The Salton Sea is a shallow, endorheic rift lake located directly on the San Andreas Fault, predominantly in the U. S. state of California's Imperial and Coachella valleys. The lake occupies the lowest elevations of the Salton Sink in the Colorado Desert of Imperial and Riverside counties in Southern California, its surface is 236.0 ft below sea level as of January 2018. The deepest point of the sea is 5 ft higher than the lowest point of Death Valley; the sea is fed by the New and Alamo Rivers, as well as agricultural runoff, drainage systems, creeks. Over millions of years, the Colorado River has flowed into the Imperial Valley and deposited soil, building up the terrain and changing the course of the river. For thousands of years, the river has alternately flowed into and out of the valley, alternately creating a freshwater lake, an saline lake, a dry desert basin, depending on river flows and the balance between inflow and evaporative loss; the cycle of filling has repeated many times. The latest natural cycle occurred around 1600–1700 as remembered by Native Americans who talked with the first European settlers.
Fish traps still exist at many locations, the Native Americans evidently moved the traps depending upon the cycle. The most recent inflow of water from the now controlled Colorado River was accidentally created by the engineers of the California Development Company in 1905. In an effort to increase water flow into the area for farming, irrigation canals were dug from the Colorado River into the valley; the canals suffered silt buildup, so a cut was made in the bank of the Colorado River to further increase the water flow. The resulting outflow overwhelmed the engineered canal near Yuma and the river flowed into the Salton Basin for two years, filling the historic dry lake bed and creating the modern sea, before repairs were completed. While it varies in dimensions and area with fluctuations in agricultural runoff and rainfall, the Salton Sea is about 15 by 35 miles. With an estimated surface area of 343 square miles or 350 square miles, the Salton Sea is the largest lake in California; the average annual inflow is less than 1.2 million acre⋅ft, enough to maintain a maximum depth of 43 feet and a total volume of about 6 million acre⋅ft.
However, due to changes in water apportionments agreed upon for the Colorado River under the Quantification Settlement Agreement of 2003, the overall water level of the sea is expected to decrease between 2013 and 2021. The lake's salinity, about 56 grams per litre, is greater than that of the Pacific Ocean, but less than that of the Great Salt Lake; the concentration has been increasing at a rate of about 3% per year. About 4 million short tons of salt are deposited in the valley each year; the area was once part of a vast inland sea. Geologists estimate that for three million years, at least through all the years of the Pleistocene glacial age, a large delta was deposited by the Colorado River in the southern region of the Imperial Valley; the delta reached the western shore of the Gulf of California, creating a barrier that separated the area of the Salton Sea from the northern reaches of the Gulf. Were it not for this barrier, the entire Salton Sink along with the Imperial Valley would be submerged as the Gulf would extend as far north as Indio.
Since the exclusion of the ocean, the Salton Basin has over the ages been alternately a freshwater lake, an saline endorheic lake, a dry desert basin, depending on river flows and the balance between inflow and evaporative loss. A lake exists only during times it is replenished by the rivers and rainfall, a cycle that has repeated many times over hundreds of thousands of years cycling every 400 to 500 years. Evidence that the basin was occupied periodically by multiple lakes includes wave-cut shorelines at various elevations preserved on the hillsides of the east and west margins of the present lake, the Salton Sea; these indicate that the basin was occupied intermittently as as a few hundred years ago. The last of the Pleistocene lakes to occupy the basin was Lake Cahuilla periodically identified on older maps as Lake LeConte or the Blake Sea, after American professor and geologist William Phipps Blake. Throughout the Spanish period of California's history, the area was referred to as the "Colorado Desert" after the Colorado River.
In a railroad survey completed in 1855, it was called "the Valley of the Ancient Lake". On several old maps from the Library of Congress, it has been found labeled "Cahuilla Valley" and "Cabazon Valley". "Salt Creek" first appeared on a map in 1867 and "Salton Station" is on a railroad map from 1900, although this place had been there as a rail stop since the late 1870s. Until the advent of the modern sea, the Salton Sink was the site of a major salt-mining operation. In 1900, the California Development Company began construction of irrigation canals to divert water from the Colorado River into the Salton Sink, a dry lake bed. After construction of these irrigation canals, the Salton Sink became fertile for a time, allowing farmers to plant crops. Within two years, the Imperial Canal became filled with silt from the Colorado River. Engineers tried to alleviate the blockages to no avail. In 1905, heavy rainfall and snowmelt caused the Colorado River to swell, overrunning a set of headgates for the Alamo Canal.
