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Geology of the San Francisco Bay Region

Doris Sloan (Author), John Karachewski (Photographer)

Available worldwide

Paperback, 360 pages
ISBN: 9780520241268
June 2006
$23.95, £16.95
Other Formats Available:
Why does a bit of ocean floor lie on top of Mt. Diablo? Why is Red Rock, that small, knobby island in San Francisco Bay, red? Why is Loma Prieta high? This book is for San Francisco Bay Area residents and visitors who want to explore the geologic world of this spectacular area, to learn about its shapes, colors, and rocky foundations. Doris Sloan illuminates the colorful geologic mosaic that surrounds San Francisco Bay and lucidly explains the complex and fascinating processes that have forged it over millions of years.

In a lively and engaging style, Sloan describes forces such as the movement of tectonic plates, erosion, the waves on the coast, and human activity. She provides background information on the processes, time frame, and rocks that are the key to understanding the Bay Area landscape and geologic history, then turns to distinct regions of the Bay Area and to San Francisco Bay itself.

* Superbly illustrated with 139 color photographs, 41 drawings, and 29 maps

* Covers Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma counties

* Gives clear, nontechnical explanations of complex topics including plate tectonics and the Bay Area's fault systems

* Suggests locales in parks and open space preserves to view Bay Area geology in action
SECTION I OVERVIEW AND SOME BASIC GEOLOGY TO SET THE STAGE
INTRODUCTION
CHAPTER 1 THE SETTING AND THE PROCESSES THAT SHAPE IT
Time: Human and Geologic
Geological Processes: Shaping the Landscape
At the Surface: Weathering and Erosion
Where Sea Meets Land
The Sand On (and Off) the Beach
CHAPTER 2 THE PLATE TECTONIC FRAMEWORK
The Dance of the Plates
California’s Dynamic Past
The Bay Area’s Network of Faults
Squeezing the Bay Area
The Bay Area’s Complex Structure
CHAPTER 3 THE REMARKABLE ROCKS OF THE BAY AREA
The Foundation under our Feet: The ‘Basement’ Rocks
The World-Famous Franciscan Complex
Assembling the Franciscan
Great Valley Complex
Salinian Complex: Visitor from Down South
The Younger Rocks: Emerging from the Sea
Tertiary Volcanoic Rocks
At the Top of the Heap

SECTION II BAY AREA GEOLOGY
CHAPTER 4 MARIN COUNTY - A DIVIDED LANDSCAPE
The San Andreas Fault
West of the San Andreas Fault
Sierran Rocks in the Bay Area?
East of the San Andreas Fault
The Franciscan Complex
The Great Valley Complex
The Younger Rocks
Some Special Places to Visit
The Marin Headlands
Ring Mountain: the Bay Area’s Unusual Metamorphic Rocks
Mt. Tamalpais: Cross-Section through Subduction
CHAPTER 5 SAN FRANCISCO - GEOLOGY BENEATH THE PAVEMENT
The Streams and Lakes that Once Were
The City on the Dunes
Ice-Age Sand
Modern Sand along the Shore
Under the City: The Rocky Foundation
Alcatraz Terrane
Marin Headlands Terrane
San Bruno Mountain Terrane
Melange Zones
On Top of the Basement Rocks
CHAPTER 6 THE BAY AND THE ISLANDS
The Estuary and its Surprises
Water that Flows ‘Upstream’
Secrets of the Sediments
Early History of the Bay
Marshes and Plains Around the Bay
Islands in the Bay: the Drowned Landscape
CHAPTER 7 THE PENINSULA: COAST, REDWOODS, AND BAY
The Coastal Landscape
The Land Uplifted
Down to the Sea
Faults That Carve Up the Peninsula
The Basement Rocks
A Record of Past Seas
The Youngest Rocks of the Peninsula
CHAPTER 8 THE SOUTH BAY
The Valley That Was: The Santa Clara Valley
South Bay Faults and Structure
The South Bay’s Diverse Rocks
The Basement Rocks
The South Bay Tertiary Rocks: From Sea to Land
Volcanic Rocks
Special Places to Explore
Alum Rock Park: The Bay Area’s Hot Spring Resort
Almaden Quicksilver County Park
CHAPTER 9 THE EAST BAY
A Young Landscape
The Delta, a Subsided Marsh
Creeks that Go the Long Way Round
The East Bay Fault System
The Hayward Fault
Rocks Old and Young
The Mesozoic Subduction Record
From Sea to Land
The Livermore Valley
Special Places to Explore
Mount Diablo State Park
Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve
The East Bay Hills
CHAPTER 10 THE NORTH BAY
The Sonoma Coast: Lifted Up and Slumping Down
Faults and Fault Slices
The Hole in the Head
Assembling the North Bay
The Basement Rocks
The Salinian Block
Across the Fault
Sidebar: Goat Rock State Beach
After Subduction Ended
The North Bay’s Volcanic Eruptions
Rivers and Bay
SECTION III
Credits
Further Reading
Glossary
Index
Doris Sloan is Adjunct Professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Science at the University of California, Berkeley.
“A great introduction to California geology and the most interesting place to start.”—Michael Raffety Placerville Mountain Democrat
“Sloan plumbs the depths of the bay and scales surrounding hillsides, all the time explaining how this geological puzzle was formed over millions of years. She points out the easily overlooked everyday scenes that are significant if the viewer looks a little closer. After reading her guide, a trip to the Bay will never be the same.”—Debbie Arrington Sacramento Bee
“Accessible to readers at all levels of understanding . . . [Sloan’s] expertise, enthusiasm, and gifted storytelling translate these landscapes into a lucid text that helps us better understand the foundations of our Bay Area home.”—Bay Nature
"You can't really know the place where you live until you know the shapes and origins of the land around you. To feel truly at home in the Bay Area, read Doris Sloan's intriguing stories of this region's spectacular, quirky landscapes."—Hal Gilliam, author of Weather of the San Francisco Bay Region

"This is a fascinating look at some of the world's most complex and engaging geology. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in an understanding of the beautiful landscape and dynamic geology of the Bay Area."—Mel Erskine, geological consultant

"This accessible summary of San Francisco Bay Area geology is particularly timely. We are living in an age where we must deal with our impact on our environment and the impact of the environment on us. Earthquake hazards, and to a lesser extent landslide hazards, are well known, but the public also needs to be aware of other important engineering and environmental impacts and geologic resources. This book will allow Bay Area residents to make more intelligent decisions about the geological issues affecting their lives."—John Wakabayashi, geological consultant

Distinguished Book Award, Berkeley Chapter of the Society for Technical Communication

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