August 02, 2008

over the edge -- Mt. Tamalpais


click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

This was taken looking down towards the ocean over the steep western flank of our beloved Mount Tamalpais.   A little curvy road -- Ridgecrest Boulevard -- runs along the ridgeline, and the views are so spectacular that the area is often used to film car commercials and other Hollywood productions.

In 2004 a geologist came up with a theory that there is a dangerous fault zone directly underneath Mt. Tamalpais -- something called a "blind thrust fault", similar to the Northridge quake zone in Southern California that did serious damage 14 years ago.

The geologist became curious about the steep 1800 foot drop-off (that you see in my photo), and his research showed that the San Andreas fault creeps more slowly, south of Mount Tamalpais, than it does in its sections north of Mount Tamalpais and in the Olema Valley, and the existence of a blind thrust fault may explain the different creeping velocities.   He predicted a 6 to 7 magnitude earthquake sometime in this century -- maybe I should get prepared...

You can read all about his theory in this 2004 San Francisco Chronicle article.

The San Andreas Fault zone runs just offshore -- and slips frequently, usually with no or only minimal damage, except for the "big shaker" we had back in 1989.   We're probably due for another "big one" on the San Andreas within the next twenty years or so...

Here's a shot of Mt. Tamalpais from the northwest, near where I live:
click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney


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9 comments:

Mary said...

That's looking DOWN? Yikes! Great shot, but weren't you afraid of falling?!

Louise said...

It's beautiful.

AphotoAday said...

HEY MARY -- Yes, I often have to be extra careful not to drive off the side of that road while sightseeing...   Someone did last year and of course, didn't survive...

Each year, for the past 100 or so, they hold what's known as the Dipsea Footrace, and many hundreds of brave and fit souls not only run up the eastern slope of Mt. Tamalpais (starting in Mill Valley), but also down this western side (ending up at Stinson Beach, directly below where I shot this)...

Faye Pekas said...

Ohhh the shot of the mountain is spectacular. Very nicely done.

photowannabe said...

Awesome...seems I'malways saying that. Interesting theory on the blind slip fault. I love that second shot with the fog and oats. Great composition.

islandgurl said...

wow! that's stunning!

Salty said...

Donald, your work is most impressive!
This shot of Mt. Tamalpais is terrific “eye candy”! I love how you incorporated the wild oats as a foreground element and obtained crisp sharpness throughout the entire image. Finally the fog adds the perfect finishing touch!

Marvin said...

Great shots, Don. The bottom one is my favorite.

Tomate Farcie said...

Great shots of Mt. Tam!! As to the earthquake, they said we were due for the Big One "in the next 20 years" about 20 years ago already, but back then they didn't talk about it as frequently as they do now. In San Francisco, you can see photographs and ads telling you to get prepared for the Big One at certain Muni bus stops. I took an earthquake preparedness class at the public library and it helps a little bit to know what to expect, but my guess is that *nobody* (no matter how many classes, or how much insurance you purchase) will really be prepared for what's coming. I dread the day.

 
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