Foot Hills. Small hill at the base of a mountain. Any small hills.

Mountain. A large, high land mass that projects above the surrounding landscape.

Peak. The highest point on a mountain.

Playa. A normally dry lake bed, usually white or tan in color from the clay materials and salts that form the surface; often surrounded by salty soils.

Ridge. A long narrow upper section or crest; a long narrow chain of hills or mountains. An area of high ground separating two canyons formed by erosion on both sides. Ridges range in size from those between small gullies to the crest of an entire mountain range. Also called ridgeline.

Wash. An intermittent streambed where water may flow after a rain.

One Canyon - One Alluvial Fan (entire area
Alluvial Fan (washes often appear as veins on a folding fan)
Alluvial Fan
Small alluvial fan on the edge of a wash
Alluvial Fan
Small alluvial fan on the edge of a wash
Several Canyons with Several Alluvial Fans -- One Bajada

Photo: Telescope Peak, Death Valley National Park, as seen from near Natural Bridge in January 2003.
Happy hiking! All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 171225

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