Session #6: A Field Trip to Explore the Central California Coastal Region


Within a short drive of downtown San Francisco, we are able to see some of the most biologically and geologically diverse regions in California. This field trip is designed to demonstrate this diversity and to illustrate the interactions among the lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere that are responsibility of the beauty of the Marin Headlands and the Pt Reyes National Seashore.

At each stop, teachers were asked to study the exposed rocks and to find evidence of their history. What characteristics help to identify the rocks as sedimentary, igneous, or metamorphic? What is the geologic history of these rocks from their initial formation to their current location and configuration?

The map below indicates the four primary stops of the field trip:

Stop #1: the pillow basalts of the Golden Gate Seashore
Stop #2: the lighthouse at Drake’s Head
Stop #3: Drake’s Beach
Stop #4: the Marin Headlands

stop1 Stop4 Stop2 Stop3

Click on each number to view images of each of these sites and to learn about their geologic history.

Updated January 5, 2003

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