Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Other California: The Volcanoes of San Francisco...

After spending several posts talking about the "volcanoes" of Los Angeles, let's turn our attention to the other famous metropolis of our fair state: San Francisco and the Bay Area. Most people know of the famous association of earthquakes with the city by the bay, including the 1906 event, and the Loma Prieta quake of 1989. But what are the chances of a volcanic eruption in the Bay Area (note: I am using the term "bay area" loosely)? Are there any volcanoes looming about? And really, wouldn't lava in a Hollywood movie look a lot cooler if it were streaming down Lombard Street?
If you want to look ahead at some possible answers, might I suggest the work of Andrew Alden at Quest, Oakland Geology, and About Geology. The Bay Area is his geological beat, and I only pay the occasional visit. Also, don't forget the Interactive Geological Map of California!

3 comments:

Marisa said...

I lived in Walnut Creek during elementary school, and my 4th grade teacher told us it was an extinct volcano. I remember a student asking her if Mt. Diablo could ever erupt again. She laughed in his face and sent him to the principles office for being ridiculous. Though I understand now why it wouldn't erupt (because it's not an extinct volcano), I think she could have handled the situation a bit better. However, that was one of many experiences leading me to want to be a teacher.

Anonymous said...

I must of had the same teacher in Walnut Creek Mrs Schultz, that was the first time I heard MT Diablo was a volcano. When you say bay area, Napa and Lake County is still very active, PG&E even has geothermal operations in the area, that would be my guess as to where an eruption would be. I would still rather see Tommy Lee Jones fight lava on Lombard Street.

Doug N

Politesse said...

Think of all the celebrities who live in the wine country, too. Plenty of opportunity for Bruce Willis to just happen to be in the way of the eruption, they won't even need to give him an unconvincing scientist backstory.