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.
Andrew Alden's Latest Posts
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.
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.
A few million dollars -- that's all scientists ask for to revive a breakthrough underground laboratory sitting precisely on the San Andreas fault.
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."
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.
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.
New work shows that the simple mineral sphalerite has geochemical powers suitable for helping life to arise from precursors in the mineral kingdom.
A new paper marshals evidence detailing the catastrophic landslide and mega-tsunami that struck Lake Tahoe during the late Pleistocene.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A research expedition in the Gulf of Mexico has stumbled on a field of beautiful natural sculptures made of asphalt on the sea floor.
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.
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.
50 years ago today, the Good Friday earthquake in Alaska sent shockwaves through earth science itself.
New research has mapped 19th-century earthquake ruptures along the San Andreas Fault in a study that combines geologic and human records.
A porpoise fossil has been unveiled as a unique mammal that skimmed the seafloor with its sensitive, protruding lower jaw.