Pinus ponderosa known as the ponderosa pine, bull pine, blackjack pine, or western yellow-pine, is a large pine tree species of variable habitat native to the western United States and Canada. It is the most distributed pine species in North America, it grows in various erect forms from British Columbia southward and eastward through 16 western U. S. states and has been introduced in temperate regions of Europe. It was first documented into modern science in 1826 in eastern Washington near present-day Spokane. On that occasion, David Douglas misidentified it as Pinus resinosa. In 1829, Douglas concluded that he had a new pine among his specimens and coined the name Pinus ponderosa for its heavy wood. In 1836, it was formally described by Charles Lawson, a Scottish nurseryman, it is the official state tree of Montana. Pinus ponderosa is a large coniferous pine tree; the bark helps to distinguish it from other species. Mature to over-mature individuals have yellow to orange-red bark in broad to broad plates with black crevices.
Younger trees have blackish-brown bark, referred to as "blackjacks" by early loggers. Ponderosa pine's five subspecies, as classified by some botanists, can be identified by their characteristically bright-green needles; the Pacific subspecies has the longest—7.8 in —and most flexible needles in plume-like fascicles of three. The Columbia ponderosa pine has long—4.7–8.1 in —and flexible needles in fascicles of three. The Rocky Mountains subspecies has shorter—3.6–5.7 in —and stout needles growing in scopulate fascicles of two or three. The southwestern subspecies has 4.4–7.8 in, stout needles in fascicles of three. The central High Plains subspecies is characterized by the fewest needles. Needles are widest and fewest for the species. Sources differ on the scent of P. ponderosa. Some state. Others state that it has no distinctive scent, while still others state that the bark smells like vanilla if sampled from a furrow of the bark. Sources agree that the Jeffrey pine is more scented than the ponderosa pine.
The National Register of Big Trees lists a Ponderosa Pine, 235 ft tall and 324 in in circumference. In January 2011, a Pacific ponderosa pine in the Rogue River–Siskiyou National Forest in Oregon was measured with a laser to be 268.35 ft high. The measurement was performed by Michael Taylor and Mario Vaden, a professional arborist from Oregon; the tree was climbed on October 13, 2011, by Ascending The Giants and directly measured with tape-line at 268.29 ft high. This is the second tallest known pine after the sugar pine; this species is grown as an ornamental plant in large gardens. During Operation Upshot–Knothole in 1953, a nuclear test was performed in which 145 ponderosa pines were cut down by the United States Forest Service and transported to Area 5 of the Nevada Test Site, where they were planted into the ground and exposed to a nuclear blast to see what the blast wave would do to a forest; the trees were burned and blown over. Pinus ponderosa is a dominant tree in the ponderosa shrub forest.
Like most western pines, the ponderosa is associated with mountainous topography. However, it is found on banks of the Niobrara River in Nebraska. Scattered stands occur in the Willamette Valley of Oregon and in the Okanagan Valley and Puget Sound areas of Washington. Stands occur throughout low level valleys in British Columbia reaching as far north as the Thompson and Columbia watersheds. In its Northern limits, it is most common below 800m. Ponderosa covers 80 %, of the Black Hills of South Dakota, it is found on foothills and mid-height peaks of the northern and southern Rocky Mountains, in the Cascade Range, in the Sierra Nevada, in the maritime-influenced Coast Range. In Arizona, it predominates on the Mogollon Rim and is scattered on the Mogollon Plateau and on mid-height peaks in Arizona and New Mexico, it does not extend into Mexico. The fire cycle for ponderosa pine is 5 to 10 years, in which a natural ignition sparks a low-intensity fire. Pinus ponderosa needles are the only known food of the caterpillars of the gelechiid moth Chionodes retiniella.
Blue stain fungus, Grosmannia clavigera, is introduced in sapwood of P. ponderosa from the galleries of all species in the genus Dendroctonus, which has caused much damage. Modern forestry research has identified five different taxa of P. ponderosa, with differing botanical characters and adaptations to different climatic conditions. Four of these have been termed "geographic races" in forestry literature; some botanists treated some races as distinct species. In modern botanical usage, they have been formally published. Pinus ponderosa subsp. Brachyptera Engelm. — southwestern ponderosa pine. Four corners transition zone including southern Colorado, southern Utah and central New Mexico and Arizona, westernmost Texas, a single disjunct population in the far northwestern Oklahoma panhandle; the Gila Wilderness conta
Fault blocks are large blocks of rock, sometimes hundreds of kilometres in extent, created by tectonic and localized stresses in the Earth's crust. Large areas of bedrock are broken up into blocks by faults. Blocks are characterized by uniform lithology; the largest of these fault blocks are called crustal blocks. Large crustal blocks broken off from tectonic plates are called terranes; those terranes which are the full thickness of the lithosphere are called microplates. Continent-sized blocks are called variously microcontinents, continental ribbons, H-blocks, extensional allochthons and outer highs; because most stresses relate to the tectonic activity of moving plates, most motion between blocks is horizontal, parallel to the Earth's crust by strike-slip faults. However vertical movement of blocks produces much more dramatic results. Landforms are sometimes formed. Adjacent raised down-dropped blocks can form high escarpments; the movement of these blocks is accompanied by tilting, due to compaction or stretching of the crust at that point.
