Back to the Future--The History of the San Francisco Bay

Day Two:

The field trip began at Mariner Square, Alameda and proceeded down the Oakland-Alameda Estuary, passing the Port of Oakland. Following the eastern shoreline, we headed north through Raccoon Strait (between Angel Island and Tiburon), returning south along the Marin County Shoreline, focusing on the man-made changes to the original bay front. Topics included geology, geography, and climatology as it has changed through time, emphasizing many of the concepts learned on Saturday. A small selection of photos from the trip follows (click for enlarged views); stay tuned for more.

The weather outside was frightful...

But the view of Berkeley was delightful! Once the rain cleared, Grizzy Peak came into view, complete with a dusting of snow.

Judy Scotchmoor kept the crowd under control.

Doris Sloan (shown above), Jere Lipps and Kent Lightfoot pointed out highlights of the Bay's history.

We passed Red Rock, a wonderful example of chert, a sedimentary rock that is commonly found in the Franciscan Formation. (The Richmond-San Rafael Bridge is visible in the background.)
We cruised past Alcatraz Island; notice the characteristic graywacke, another sedimentary rock common in the Franciscan Formation.

The north end of the Golden Gate Bridge (right) is anchored in basalt, while the south (left) rests on serpentinite—characteristic Franciscan rock types.

It's hard to imagine that 700 ships were anchored and abandoned in Yerba Buena Cove, where skyscrapers now stand, during the gold rush. We saw abundant evidence of human impacts on the Bay—from shellmounds to urban development.

On the way home, we rounded Yerba Buena Island, with the Bay Bridge—and layers of graywacke—visible.


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