The Science of Sustainability

Geology

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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The Turns and Twists of the Devil's Slide Tunnel

The Turns and Twists of the Devil's Slide Tunnel

On October 1st, as news crews filmed the action, Caltrans broke through a retaining wall at the north portal of the Devil’s Slide tunnels on Highway One, opening a new way to link the coastal communities of Pacifica and Montara in San Mateo County.

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The Turns and Twists of the Devil's Slide Tunnel

The Turns and Twists of the Devil's Slide Tunnel

On October 1st, as news crews filmed the action, Caltrans broke through a retaining wall at the north portal of the Devil’s Slide tunnels on Highway One, opening a new way to link the coastal communities of Pacifica and Montara in San Mateo County.

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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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Devil's Slide Tunnel Breakthrough

Devil's Slide Tunnel Breakthrough

A Caltrans construction crew on Friday punched through the northern end of Devil’s Slide tunnel that will link Pacifica and Montara. Three years after breaking ground on the project, Caltrans now expects the passage to open next year.

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Science on the SPOT: Digging the Devil's Slide Tunnel

Science on the SPOT: Digging the Devil's Slide Tunnel

California Highway One, south of Pacifica, has earned the nickname, "The Devil's Slide." Now two tunnels are being dug to bypass this treacherous stretch of road. QUEST goes deep underground to learn how Caltrans is digging this new tunnel.

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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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The Nature of Science

The Nature of Science

The process of communicating science can be difficult simply due to logistics. Educators on board the scientific ocean drilling vessel, the JOIDES Resolution, learned this first hand.

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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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Career Fair: Jobs on the JOIDES Resolution

Career Fair: Jobs on the JOIDES Resolution

Science educators do their best to expose students to the numerous career options available in the sciences. On the JOIDES Resolution, there are scientists with expertise in chemistry and geochemistry, geophysics, paleontology, sedimentology and paleomagnetism.

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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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Home Sweet Serpentine

Home Sweet Serpentine

Serpentine soil is a tough environment, but some unique plants and animals call it home.

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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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Exploring the Lower Russian River

Exploring the Lower Russian River

The Russian River originates in the redwood forests of Mendocino County and winds its way gently south thorough Sonoma County. One of the wildest spots on the main stem of the Russian River is towards the end, near its mouth. Here the waters widen, fresh water mixing with the tidal flows of the ocean, and the influences of two dynamic ecosystems merge.

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The New Bay Bridge: Earthquake Makeover

The New Bay Bridge: Earthquake Makeover

The new self-anchored suspension bridge being built to replace the vulnerable eastern span of the Bay Bridge is scheduled to open in 2013 and will be seismically and aesthetically revolutionary in its design. QUEST explores the engineering features that will give the new bridge the strength and flexibility to withstand the next "big one."

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