Fault-block mountains result from rifting, another indicator of tensional tectonic forces. These can form extensive rift valley systems, such as the East African Rift zone. Death Valley in California is a smaller example. There are two types of block mountains. Lifted type block mountains have two steep sides exposing both sides scarps, leading to the horst and graben terrain seen in various parts of Europe including the Upper Rhine valley, a graben between two horsts - the Vosges mountains and the Black Forest, the Rila - Rhodope Massif in Bulgaria, Southeast Europe, including the well defined horsts of Belasitsa, Rila mountain and Pirin mountain - a horst forming a massive anticline situated between the complex graben valleys of Struma and that of Mesta. Tilted type block mountains have one sloping side and one steep side with an exposed scarp, are common in the Basin and Range region of the western United States. Example of graben is the basin of the Narmada River in India, between the Vindhya and Satpura horsts.
Orogeny – The formation of mountain ranges Plummer, David McGeary, Diane Carlson. Physical Geology 8th ed. McGraw-Hill, Boston, 1999. Monroe, James S. and Reed Wicander. The Changing Earth: Exploring Geology and Evolution. 2nd educational Belmont: Wadsworth Publishing Company, 1997. ISBN 0-314-09577-2 Fault-Block Mountains — Universe Today
The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
The Peninsular Ranges are a group of mountain ranges that stretch 1,500 km from Southern California to the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula. Elevations range from 500 to 10,834 feet; the Peninsular Ranges include the Santa Ana Mountains and other mountains and ranges of the Perris Block, San Jacinto and Laguna ranges of southern California continuing from north to south with the Sierra de Juárez, Sierra de San Pedro Mártir, Sierra de San Borja, Sierra de San Francisco, Sierra de la Giganta, Sierra de la Laguna in Baja California. Palomar Mountain, home to Palomar Observatory, is in the Peninsular Ranges in San Diego County, as is Viejas Mountain and the San Ysidro Mountains; the Peninsular ranges run predominantly north-south, unlike the Transverse Ranges to their north, which run east-west. Rocks in the ranges are dominated by Mesozoic granitic rocks, derived from the same massive batholith which forms the core of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California, they are part of a geologic province known as the Salinian Block which broke off the North American Plate as the San Andreas Fault and Gulf of California came into being.
Between this set of ranges and the Transverse Ranges is the complex Malibu Coast—Santa Monica—Hollywood fault, which exists as the border between these two geologically unitary provinces. Most of the Peninsular Ranges are in the Nearctic ecozone. Several terrestrial ecoregions cover portions of the Peninsular Ranges. On western-coast side of the northern portion of the ranges the California montane chaparral and woodlands sub-ecoregion of the California chaparral and woodlands ecoregion covers in southern California and northern Baja California. On western-coast side of the southern portion of the ranges the Baja California desert ecoregion covers in the southern portion of the Peninsular Ranges in Baja California and Baja California Sur. On eastern side of northern ranges, the Sonoran Desert ecoregion covers southeastern California and northeastern Baja California as far south as the town of Loreto, Baja California Sur. On the eastern side of the Laguna Mountains in San Diego County the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is known for its springtime profusion of Colorado Desert wildflowers.
On eastern-Gulf of California side of the southern portion of the ranges the Gulf of California xeric scrub ecoregion covers the range in Baja California Sur. The higher portions of the Peninsular Ranges the west-facing slopes, are home to coniferous and mixed evergreen forests. Cleveland National Forest covers much of the higher Southern California Peninsular Ranges; the vegetation includes oak forests of Jeffrey Pine and Coulter Pine. The Sierra Juarez and San Pedro Martir pine-oak forests cover upper slopes of Sierra Juarez and San Pedro Martir ranges in Baja California; these isolated forests, predominantly Tamarack Pine, Sugar Pine, Parry Pinyon, White Fir, California Incense Cedar, junipers. Oak species include Coast Live Oak, Engelmann Oak, Canyon Live Oak, Baja Oak; these higher portions of the Peninsular Ranges harbor many endemic species. Southern Baja California Sur is part of the Neotropic ecozone; the southern end of the Baja California Peninsula, including the Sierra de la Laguna Peninsular Range, was an island, evolved in relative isolation from the northern part of the peninsula and ranges.
