Along the entryway to the Leona Quarry development is a tumble of big decorative boulders, ready for deployment in the landscaping. When I drove by I made a mental note to check them out. I assumed they were chunks from the quarry itself. No such luck; they’re exotic blocks full of shell fossils, which are unheard of in Oakland. This is a view of the shell faces.
This boulder is almost what geologists call a shell hash or coquina, but the shells are mostly intact. I might call it a shell marl instead, but the default name would be fossiliferous limestone. I have no idea where it’s fromsomewhere over the hills, or maybe in the Santa Cruz Mountains, but not Oakland.
Here’s a closeup of another boulder showing a cross section of the shells.
This boulder is closer to a shell hash; it’s mixed with sedimentary rock clasts. A few of the darker clasts have released iron, presumably from sulfide minerals. This formed in a very active coastal setting.
It’s a fascinating set of boulders, but an arbitrary one. It also includes big hunks of shale that have disintegrated in the sun and rain here. Who picked them, and why?