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