Santa Clara Valley
Silicon Valleyfor a discussion of the technological aspects of the Santa Clara Valley."
The Santa Clara Valley is a
valleyjust south of the San Francisco Bayin Northern Californiain the United States. Much of Santa Clara County, Californiaand its county seat San Jose, are in the Santa Clara Valley. The valley was originally known as the Valley of Heart’s Delight for the miles and miles of orchards. Once primarily agricultural because of its highly fertile soil, it is now largely urbanized, although its far southern reaches south of Gilroy remain rural. Silicon Valleyis roughly coterminous with the Santa Clara Valley, although since the former is as much a state of mind as an actual location, people often refer to parts of the San Francisco Peninsulaas being part of Silicon Valley as well. Locally, the Santa Clara Valley is also referred to as the "South Bay." However, the Santa Clara Valley American Viticultural Arearemains important.
The northern end of the Santa Clara Valley is at the southern tip of the San Francisco Bay, and the southern end is in the vicinity of Gilroy. The valley is bounded by the
Santa Cruz Mountainson the southwest and by the Diablo Rangeon the northeast. It is about convert|30|mi|km|-1|lk=on long and about convert|15|mi|km|-1 wide. The valley's largest city, by an 86.7% margin, is San Jose.
Cities and towns
Cities and towns in the Santa Clara Valley include (in alphabetical order):
Because so much high-tech industry has spread out from the Silicon Valley, Fremont and Newark, even though they are not in the Santa Clara Valley, are often included in discussions about the Silicon Valley or, in the case of Fremont, is referred to as the "Gateway to the Silicon Valley" (a title also claimed occasionally by San Jose). Similarly, Palo Alto, while in Santa Clara County and considered part of
Silicon Valley, is on the San Francisco Peninsula.Santa Clara Valley has a Tropical wet/dry season Climate
Santa Clara Valley was created by the sudden growth of the
Santa Cruz Mountainsand the Diablo Range during the later Cenozoicera. This was a period of intense mountain building in California when the folding and thrusting of the earth's crust, combined with active volcanism, gave shape to the present state of California. Hence, Santa Clara Valley is a structural valley, created by mountain building as opposed to an erosional valley, or a valley which has undergone the wearing away of the earth's surface by natural agents. The underlying geology of the Santa Cruz Mountains was also formed by the sedimentof the ancient seas, where marine shalepoints to Mioceneorigin. Today one can still find evidence of this in the Santa Cruz Mountains, where shark's teeth and the remains of maritime life are still found as high as Scotts Valley, a city nestled in the mountains. [cite web | url=http://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/santaclara/history.htm | title=Early History | work=Santa Clara County: California's Historic Silicon Valley | publisher= National Park Service| accessdate=2008-01-18]
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