Donate

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.

rss feed Author's Website

Andrew Alden's Latest Posts

When Finding Faults, Geologists Must Sometimes Become Ditch-Diggers

KQED Science | January 22, 2015 | 0 Comments

When Finding Faults, Geologists Must Sometimes Become Ditch-Diggers

For geologists, even with the advent of modern technology, there are instances when older methods are more effective; picks and shovels are sometimes the best complementary tools available for trenching studies.

Continue Reading

New Climate Research Suggests Acceleration of Sea Level Rise

KQED Science | January 15, 2015 | 0 Comments

New Climate Research Suggests Acceleration of Sea Level Rise

A reassessment of historical data suggests that compared to previous estimates, the world's sea level rose more slowly during the 20th century—and is rising faster now.

Continue Reading

New Soil Erosion Study May Help Sustainable Farming Practices

KQED Science | January 8, 2015 | 1 Comment

New Soil Erosion Study May Help Sustainable Farming Practices

A new way of measuring soil erosion in the geologically recent past, before modern civilization, may help put sustainable agriculture on a firmer footing.

Continue Reading

Dinosaur Extinction: New Research Favors Volcanism as Cause

KQED Science | December 18, 2014 | 0 Comments

Dinosaur Extinction: New Research Favors Volcanism as Cause

A new set of rock dates have pushed volcanism back into the debate over the extinction of the dinosaurs.

Continue Reading

L.A.’s “Resilience By Design” Report Lays Out Ambitious Earthquake Infrastructure Plan

KQED Science | December 11, 2014 | 0 Comments

L.A.’s “Resilience By Design” Report Lays Out Ambitious Earthquake Infrastructure Plan

The just-released seismic resiliency plan for Los Angeles goes beyond just saving lives; it hopes to ensure that the nation's second-largest city will still work after a magnitude 7.8 earthquake.

Continue Reading

Earth’s Most Common Mineral is Bagged and Tagged: Meet Bridgmanite

KQED Science | December 4, 2014 | 0 Comments

Earth’s Most Common Mineral is Bagged and Tagged: Meet Bridgmanite

Thanks to a meteorite collected in 1879, we have finally given a name to the most abundant mineral in Earth. Here's why it took so long to christen this stuff.

Continue Reading

Using 3D Visualization, Geologists Explore the Complex Areas Where Faults Join and Split

KQED Science | November 20, 2014 | 0 Comments

Using 3D Visualization, Geologists Explore the Complex Areas Where Faults Join and Split

The cutting edge in earthquake research is mapping our most important faults in three-dimensional detail. A new paper finds some key hidden links in the Bay Area's fault system.

Continue Reading

What Can We Learn from the Italian Earthquake Trial?

KQED Science | November 13, 2014 | 0 Comments

What Can We Learn from the Italian Earthquake Trial?

When a court convicted earthquake scientists of manslaughter, seismologists everywhere feared the worst for their own efforts at informing the public. After the convictions were overturned on appeal this week, experts, journalists and the general public can consider the wider lessons learned.

Continue Reading

Yosemite’s Tuolumne Meadows: A Long-standing Geological Puzzle

KQED Science | November 6, 2014 | 0 Comments

Yosemite’s Tuolumne Meadows: A Long-standing Geological Puzzle

The iconic Tuolumne Meadows, in the high Sierra, is a geological puzzle. A newly published study traces the roots of the meadows to an incident deep in time and deep below the ground.

Continue Reading

With Residential Retrofit Scheme, Oakland Enters Next Phase of Quakeproofing

KQED Science | October 30, 2014 | 0 Comments

With Residential Retrofit Scheme, Oakland Enters Next Phase of Quakeproofing

Oakland gains character as well as affordable housing from its stock of small and mid-sized apartment buildings. A retrofit plan is being prepared to strengthen this crucial part of the city's fabric against earthquake damage.

Continue Reading

South Napa Quake Offers Key Test for Real-Time GPS Detection

KQED Science | October 23, 2014 | 0 Comments

South Napa Quake Offers Key Test for Real-Time GPS Detection

The familiar GPS system is being enlisted to help improve earthquake shaking alerts; an experimental system is now operating at the Berkeley Seismological Laboratory.

Continue Reading

New Paper Outlines Updated Look on San Andreas Fault System

KQED Science | October 16, 2014 | 0 Comments

New Paper Outlines Updated Look on San Andreas Fault System

A new study from our local earthquake experts has put new and clearer numbers on the risk of large earthquakes in the Bay Area's future--evidence of new progress in this slow process of enlightenment.

Continue Reading

Join a Series of Geological Treasure Hunts With Earth Science Week 2014

KQED Science | October 9, 2014 | 1 Comment

Join a Series of Geological Treasure Hunts With Earth Science Week 2014

The annual open-ended celebration of geology and its related sciences takes place all this coming week. See what's happening and where to take part.

Continue Reading

Computer-Generated Molecular Models Promise Greener Concrete

KQED Science | October 2, 2014 | 0 Comments

Computer-Generated Molecular Models Promise Greener Concrete

More precisely targeted cement would use less calcium and use less energy to create it. A study at MIT exploring the molecular structure of cement promises substantial energy and greenhouse-gas savings in this crucial technology.

Continue Reading

Two New Studies Underline How Methane Matters to Global Carbon Cycle

KQED Science | September 25, 2014 | 1 Comment

Two New Studies Underline How Methane Matters to Global Carbon Cycle

Natural gas is often called a "bridge fuel" that will help ease us off of carbon-based energy. But a study suggests that without policies to push us toward renewables and away from fossil fuels, natural gas will still leave the sky as a waste dump.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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

KQED Science | September 11, 2014 | 1 Comment

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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."

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading