The marine Pliocene of the continent has its greatest development in California (the Merced series, peninsula of San Francisco), where it is assigned a maximum thickness of nearly 6000 ft., and possibly as much as 13,000 ft.
The valley divides at the head into three branches, the Tenaya, Merced and South Fork canyons.
In the main (Merced) branch are the Vernal and Nevada Falls, 400 and 600 ft.
Mention may also be made of the churches of Santo Domingo (begun in 1578), Santa Catalina (1700), San Agustin (1608), Santa Clara (1644), La Merced (1744, with a collection of oil paintings) and San Felipe (1693).
The same authority counted 65 small residual glaciers between 36° 30' and 39°; two-thirds of them lie between 37° and 38°, on some of the highest peaks in the district of the San Joaquin, Merced, Tuolumne and Owen's rivers.