by Marc Reisner, Pantheon Books, 2003, 181 pages, $22. Don’t let the hyperinflated housing market fool you. The Bay Area is sit-uated atop some of the most seismically unappealing real estate in the world. In fact, the nine-county region … Read more
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.
A shower of magma-heated liquid and steam makes for more than just a pretty Calistoga postcard. It’s a 30-million-year-old lesson in California’s dynamic underground history of sliding plates, volcanic eruptions, and molten rock.
A: The oldest rocks in the Bay Area are metamorphic rocks associated with the granitic rocks at Point Reyes, Bodega Head, and Montara Mountain. They have traveled a long way in space and time to get here. They all occur … Read more
True, there was no e-mail, snail mail, or even Pony Express, but somehow postcards from intrepid explorers of the San Mateo coast in days of yore have reached our mailbox. Take a unique trip through time and discover how the beach and marsh at Pescadero came to be the treasures we love to visit today.
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.
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.
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
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?