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.

Legacy of the Red Ore

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Numerous animals make their homes in burrows in the hills of this Santa Clara County park, but none dig as deep as the miners who hauled mercury-laden ore out of the ground for 125 years.

The Vale of Tesla

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Nestled in the hills southeast of Livermore, at the border between the San Joaquin Valley and the Bay Area, the old Tesla Mine townsite in Corral Hollow sustains a vibrant mix of inner south coast range plants and animals along with the traces of a rich human history. But a state proposal to create an off-road vehicle park in the hollow threatens to reopen old scars on this tranquil landscape.

Goat Rock State Beach

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The Pacific Coast north of San Francisco is justly renowned for its scenic beauty. It is also geology writ large, where evidence of powerful forces still at work on our region is exposed at many places. Goat Rock State Beach … Read more

Out of an Ancient Sea

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The oak-dotted, rounded hills of Contra Costa and eastern Alameda counties are a familiar sight, but do you know how they got to be that way?