Blog Profile / Oakland Geology


URL :http://oaklandgeology.wordpress.com/
Filed Under:Academics / Geology
Posts on Regator:327
Posts / Week:0.7
Archived Since:March 16, 2008

Blog Post Archive

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 […]

Oakland geology ramble 4: Uptown to Montclair

This five-mile urban hike is more of a terrain-and-streams ramble than a bedrock ramble. It climbs over 700 feet, winding through the watersheds that freshen Lake Merritt and traversing some of Piedmont’s wildest land. Although I’ve walked the route both ways, I’ll present it here from west to east. The route goes from the 19th […]

The McKillop landslide: Ten years after

In December 2006, I read a series of news stories about a landslide in Fruitvale, on McKillop Road, that took out a house and threatened two more, so I checked it out and was so impressed I wrote it up for About.com. This house was the victim. And this was its front yard. When I […]

Peridotite-basalt lampposts

The Lakeside Regency Plaza, 1555 Lakeside Drive, is the 15-story condo building next to the Scottish Rite Temple. Built in 1968, it’s definitely of its time yet of enduring taste. I paid it no mind until a few days ago, when I noticed the four artisanal lampposts that flank its driveway. In their own way, […]

HayWired, an imaginary earthquake coming in 2018

Earthquakes are always a surprise, but we can be ready for them. Or, more ready. We can practice on a household basis, whether it’s a simple “Drop, Cover, Hold On” drill or a series of family meetings to go over scenarios — what if Mom’s stuck at work? What if we’re all out of town? […]

Oakland building stones: Serpentinite

In a modest West Oakland neighborhood on Market Street is the modest West Grand Shopping Center. Its ordinary building is clad in rough stone, an exterior treatment similar to the Kaiser Building and many other examples. But at the West Grand Shopping Center, the cladding consists of fist-sized pieces of beautiful serpentine rock. The front […]

Brooklyn Landing, Brooklyn Creek

The first Western inhabitants of this area, the Peralta family, were horse people rather than boat people. They did much of their business, with the mission and the town of San Jose in the South Bay, by land. When they did use boats, it was to transport hides and tallow from their ranch, using an […]

Oakland builders, what are you thinking?

Californians have always known we’re prone to earthquakes. The first Californians didn’t have our worries about it, though, because their structures were small and limber, no larger than a temescal sweathouse. Things changed when the missionaries of New Spain came into the country starting in the late 1700s. When the earthquake of 8 December 1812 […]

Adeline rise

Down at the foot of Adeline Street, past Green Valley Food, past J. K’s Brickhouse, past Magnolia Oakland at 3rd Street, the road ends at the old shoreline. Where the Amtraks roll by was once coastal marsh. The geologic map uses an old pre-earthquake topographic base, so ignore the freeway and find Adeline, running through […]

South Dunsmuir Ridge

I finally got to a sweet corner of town last week, the sunny side of Dunsmuir Ridge, this lovely hill in the Google Maps 3D view. The view is to the north-northwest, such that the Hayward fault runs straight up about a thumb’s width from the left edge. The maps below start with the 1915 […]

Geology of the Biff’s site

Because I walk through the area regularly, I’ve kept an envious eye on the excavation at the southeast corner of 27th Street and Broadway. Since the building slated for the site doesn’t have a name yet, I’ll call it the Biff’s site after the much-loved but long-departed Biff’s Coffee Shop that once sat there. It’s […]

The Dimond Canyon water gap

In a city full of geologic features, Dimond Canyon stands out as a classic example of a water gap. But it can be hard to see, even from the prime viewpoint of Leimert Bridge. Let’s abstract ourselves by studying the overhead views shown in maps. Google Maps, with the terrain view turned on, is where […]

Stonehurst Creek

Stonehurst Creek isn’t really a creek, just a stormwater channel. But there it is on the watershed map, with a name and everything. Of the 13 named tributaries that feed San Leandro Creek, it’s the last one before the Bay. And it’s got potential. I only discovered Stonehurst Creek because one day last June I […]

Mountain View Cemetery: The Bay area’s best landscape

Although I’m tempted just to let the photos in this post stand on their own, let me make a case that Mountain View Cemetery offers the best landscape in the Bay area. First there’s the cemetery itself. The managers have been putting a lot of effort into improving the ground — see the excellent new […]

What I marched for

Saturday was Earth Day, an occasion that usually leaves me lukewarm at best. But this year it was also the day of the worldwide March for Science. A few news stories have quoted environmentalists who resented that the march happened on “their” day. But from my viewpoint, that’s the best day of the year for […]

The Hayward fault at Warm Springs

Every extension of BART opens up a new region accessible to geologizers using public transit. So the other week I paid a visit to the far end of the Hayward fault, less than a mile from the new Warm Springs station in south Fremont. The station has nice views of the San Mateo Peninsula mountains […]

Shepherd Canyon landslides

Last week I went to visit a landslide that had been in the news. As it happened, I saw three. Shepherd Canyon always gets a lot of landslides, like its neighboring canyons in the high hills. The main reason is that Shephard Creek has a lot of cutting power, thanks to its relatively large watershed […]

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