The geological history of the Baja Peninsula
is a Wagnerian opera - full of Precambrian mountainous
low tones, oceanic high notes, lots of heat, pressure,
violence and finally separation.
The present shape of Baja California was
developed in the last 5-10 million years as the continent
finally submitted to the attenuation caused by the North
American Plate overriding the East Pacific Rise. This
opened successive areas of the Gulf and eventually spread
along the peninsula's long axis about 5 million years
ago. The splitting of the continent tilted the peninsula
westward forming the asymmetric fault blocks of the main
ranges of the Sierra Juarez, Sierra San Pedro Martir,
Sierra la Giganta and uplifting other ranges such as the
Sierra la Asamblea and Sierra la Victoria. Coastal California.
Science tells us Baja California will eventually
become an island. Ann then this slow moving boat of stone
and sand will head north to Alaska, where a trench leads
the Pacific Plate back into the Earth’s mantle.
At the present rate of movement, we won’t get there
for tens of millions of years. The movement of the plate,
however, tickles many faults, creating numerous small
and large earthquakes in the Californias.