Protecting Forests for the Other California Gold: Lumber

The lumber industry has a long history in California. Sutter’s Mill, where the discovery that started the Gold Rush was made, wasn’t a flour mill or sugar mill; it was a sawmill.  Lumber’s Unfortunate Legacy Vast forests helped build and heat homes for the miners, the merchants, and the rest that followed, helping to turn…

2011 Tohoku-Oki Earthquake and Tsunami: Remembering the Victims, Learning from the Past

March 11, 2021: The California Geological Survey issues new Tsunami Hazard Area Maps for Del Norte and Mendocino counties By Rick Wilson, California Geological Survey (CGS) Many of my tsunami and non-tsunami colleagues can remember what they were doing on March 11, 2011, the day the magnitude 9 Tohoku-Oki earthquake struck offshore of Japan, unleashing…

Q&A with California Geological Survey Librarian Amy Loseth for #LibraryShelfieDay

Most folks don’t know that the Department of Conservation is home to the California Geological Survey library–full of geologic resources, maps, and even rare books dating back to the 1600s! The library, located at 801 K Street, in Downtown Sacramento (across from the Sacramento Public Library) is usually open to the public. With COVID-19 restrictions…

CGS Geologists Assess Multiple Fire Burn Areas for Landslide Potential: 10-1-20 Update

Wildfires are a disaster that can spawn yet another disaster. Fire eliminates ground covering on slopes, exposing the soil underneath and making it more susceptible to debris flows. Such events can be catastrophic, as was the case in Montecito (Santa Barbara County) in 2018. David Longstreth, senior engineering geologist in California Geological Survey’s (CGS) Forest and Watershed Geology program, is one…

The Mammoth Lakes Earthquakes – 40th Anniversary

On May 25, 1980–nearly one week after the spectacular eruption of the Mount St. Helens volcano–at 9:33 a.m. PST, a magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked through Mammoth Lakes, California. During the next 16 minutes, four more shocks, magnitude 4.1 – 5.5 followed. This seismic activity was the beginning of an earthquake sequence that produced 72 magnitude…