Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta Basin

March 22, 2012, 2:32 pm
Source: USFS
Content Cover Image

Source: NASA

Lithology and Stratigraphy

The Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta basin subsection contains late Quaternary alluvium.  Most of the alluvium is from granitic rock sources, but some is from volcanic, sedimentary, and metamorphic rock sources.

Subsection 262Am, Lodi area (Patsy Miles). This subsection is in a low area of inorganic sediments along the eastern edge of the delta area of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers.  The climate is hot and subhumid.  MLRA 17e.


This subsection is a nearly level plain.  It is the deltas of the Cosumnes, Mokelumne, and Calaveras Rivers and basin floor with basin-fill from the overflow of these and the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers.  The subsection elevation range is from sea-level to about 50 feet.  Fluvial erosion and deposition are the main geomorphic processes.


The soils are mostly Aquic Xerofluvents; Pelloxererts; Cumulic and Duric Haplaquolls; Argic Durixerolls; Typic Durixerolls; and Chromoxererts. The soils are mostly somewhat poorly to poorly drained, and some are moderately well drained.  Soil temperature regimes are thermic, and soil moisture regimes are mostly aquic and xeric.


The predominant natural plant communities are Needlegrass grasslands, Emergent aquatic communities in low areas along the edge to the delta, and Fremont cottonwood series along streams.

Characteristic series by lifeform include:

    Grasslands: California annual grassland series, Purple needlegrass series.
    Wetlands: Bulrush series, Bulrush - cattail series, Cattail series, Ditch-grass series, Sedge series.
    Forests and woodlands: Fremont cottonwood series, Mixed willow series.


The mean annual precipitation is about 16 to 18 inches.  It is practically all rain.  Mean annual temperature is about 59° to 62°  F.  The mean freeze-free period is about 250 to 275 days.

Surface Water

Streams in this subsection drain to the delta area of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers.  All but the larger streams are generally dry during the summer.  There are no lakes.



Service, U. (2012). Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta Basin. Retrieved from


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