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Andrew Alden

Andrew Alden earned his geology degree at the University of New Hampshire and moved back to the Bay Area to work at the U.S. Geological Survey for six years. He has written on geology for About.com since its founding in 1997. In 2007, he started the Oakland Geology blog, which won recognition as "Best of the East Bay" from the East Bay Express in 2010. In writing about geology in the Bay Area and surroundings, he hopes to share some of the useful and pleasurable insights that geologists give us—not just facts about the deep past, but an attitude that might be called the deep present.

Read his previous contributions to QUEST, a project dedicated to exploring the Science of Sustainability.

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Andrew Alden's Latest Posts

USGS Releases a New Mapping Tool to Assist Tsunami Shelter Development

KQED Science | September 18, 2014 | 0 Comments

USGS Releases a New Mapping Tool to Assist Tsunami Shelter Development

It may happen just once in your lifetime: a large tsunami is coming, big enough to make you run for your life. Where do you go? USGS has released a new tool to help planners plot out shelters in West Coast communities and other tsunami-hazard zones.

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California’s Earthquake Early Warning System Is Ready to Get Started

KQED Science | September 11, 2014 | 0 Comments

California’s Earthquake Early Warning System Is Ready to Get Started

The Third International Conference on Earthquake Early Warning, held in Berkeley last week, was a revealing glimpse of our future, in which we'll get precious seconds of notice before earthquake shaking strikes our lives and buildings.

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Scientists Concerned as San Andreas Fault Observatory Seeks Additional Funds

KQED Science | September 4, 2014 | 0 Comments

Scientists Concerned as San Andreas Fault Observatory Seeks Additional Funds

A few million dollars -- that's all scientists ask for to revive a breakthrough underground laboratory sitting precisely on the San Andreas fault.

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Now That the Shaking’s Over from the South Napa Earthquake, Read This Comic

KQED Science | August 28, 2014 | 0 Comments

Now That the Shaking’s Over from the South Napa Earthquake, Read This Comic

Among the helpful advice and resources that government agencies are sharing after the South Napa earthquake, the most effective product may be the newly released comic book "Without Warning."

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New-Generation Earthquake Forecasting Swings into Operation in Italy

KQED Science | August 21, 2014 | 0 Comments

New-Generation Earthquake Forecasting Swings into Operation in Italy

Italy is approaching the next frontier in earthquake forecasting: an "operational" system that will make quake forecasts routine, whose contents we can take in stride.

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Parks Attract Affluent Homeowners to Earthquake Fault Zones Despite Risks

KQED Science | August 14, 2014 | 1 Comment

Parks Attract Affluent Homeowners to Earthquake Fault Zones Despite Risks

The Alquist-Priolo law keeps new homes away from active earthquake faults. But a study finds that the resulting 'fault zone parks' attract wealthy residents despite the seismic hazard.

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A Simple Mineral Has Geochemical Power That Helps Spark Life

KQED Science | August 7, 2014 | 0 Comments

A Simple Mineral Has Geochemical Power That Helps Spark Life

New work shows that the simple mineral sphalerite has geochemical powers suitable for helping life to arise from precursors in the mineral kingdom.

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The ‘Tahoe Tsunami’: New Study Envisions Early Geologic Event

KQED Science | July 31, 2014 | 0 Comments

The ‘Tahoe Tsunami’: New Study Envisions Early Geologic Event

A new paper marshals evidence detailing the catastrophic landslide and mega-tsunami that struck Lake Tahoe during the late Pleistocene.

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Oklahoma Study Offers Better Insight into Industrial Earthquakes

KQED Science | July 3, 2014 | 0 Comments

Oklahoma Study Offers Better Insight into Industrial Earthquakes

A new study adds strong evidence that deep-injection wells can occasionally nudge a fault into activity. The key is figuring out how it happens, then learning to avoid whatever is making it happen.

