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
Coastal subsidence and precision GPS data helped scientists "anticipate" a major earthquake in Coast Rica, placing us one small step closer to earthquake prediction.
The obscure rare-earth metals turn out to be unexpectedly essential to life in hot volcanic mud--and probably elsewhere.
A $100 million effort to push the world's cities toward better disaster resistance is making a test case with a "gang of four" Resilient Cities: Alameda, Berkeley, Oakland and San Francisco.
The short list of climate proxy species gains a new member in the critical Arctic Ocean region, a crusty red alga named Clathromorphum compactum.
Listening to the sped-up vibrations of earthquakes offers a tantalizing glimpse of the deep physics behind seismicity as well as everyday sounds.
Ancient ice is an important source of information about global climates of the past. Although the ice itself is a valuable record, the real prize is the air bubbles preserved in it, some that could be as much as 1.5 million years old.
Slowly and painstakingly, geologists are turning the imaginary time scale of Earth's deep history into exact boundaries marked on the ground with metal disks.
A newly published study from the University of Washington demonstrates how we can forecast landslides that will follow a major earthquake in the Bay Area.
Nature shows almost no signs of the Loma Prieta earthquake 24 years later. But the human landscape still carries scars that should remind us to practice continual preparedness.
Scientists are creeping their way toward better understanding of earthquake swarms, those annoying and sometimes damaging seismic pests we get in California.
The practice of science is like the practice of juggling: it all depends on the skill and trust of partners. The late Terry Wright, professor emeritus at Sonoma State University, was an exemplar of the type.
The rise of a small, fuming island after a large distant quake may not be such an exotic event. Look for one when the next Big One strikes California.
Two new papers shed light on the deepest earthquakes: one by documenting the largest deep event yet recorded, the other by reproducing these events at the nanoscale in the high-pressure lab.
A new climate chronology for California has come from one of our quintessential trees, the blue oak.
A tectonic "Big Drip" beneath the southern Sierra Nevada is connected to the creeping faults of Northern California in a new paper published in Geology.
After a wait of more than 50 years, the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program is ready to return to the site of Project Mohole to try and pierce the Earth's crust again.
New tools and old-fashioned sleuthing have cleared away a century's worth of errors from our detailed picture of what the San Andreas fault did to Portola Valley in 1906.