Its flora and fauna share many affinities with southern Central America. It includes three distinct ecoregions, the Sierra de la Laguna dry forests, Sierra de la Laguna pine-oak forests, San Lucan xeric scrub. Peninsular Ranges index Transverse Ranges List of mountain ranges
Sequoiadendron giganteum is the sole living species in the genus Sequoiadendron, one of three species of coniferous trees known as redwoods, classified in the family Cupressaceae in the subfamily Sequoioideae, together with Sequoia sempervirens and Metasequoia glyptostroboides. Giant sequoia specimens are the most massive trees on Earth; the common use of the name sequoia refers to Sequoiadendron giganteum, which occurs only in groves on the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. The etymology of the genus name has been presumed—initially in The Yosemite Book by Josiah Whitney in 1868—to be in honor of Sequoyah, the inventor of the Cherokee syllabary. An etymological study published in 2012, concluded that the name was more to have originated from the Latin sequi since the number of seeds per cone in the newly-classified genus fell in mathematical sequence with the other four genera in the suborder. Giant sequoia specimens are the most massive individual trees in the world.
They grow to an average height of 50–85 m with trunk diameters ranging from 6–8 m. Record trees have been measured at 94.8 m tall. Trunk diameters of 17 m have been claimed via research figures taken out of context; the specimen known to have the greatest diameter at breast height is the General Grant tree at 8.8 m. Between 2014 and 2016, specimens of coast redwood were found to have greater trunk diameters than all known giant sequoias; the trunks of coast redwoods taper at lower heights than those of giant sequoias which have more columnar trunks that maintain larger diameters to greater heights. The oldest known giant sequoia is 3,500 years old based on dendrochronology. Giant sequoias are among the oldest living organisms on Earth. Giant sequoia bark is fibrous and may be 90 cm thick at the base of the columnar trunk; the bark provides significant protection from fire damage. The leaves are evergreen, awl-shaped, 3–6 mm long, arranged spirally on the shoots; the giant sequoia regenerates by seed.
The seed cones are 4–7 cm long and mature in 18–20 months, though they remain green and closed for as long as 20 years. Each cone has 30–50 spirally arranged scales, with several seeds on each scale, giving an average of 230 seeds per cone. Seeds are dark brown, 4–5 mm long, 1 mm broad, with a 1-millimeter wide, yellow-brown wing along each side; some seeds shed when the cone scales shrink during hot weather in late summer, but most are liberated by insect damage or when the cone dries from the heat of fire. Young trees start to bear cones after 12 years. Trees may produce sprouts from their stumps subsequent to injury. Giant sequoias of all ages may sprout from their boles when branches are lost to breakage. A large tree may have as many as 11,000 cones. Cone production is greatest in the upper portion of the canopy. A mature giant sequoia disperses an estimated 300–400 thousand seeds annually; the winged seeds may fly as far as 180 m from the parent tree. Lower branches die from being shaded, but trees younger than 100 years retain most of their dead branches.
Trunks of mature trees in groves are free of branches to a height of 20–50 m, but solitary trees retain lower branches. Because of its size, the tree has been studied for its water pull. Water from the roots can be pushed up only a few meters by osmotic pressure but can reach extreme heights by using a system of branching capillarity in the tree's xylem and sub-pressure from evaporating water at the leaves. Sequoias supplement water from the soil with fog, taken up through air roots, at heights to where the root water cannot be pulled; the natural distribution of giant sequoias is restricted to a limited area of the western Sierra Nevada, California. They occur in scattered groves, with a total of 68 groves, comprising a total area of only 144.16 km2. Nowhere does it grow in pure stands, although in a few small areas, stands do approach a pure condition; the northern two-thirds of its range, from the American River in Placer County southward to the Kings River, has only eight disjunct groves.
