Friday, 1 January 2010

Slow Coast Geology talk at RBDA mtg, Jan 12th @ Bonny Doon School

Climbing Through Time

The coastal terraces that march up from the Pacific to Empire Grade tell the story of eons of natural changes that have occurred in Bonny Doon. Geologists consider them a world class research site.

That story will be recounted by geologist Marjorie Schulz, who has been part of a U.S. Geological Survey research team that has been studying the soils on the marine terraces in Wilder Ranch State Park and on nearby private land, at the RBDA Annual meeting January 12. (NOTE: This is a *Tuesday*, not a Wednesday as is usual for our meetings, because of our speaker’s schedule.)

Ms. Schulz and her USGS scientific team use the different ages of the terraces to study mineral weathering on a geologic time scale. Along the way they have discovered remarkable things, says Ms. Schulz, who will talk about the geologic formation of the terraces and what the soils forming on them reveal.

Ms. Schulz, who goes by “Jorie,” has been working at the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park for more than 20 years. She began in the Branch of Marine Geology, where she studied deep sea manganese oxide deposits, then transferred to her current position in Water Resources Discipline and now collaborates with geochemists and soil scientists studying water-rock interaction. This group has been studying the soils of the Santa Cruz area marine terraces for the last 10 years.

Her talk is called “Marine Terraces of the Santa Cruz Area: A Staircase Through Time,” and we feel we are on a very firm foundation when we say that if you have any interest in the natural history of the Slow Coast, you will find it fascinating.

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