geology

Discovering a Coastal Rock’s Prehistoric Legacy

Jun 3, 2017
Bruce Robinson, KRCB

Smooth surface areas on some large rocks on the Sonoma Coast might be a remnant of prehistoric animals rubbing against them, but definitive evidence to justify the popular name given to these Mammoth Rocks” has been elusive.

Since he began looking into this issue, the now-retired archeologist has found several other similarly polished rock surfaces not too far from his first discovery. And after a paper Parkman wrote about his explorations was published, he heard about still more such locations in other states.

Living with Faults in the North Bay

Mar 22, 2016
USGS

For thousands of years, present-day Sonoma County has straddled some major fault lines. In 1906, that resulted in a historic earthquake, which caused more damage in Santa Rosa than San Francisco. So, 110 years later, how much better prepared are we?

Erosion Watch on the Sonoma Coast

Feb 18, 2016
Bruce Robinson, KRCB

  King tides, El Nino, and sea level rise pose a triple threat to homes built too close to the edge of northern California’s seaside buffs. Some homes above Gleason’s Beach on the Sonoma Coast have been lost in years past, while others remain at risk.

  Gary Griggs, a professor of  Earth and Planetary Sciences at UC Santa Cruz , has been tracking the eroding cliffs at Gleason Beach for the past decade and a half. He says his periodic return visits show that the problems there continue to advance slowly but persistently.

Documenting California's Disappearing Glaciers

Sep 21, 2015
Tim Palmer

 Climate change is being felt even at the highest peaks in the Sierra Nevada, where the remaining glaciers in California are melting away. So Tim Palmer set out to capture them on film, while it was still possible. He talks about that project on this archive edition of the North Bay Report.

Exploring Sonoma County’s Varied Geology

Aug 9, 2015

From deep underground to right out in the open, Sonoma County’s geologic heritage is varied and fascinating. A special series of hikes next weekend offers close-up looks at some highlights, with explanations from a knowledgeable guide.

Another aspect of Sonoma County's recent geologic history--one that won't be featured in Melosh's transect hikes--is the mining that was active year in decades past. Evidence of that, especially for mercury, remains plentiful, but may be hazardous.