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28th Anniversary of the Loma Prieta Earthquake - It Was a Warning That is Still Operative

18 hours agoAcademics / Geology : Geotripper

What a different world... on Oct. 17, 1989, there were no smart phones, the internet barely existed, and we still depended on things like newspapers, television and radio to keep up with the world. Most of my current students had not yet been born, and that means that most of my students have never felt or experienced a major earthquake. Show More Summary

Earthquake apps and post-quake observations

Seems like disaster is in the air every October. This year the catastrophe is wildfire in the North Bay, bringing up memories of our own turn in the line of fire this very week in 1991. Yesterday the local paper published an article by Seung Lee that explicitly linked the October fires of 2017 to […]

Feeling a Bit Sheepish: A Bit of Glacial Mutton in the Sierra Nevada

Pothole Dome in Tuolumne Meadows at Yosemite National Park Sometimes glacial terms represent some kind of logical relationship to reality. "Horns" that are sharp pointed glacial peaks, "cirques" that are circular-shaped glacial bowls,...Show More Summary

You Just Can't Take Sonora Pass for Granite: Travels Around the Sierra Nevada High Country

Sonora Pass in the Sierra Nevada is a sort of forgotten step-sister of the more famous Tioga Pass in Yosemite National Park. A paved road, State Highway 108, crosses the crest of the Sierra about forty miles north of Tioga, cresting out at 9,624 feet, but it sees far less traffic. Show More Summary


Dear Readers, Portal page of new Arizona Geology Blog After 10 years and more than 4,000 blog posts (and more than 1-million views), the Arizona Geological Survey’s State Geologist’s Blog has moved to a fresh, more attractive web environment: Show More Summary

Post 500

The experts say the greenhouse gases we’ve put in the atmosphere will affect global climate for the next several centuries. Where will we be 500 years from now, once this pulse of carbon dioxide has been drawn down by the seas and soil? What will the post 500 world look like? I’m fond of talking […]

Fall Colors in the Eastern Sierra Nevada!

We've returned from a field studies expedition to the eastern Sierra Nevada, and I can report that fall has arrived! We've had a very warm summer, and the heat waves continued into September, but then we had a sudden cold snap, and even some snow. Show More Summary

Road Song: Copperhead Road

Steve Earle: Copperhead Road (lyrics)Album: Copperhead Road, 1998This is a classic road song with "road" right there in the title, courtesy once again of MOH. I can't say that I have any particular memories around this song, but theShow More Summary

Twenty Oakland rock types in a 30-mile drive

As far as I can tell, Oakland has more rock types within its boundaries than any other city in America. When I added them up for a talk I gave at East Bay Nerd Nite, I counted more than 25, from limestone to blueschist. This 30-mile road trip will take you to most of them, […]

Disaster Geology: Hurricane Force

What does a meteorological event have to do with geology? More than you can imagine! -- Read more on

The highest point in Oakland

I have believed — and what’s worse, repeated — that Oakland’s highest point is Grizzly Peak. In fact, the highest point within the city limits is Chaparral Peak, an eminence so subtle you can barely tell it’s there. Let’s look at the 1959 topo map of the high Berkeley Hills. Everything south of the county […]

Diamonds show Earth still capable of ‘superhot’ surprises

Diamonds may be ‘forever’ but some may have formed more recently than geologists thought. A study of 26 diamonds, formed under extreme melting conditions in the Earth’s mantle, found two populations, one of which has geologically ‘young’ ages. The post Diamonds show Earth still capable of ‘superhot’ surprises appeared first on HeritageDaily - Heritage & Archaeology News.

Disaster Geology: A Tale of 2 Mexican Earthquakes

A deep-dive into Mexico's remarkable string of natural disasters -- Read more on

Road Song: On the Road Again

Canned Heat: On The Road Again (lyrics)Album: Boogie with Canned Heat, 1968I haven't updated my road song list for quite sometime, in fact my post list by "road songs" indicates that I added the last new one in August, 2015, more than...Show More Summary

Say Hello to California's New State Dinosaur: Augustynolophus morrisi

This one really got past me. I have to admit that the whole business of establishing a California State Dinosaur flew way under my radar. But it happened, Jerry Brown signed the bill, and Augustynolophus morrisi is our newest state emblem (along with our state fabric, denim). Show More Summary

Liveblogging the Deluge: The First Day of Fall and a River Finally Returns to Abnormal

I was mistaken. Nearly two months ago, I suggested in a post that the abnormally high flows on the Tuolumne River were finally subsiding, and that the great flood of 2017 might finally be ending. This happened because I strolled along...Show More Summary

Sibley sights: Lapilli tuff

Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve is the site of a small volcanic center that was last active about 10 million years ago. After it fizzled out, the whole thing was gradually buried in younger sediment. Within the last few million years, the action of the Hayward fault squeezed, folded and uplifted this sequence of rocks and […]

A Salute to Cassini-Huygens and the Team Who Successfully Explored Saturn for More Than a Decade

Amid the stupidity emanating from Washington D.C. these days, depression can be a real impediment to a happy life. Other events unrelated to politics give me some sense of hope about the future of humanity, and one of those things is drawing to a close this week: the Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn. Show More Summary

AZGS STATEMAP 2017 deliverables: Delivered!

We just delivered geologic map data for four 7.5’ quadrangles to the US Geological Survey as part of our 2017 STATEMAP work – see the list below. Before releasing the map and GIS database publically, the authors will make any necessary revisions, polish the map appearance and the legend for consistency with AZGS standards. Show More Summary

Wandering Amongst the Granite Knobs in the Northern Sierra

Granitic knobs in the northern (way northern) Sierra. It's been a busy summer, such that I really haven't had time to get much blogging done—and I had so many good posts planned! But it's been really difficult for me to do much of anything...Show More Summary

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