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Studying Exoplanets: What A Thousand Points of Light Might Reveal About Earth

KQED Science | June 26, 2014 | 0 Comments

Studying Exoplanets: What A Thousand Points of Light Might Reveal About Earth

As a flood of new exoplanets swim into our ken, we have ways of turning these pixel-size steams of data into insights about our own planet.

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New Evidence of Earth’s Deep Water Cycle Reveals A Virtual Buried Ocean

KQED Science | June 12, 2014 | 1 Comment

New Evidence of Earth’s Deep Water Cycle Reveals A Virtual Buried Ocean

New evidence from high-pressure experiments and earthquake waves suggests the presence of water-rich melt at the base of the upper mantle, far deeper than previous estimates.

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Plastic Substance Created by Pollution Yields a New Word: Plastiglomerate

KQED Science | May 29, 2014 | 0 Comments

Plastic Substance Created by Pollution Yields a New Word: Plastiglomerate

When future geologists, whatever species they may be, look for our signs in the fossil record of the future, it may be this newly described amalgam of plastic and sediment.

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Progress in Earthquake Forecasts May Come from Studying Foreshocks

KQED Science | May 15, 2014 | 0 Comments

Progress in Earthquake Forecasts May Come from Studying Foreshocks

Recent cutting-edge techniques are opening a new approach for earthquake forecasts by matching foreshocks -- small quakes occurring on the same stretch of fault that subsequently fails in the large mainshock -- to changes on the seafloor.

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NOAA Expedition Finds Asphalt Volcanic ‘Tar Lilies’ in Gulf of Mexico

KQED Science | May 1, 2014 | 0 Comments

NOAA Expedition Finds Asphalt Volcanic ‘Tar Lilies’ in Gulf of Mexico

A research expedition in the Gulf of Mexico has stumbled on a field of beautiful natural sculptures made of asphalt on the sea floor.

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Biologists’ Paradox: Killing and Collecting Rare Creatures to Prove They’re Not Extinct

KQED Science | April 17, 2014 | 2 Comments

Biologists’ Paradox: Killing and Collecting Rare Creatures to Prove They’re Not Extinct

A group of biologists asks their peers to start documenting newly discovered and "rediscovered" species by non-destructive techniques instead of killing a specimen to bring home.

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New Stanford Study Examines Geologic Impact of a Massive Asteroid Collision on Ancient Earth

KQED Science | April 10, 2014 | 1 Comment

New Stanford Study Examines Geologic Impact of a Massive Asteroid Collision on Ancient Earth

A new paper attempts to describe a realistic picture of the unimaginable: a colossal cosmic impact that left a crater 500 kilometers across on the ancient Earth.

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Study Reveals New Suspect in the ‘Great Dying’ Mass Extinction Murder Mystery

KQED Science | April 3, 2014 | 4 Comments

Study Reveals New Suspect in the ‘Great Dying’ Mass Extinction Murder Mystery

The latest microbial hypothesis published in a recent paper addresses the ongoing drama of the "Great Dying", a monstrously deadly event that occurred about 250 million years ago and drove some 90 percent of the world's species to extinction.

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50 Years Ago, Alaskan Earthquake Was Key Event for Earth Science

KQED Science | March 27, 2014 | 0 Comments

50 Years Ago, Alaskan Earthquake Was Key Event for Earth Science

50 years ago today, the Good Friday earthquake in Alaska sent shockwaves through earth science itself.

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Digging Up New Info on Old Earthquakes in the Santa Cruz Mountains

KQED Science | March 20, 2014 | 0 Comments

Digging Up New Info on Old Earthquakes in the Santa Cruz Mountains

New research has mapped 19th-century earthquake ruptures along the San Andreas Fault in a study that combines geologic and human records.

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Newly Unveiled Porpoise Fossil Has “Jay Leno-Esque” Proportions

KQED Science | March 13, 2014 | 2 Comments

Newly Unveiled Porpoise Fossil Has “Jay Leno-Esque” Proportions

A porpoise fossil has been unveiled as a unique mammal that skimmed the seafloor with its sensitive, protruding lower jaw.

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