Archive for September, 2007

The Oakland fault

29 September 2007

overview of Lake TemescalThis morning I led a small walking tour of the Hayward fault in downtown Hayward. That’s a good spot to display various signs of our eminent strike-slip faults (the ones that move sideways). But when I visit the fault—and I do often, because I believe in getting to know it intimately—I find an Oakland site. This is the view from near the fire memorial on Tunnel Road. The fault runs from the notch on the left horizon down to the shadowed area on the right, which is Lake Temescal Regional Park. You may notice a lot of infrastructure and housing nearby!

Down at the park, they have put a nice interpretive sign next to the fault trace:

Temescal echelon cracks

There’s nothing like this in Hayward. They don’t seem to be proud of their fault. I think Oakland should take it over. It’s the largest city on the fault and the city with the longest stretch of the fault in its boundaries. It would go along with the whole gritty Oakland thing. “We’re so bad the earth is all ripped up here, man.” Maybe the USGS can give it an “L.A. Angels of Anaheim” type name for us: the Hayward fault of Oakland. It might make up for the “Oakland A’s of Fremont” baseball team.


Hello world; look at this

25 September 2007

Serpentinite at Crestmont and Butters

I’ll launch this blog with the scene that inspired it: an outcrop of serpentinite on Crestmont Drive near Butters. It depicts the failure of city planners to acknowledge the geology of the Oakland Hills. First, Crestmont was laid out with a roadcut into this rotten stone—actually it’s beautiful, but it’s crumbly—with no allowance for its deterioration. Then the house above it was allowed to be built without ensuring that the slope would be undisturbed. To the right of this view is a bare scree slope, spilling rock debris onto Crestmont. This site is a nonstop disaster that will be repaired, shored up, repaved and regraded for the foreseeable future.

Oakland needs more awareness of the ground it lies upon.