- Series: California Natural History Guides (Book 79)
- Paperback: 360 pages
- Publisher: University of California Press; First edition (June 27, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0520241266
- ISBN-13: 978-0520241268
- Product Dimensions: 4.5 x 0.9 x 7.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 17 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #585,738 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Geology of the San Francisco Bay Region (California Natural History Guides) First Edition
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"You can't really know the place where you live until you know the shapes and origins of the land around you. To feel truly at home in the Bay Area, read Doris Sloan's intriguing stories of this region's spectacular, quirky landscapes."
From the Inside Flap
"This is a fascinating look at some of the world's most complex and engaging geology. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in an understanding of the beautiful landscape and dynamic geology of the Bay Area."―Mel Erskine, geological consultant
"This accessible summary of San Francisco Bay Area geology is particularly timely. We are living in an age where we must deal with our impact on our environment and the impact of the environment on us. Earthquake hazards, and to a lesser extent landslide hazards, are well known, but the public also needs to be aware of other important engineering and environmental impacts and geologic resources. This book will allow Bay Area residents to make more intelligent decisions about the geological issues affecting their lives."―John Wakabayashi, geological consultant
Top customer reviews
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If you are an avid amateur naturalist like me, maybe the following is familiar: You pick up a nice general geology or rock atlas book, and find it beautiful and comprehensive; but when you try to match an actual local observation to this catalog of all possible rocks and structures in the world, you are left with uncertainty. And you quickly lose interest in this guesswork. Well, if you are in the Bay Area, you will feel extremely lucky when you get this book in your hands. It focuses on things you are likely to see here; it shows regional patterns to further help you understand what is what. As a result you will find the topic tangibly relevant, and your local explorations more interesting and fulfilling.
Another amazing aspect of this book is its fullness and quality. You would expect a regionally focused work to be a glorified pamphlet of highlights. On the contrary, this book has the feel of an expensively produced comprehensive geology introduction. (Judging by the cover photo you might not realize (I didn't) that it's a relatively thick (300+ page) book.) It ties everything to the big picture of geologic time. It is full of shiny color photos and color-coded maps. It is extremely well written!-- the writing shows obvious care in making explanations simple and intuitive to nonspecialists. So it is as if we have been given a full geology introduction text (and a great one at that!) written from scratch completely focused on the Bay Area. I might call it the nearest thing I've seen to a "scientific cosmology of the Bay Area"!
I'm not a specialist, but I can vouch for the contents in the following way. Over the years I've collected and bookmarked the most interesting and up-to-the-minute local geology content from the web. For instance, the USGS geologic quadrangle maps. This book seems to collect together all the same good stuff-- and reproduces them in summary form (but in color still!).
In summary, I have not seen a guide written more lovingly for the Bay Area explorer.
I generally liked this guide, but felt that it had a couple of shortcomings that kept it from getting five stars from me. First, the guide should have provided some diagrams showing how the geology of the San Francisco Bay Area has changed over the millennia. While such diagrams would necessarily be approximate, they would still help the reader visualize some of the paleogeology that the guide tries to describe in its text. Without such maps, there were times when I felt a bit lost regarding what the text was trying to describe. Arthur D. Howard's "Geology of Middle California" provides some of these diagrams, but that book is fairly old (1979), and its diagrams probably could be updated based on new data collected since then.
Second, the guide provides some coverage on specific locations to explore, such as Almaden Quicksilver County Park and Alum Rock County Park in the South Bay. However, such coverage is uneven from region to region. For example, the San Francisco Peninsula receives no such coverage, a missed opportunity to explore such wonderful geological locations as Point Ano Nuevo or the James Fitzgerald Marine Reserve in more depth. And for the North Bay, only Goat Rock State Beach gets special attention from the guide. One would think that the Palisades of Napa Valley and the area around Mount Saint Helena might garner just a bit more attention.
Despite its few shortcomings, however, this is an excellent introduction to the geology of the San Francisco Bay area, and one that I shall be referring to for some time to come. While a book of this type cannot go into much detail for any specific location or area, it does provide a framework for further study and investigation. And its full color, geological maps alone are worth the price of the book!
This book contains lots of maps and info and interesting things to do around the bay area to learn about how the area was created.
Most sections ( north bay, south bay, east bay, the bay itself, etc) have places to visit, explore that makes the book an interactive experience.
I've gone to a few of the places and expect to explore more.