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
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.
Experts have tracked a group of rare meteorites back to a single source on Marsthe crater Mojave near the red planet's equator.
A new trove of soft-body fossils promises to expand the range of time and life-forms available to science as we explore the Cambrian Explosion of a half-billion years ago.
We've thought about drilling offshore for oil and gas long before we thought about finding fresh water there. A recent review paper in Nature has brought the topic of offshore fresh groundwater to wider visibility.
A rising sea makes things only a little worse than what we're used to, or at least what geologists are used to. Geoscientists are ready to help with this foreseeable future.
For long-term earthquake planning in the Mississippi Valley region, we need to know whether earthquakes are fading away, as some suggest, or not. A new study argues that we're in a "steady as she goes" phase.