The Mountains

  • Donald McKenzie


The mountains of the West are part of the American Cordillera in its widest part. They form the Laramide and Nevadan Belts and the Pacific Coast Ranges. I describe each of the major and many of the minor ranges, after a summary of continental-scale topography and its interactions with climate. These descriptions are brief overviews of the topics of Chapters  3 7, with variations based on which topics have the greatest importance. Glaciers and snow are much more dominant in the northern ranges: Cascade Range and the northern Rocky Mountains. Drought and water limitation are more important in the desert ranges and those with Mediterranean climates. I also sketch the human history of each. At the end of each chapter that follows, I revisit the ranges, with overviews of how each will experience the topic(s) of the chapter.


Cordillera Pacific Coast Ranges Cascade Range Sierra Nevada American Rockies Sky Islands Basin Ranges 

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donald McKenzie
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Environmental and Forest SciencesUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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