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The San Francisco Bay Area’s crazy quilt-pattern of rock formations — shaped by earthquakes — are the key to understanding the region’s landscapes. From ice-age dune sand in San Francisco to recently subsided land in the Santa Clara Valley or the veritable maze of earthquake faults in the East Bay, the geology is a fascinating blueprint of the region’s natural history.

Could fracking the Monterey Shale lead to the next Big One?

September 17, 2013 by Sarah Phelan

The Monterey Shale runs through some of California's major fault lines. Could pounding the earth trigger the next Big One?

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How the Monterey Shale came to be

September 02, 2013 by Sarah Phelan

There has been so much talk of a potential fracking boom in California. But how, exactly, did the Monterey shale formation become so valuable?


Fracking the land of the kit fox, and its fellow desert natives

August 21, 2013 by Sarah Phelan

What's in store for the desert species who've come to rely on an undeveloped landscape now threatened by a California oil boom?

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In condor country comes a California oil boom

July 18, 2013 by Sarah Phelan

California could be on the verge of a major oil boom centered a stone's throw from the Bay Area. What does that mean for the landscape and the wildlife that call that place home?


Dinosaur eggs on Point Reyes Estero Trail?

March 29, 2013 by Dan Rademacher

Tim Hastings wrote to us wondering about “many large round, almost ‘dinosaur-egg’ like rocks dotting the muddy sands” when he ...


Bringing life back to Mountain Lake

February 27, 2013 by Dhyana Levey

San Francisco's only remaining natural lake has experienced dramatic changes over its 2,000 year history, and is about to see another one.

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More visitors expected as Pinnacles becomes a national park

February 21, 2013 by Alison Hawkes

Now that it's officially on the national park circuit, Pinnacles may be seeing more visitors as diehard national park goers add the geological wonder to their bucket lists.

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Should we be worried about asbestos in serpentine rock?

January 31, 2013 by Michael Ellis

Should we worry about asbestos in serpentine rock? Yes, a bit. In California, we have North America’s largest exposures. It's even our official state rock.


Why does Half Moon Bay get winter monster waves?

January 16, 2013 by Alison Hawkes

The Mavericks surf contest has been called for Sunday, January 20. As we wait for big kahunas to roll in, we ask why Half Moon Bay gets the legendary waves that become the surfer's delight.

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Iconic Tennessee Beach arch suddenly falls into sea

January 09, 2013 by Alison Hawkes

And suddenly it was gone. The iconic rock arch at Tennessee Beach in Marin unexpectedly gave way, changing the view forever.

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Bay Nature