The remaining southern groves are concentrated between the Kings River and the Deer Creek Grove in southern Tulare County. Groves range in size from 12.4 km2 with 20,000 mature trees, to small groves with only six living trees. Many are protected in Giant Sequoia National Monument; the giant sequoia is found in a humid climate characterized by dry summers and snowy winters. Most giant sequoia groves are on granitic-based alluvial soils; the elevation of the giant sequoia groves ranges from 1,400–2,000 m in the north, to 1,700–2,150 metres to the south. Giant sequoias occur on the south-facing sides of northern mountains, on the northern faces of more southerly slopes. High levels of reproduction are not necessary to maintain the present population levels. Few groves, have sufficient young trees to maintain the present density of mature giant sequoias for the future; the majority of giant sequoias are undergoing a gradual decline in density since European settlement. While the present day distribution of this species is limited to a small area of C
The Order of Preachers known as the Dominican Order, is a mendicant Catholic religious order founded by the Spanish priest Dominic of Caleruega in France, approved by Pope Honorius III via the Papal bull Religiosam vitam on 22 December 1216. Members of the order, who are referred to as Dominicans carry the letters OP after their names, standing for Ordinis Praedicatorum, meaning of the Order of Preachers. Membership in the order includes friars, active sisters, affiliated lay or secular Dominicans. Founded to preach the Gospel and to oppose heresy, the teaching activity of the order and its scholastic organisation placed the Preachers in the forefront of the intellectual life of the Middle Ages; the order is famed for its intellectual tradition, having produced many leading theologians and philosophers. In the year 2017 there were 5,742 Dominican friars, including 4,302 priests; the Dominican Order is headed by the Master of the Order Bruno Cadoré. A number of other names have been used to refer to its members.
In England and other countries the Dominican friars are referred to as "Black Friars" because of the black cappa or cloak they wear over their white habits. Dominicans were "Blackfriars", as opposed to "Whitefriars" or "Greyfriars", they are distinct from the Augustinian Friars who wear a similar habit. In France, the Dominicans were known as "Jacobins" because their convent in Paris was attached to the Church of Saint-Jacques, now disappeared, on the way to Saint-Jacques-du-Haut-Pas, which belonged to the Italian Order of Saint James of Altopascio Sanctus Iacobus in Latin, their identification as Dominicans gave rise to the pun that they were the "Domini canes", or "Hounds of the Lord". The Dominican Order came into being in the Middle Ages at a time when men of God were no longer expected to stay behind the walls of a cloister. Instead, they travelled among the people, taking as their examples the apostles of the primitive Church. Out of this ideal emerged two orders of mendicant friars: one, the Friars Minor, was led by Francis of Assisi.
Like his contemporary, Dominic saw the need for a new type of organization, the quick growth of the Dominicans and Franciscans during their first century of existence confirms that the orders of mendicant friars met a need. Dominic sought to establish a new kind of order, one that would bring the dedication and systematic education of the older monastic orders like the Benedictines to bear on the religious problems of the burgeoning population of cities, but with more organizational flexibility than either monastic orders or the secular clergy; the Order of Preachers was founded in response to a perceived need for informed preaching. Dominic's new order was to be trained to preach in the vernacular languages. Dominic inspired his followers with loyalty to learning and virtue, a deep recognition of the spiritual power of worldly deprivation and the religious state, a developed governmental structure. At the same time, Dominic inspired the members of his order to develop a "mixed" spirituality.
They were both active in preaching, contemplative in study and meditation. The brethren of the Dominican Order were urban and learned, as well as contemplative and mystical in their spirituality. While these traits affected the women of the order, the nuns absorbed the latter characteristics and made those characteristics their own. In England, the Dominican nuns blended these elements with the defining characteristics of English Dominican spirituality and created a spirituality and collective personality that set them apart; as an adolescent, he had a particular love of theology and the Scriptures became the foundation of his spirituality. During his studies in Palencia, Spain, he experienced a dreadful famine, prompting Dominic to sell all of his beloved books and other equipment to help his neighbors. After he completed his studies, Bishop Martin Bazan and Prior Diego d'Achebes appointed Dominic to the cathedral chapter and he became a Canon Regular under the Rule of Saint Augustine and the Constitutions for the cathedral church of Osma.
At the age of twenty-four or twenty-five, he was ordained to the priesthood. In 1203, Dominic de Guzmán joined Diego de Acebo on an embassy to Denmark for the monarchy of Spain, to arrange the marriage between the son of King Alfonso VIII of Castile and a niece of King Valdemar II of Denmark. At that time the south of France was the stronghold of the Cathar movement; the Cathars were a heretical neo-gnostic sect. They believed that matter was evil and only the spirit was good; the Albigensian Crusade was a 20-year military campaign initiated by Pope Innocent III to eliminate Catharism in Languedoc, in southern France. Dominic saw the need for a response that would attempt to sway members of the Albigensian movement back to mainstream Christian thought. Dominic became inspired into a reforming zeal after they encountered Albigensian Christians at Toulouse. Diego saw one of the paramount reasons for the spread of the unorthodox movement- the representatives of the Holy Church acted and moved with an offensive amount of pomp and ceremony.
In contrast, the Cathars led ascetic lifestyles. For these reasons, Diego suggested that the papal legates begin to live a reformed apostolic l