The Science of Sustainability

Brian Romans

Brian Romans

Brian Romans is the author the popular geoscience blog Clastic Detritus where he writes about topics in the field of sedimentary and marine geology and shares photographs of geologic field work from around the world. He is fascinated by the dynamic processes that shape our planet and the science of reconstructing ancient landscapes preserved in the geologic record. Brian came to the Bay Area in 2003 and completed a Ph.D. in geology at Stanford University in 2008. He lives in Berkeley with his wife, a high school science teacher, and is currently working as a research scientist in the energy industry. Follow him on Twitter.

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Brian Romans's Latest Posts

Rivers in the Sky Can Lead to Flooding on the Ground

Rivers in the Sky Can Lead to Flooding on the Ground

One tool to remind ourselves of what is possible when it comes to 'rare' natural events is science.

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Skiing Volcano Country

Skiing Volcano Country

Next time you're sitting on the chair lift waiting to take that next run at Kirkwood, look around at these beautiful mountains and picture the ancient volcanic landscape that created the terrain.

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The Unique Geometry of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta

The Unique Geometry of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta

The geologic history of the greater Bay Area helps explain the unique geometry of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

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The Rhythms of the El Niño-La Niña Climate Pattern

The Rhythms of the El Niño-La Niña Climate Pattern

El Niño is the nickname of the climate pattern called the El Niño-Southern Oscillation, or ENSO.

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San Francisco Bay Slowly Recovering From Gold Rush Miners' Devastating Legacy

San Francisco Bay Slowly Recovering From Gold Rush Miners' Devastating Legacy

USGS geologists are finding that Gold Rush-induced sediment levels in the San Francisco bay might be diminishing.

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Greater Bay Area Geo-Attractions: San Gregorio Beach

Greater Bay Area Geo-Attractions: San Gregorio Beach

San Gregorio State Beach is approximately 40 miles south of San Francisco near the junction of Highway 1 and 84. This beach is one of my favorite spots along the coast between Half Moon Bay and Santa Cruz.

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Sand Waves and the Golden Gate

Sand Waves and the Golden Gate

Mapping of the underwater topography (called bathymetry) reveals landscapes fundamental to understanding the Bay Area's unique geology. The Golden Gate strait connects the San Francisco Bay to the open Pacific Ocean and is only one mile across.

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Geology of the Devil's Slide Area

Geology of the Devil's Slide Area

The combination of steep terrain and the geology of the Devil's Slide area have made this area prone to landslides since Highway 1 was constructed in the mid 1930s.

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Landfill and Liquefaction

Landfill and Liquefaction

Although it may not be obvious at first glance, the bay side of San Francisco is largely artificial.

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Earthquake Preparedness in the Bay Area

Earthquake Preparedness in the Bay Area

The magnitude 7.0 earthquake that occurred a couple weeks ago near Christchurch, New Zealand is yet another reminder for those of us living in the Bay Area about the inevitable seismic danger we face. While many details of the New Zealand earthquake are different than what we face in the Bay Area, there are a few aspects that are comparable.

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A Submarine Grand Canyon Offshore Central California

A Submarine Grand Canyon Offshore Central California

Not unlike on land, features of the undersea landscape – such as Monterey submarine canyon – have a significant influence on the quantities and diversity of animals.

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Greater Bay Area Geo-Attractions: Point Reyes National Seashore

Greater Bay Area Geo-Attractions: Point Reyes National Seashore

Point Reyes National Seashore is not only a haven for birds and other wildlife but has a geologic story that is uniquely Californian. Learn about this area in the first in a series of posts highlighting the geology of the Bay Area's scenic landscapes.

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The Importance of Studying the History of Sea-Level Change in San Francisco Bay

The Importance of Studying the History of Sea-Level Change in San Francisco Bay

Sea-level rise is happening and more than 100 million people could be affected globally over the next century even under somewhat conservative projections.

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A Record of the East Bay’s Past Revealed During Caldecott Tunnel Construction

A Record of the East Bay’s Past Revealed During Caldecott Tunnel Construction

If you use Highway 24 as part of your daily commute you are already familiar with the Caldecott Tunnel, which connects Orinda and Oakland, but do you know about the geology of the hills through which the tunnel was constructed?

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Geologic Context and History of the San Joaquin River

Geologic Context and History of the San Joaquin River

The biggest river restoration project in California's history, however, is now underway for the San Joaquin River.

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Learn the Facts About Serpentinite Before It's Removed as California's State Rock

Learn the Facts About Serpentinite Before It's Removed as California's State Rock

Why introduce a bill to the state assembly devoted to removing the state rock?

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