Blog Profile / Oakland Geology


URL :http://oaklandgeology.wordpress.com/
Filed Under:Academics / Geology
Posts on Regator:343
Posts / Week:0.7
Archived Since:March 16, 2008

Blog Post Archive

The St. James Drive roadcut

Recent work in far east Piedmont has exposed some excellent bedrock worth a close inspection. Because the town government won’t put an interpretive sign there, this post will have to do. To my knowledge, there are only two sites of powerline towers in Piedmont, one at the mouth of Estates Drive and the other at […]

Geologizing on the 33 bus line

My geologizing habits are unusual: being self-employed and semiretired, I go out on weekdays, when everyone else is busy and I have the landscape to myself. Moreover, most of my outings around Oakland are on foot, with the help of the Citymapper phone app and all manner of public transit, which I’ve praised before. In […]

The Dunn-Spring Quarry, north Berkeley

Glendale-La Loma Park, a little ballfield/playground complex in the north Berkeley hills on La Loma Road, is a repurposed quarry that’s had a true Berkeley history. The original quarry, operated by J. J. Dunn, appears to date from 1892. John J. Dunn, a Canadian immigrant born in 1839, was a major contractor in California building […]

The Hillside School and the Hayward fault

It was a most enjoyable hike that I led on Saturday for the Berkeley Path Wanderers Association, wandering for 3-plus miles in the city’s wonderful rock parks and along the Hayward fault. As usual, visiting the fault has its troubling side, and here I couldn’t resist the implications of this splendid building, the old Hillside […]

Bedrock in the headwaters of Trestle Glen Creek

Surprisingly, the town of Piedmont has its share of woodland trails — well they’re paved sidewalks, but they’re unused, covered with duff and overhung with untended shrubbery. On a weekday afternoon, you can walk quietly on miles of these soft paths and encounter only a handful of property workers. It’s in that spirit that I […]

Grotto Rock Park

In preparation for the 4-mile walk I’m leading on 18 November for the Berkeley Path Wanderers, I’ve been visiting some of the unique and wonderful rock parks in north Berkeley. Grotto Rock Park will not be on the route, so I’ll feature it here. It’s a little park on Santa Barbara Road at Indian Rock […]

Orinda’s 1204 Hill

As far as I know this hill has no name, but it’s a highly visible part of Orinda. You pass it on Route 24 between the Wilder exit and downtown, as seen in this Google Maps perspective view. The USGS topo maps give it an elevation of 1204 feet, so I’ll call it 1204 Hill. […]

Serpentine and pebbledash on Broadway

The intersection of Broadway and 20th Street features strong buildings on all four corners. We all know the I. Magnin building (built 1930) and the Capwell (Sears/Uptown Station) building (built 1929) facing it. Across Broadway, we have the metal-clad urban spaceship of the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research building (built 1982) and finally the dark […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

Tour of the Fan: Lobe 4

During the eight years I was surveying every sidewalk in Oakland, taking in the geology and geography as I went, I took thousands of pictures. Here’s a baker’s dozen of my favorite shots from the ancient alluvial fan that dominates central Oakland, specifically the large segment I call lobe 4. Every part of the Fan […]

An early look at the Fan

Lots of people love old photographs of familiar places, or old landmarks when they were new. I love old photos of Oakland because they show the land before it was paved over and/or forested. The early California photographer Carleton Watkins was instrumental in saving Yosemite as a public park, simply because his large-scale images let […]

A stroll up Indian Gulch, or Trestle Glen

Once upon a time there was a thriving native encampment near the head of San Antonio Slough, tucked under bountiful oak trees in a valley with a permanent stream. Then the padres of New Spain put the natives behind walls to earn their bread with the sweat of their brows, and a generation later the […]

Well water in use

Once upon a time, we used to produce a lot of our water from local wells, but for the last century we’ve retired them as the aquifers were drawn down or polluted. So I’m always surprised and intrigued to see wells still at work. This is on Willams Street in San Leandro. The location is […]

Coring

With all the construction going on around town, you’ll see lots of drill rigs taking geotechnical cores. This one was at work at 2330 Webster, where the Webster Alexan development will go. Just a few days earlier, a rig was collecting cores in the parking lot at 20th and Telegraph, slated to become one of […]

The smaller creeks of Leona Heights

Last week I lingered over Leona Creek, in the Leona Heights area, but there are three other streams in the land between Horseshoe Creek and Chimes Creek. I’ll label them on the watershed map from 1 to 3, putting the numerals where they enter culverts. Creek 1 passes through the old Crusher Quarry grounds, now […]

The mine drainage of Leona Creek revisited

Over the years I’ve done a lot of poking around Leona Heights, the large hill looming over the south end of the Warren Freeway. You’d think I have a nice photo after all this time, but instead here’s a vertical view from Google Maps, terrain view. It shows the area between Horseshoe Creek, at the […]

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