Guest Video: Redwood National Park

So how’s your week going? Ready for a break?

Let’s go for a walk in the park and meet some BIG trees and the wildlife that lives among them.

What most of us don’t realize is that this isn’t just a forest of giants–it’s the last remnant of a biome that once covered western North America until Earth’s climate changed back in the Miocene, a few million years after the continent’s “cat gap” ended.

I came across this while researching the cat book series (emphasis added):

Subsequent to 15 Ma [million years ago], the West began to aridify, and the forests gradually shifted coastward . . . A few remnant species from the Miocene forests still remain in the modern coastal regions of California (e.g., the northern California sequoias), but they have been eliminated from inland regions. The Miocene deciduous forests did not disappear rapidly but slowly declined. A significant drop in warm season temperature occurred around 13 Ma, and the first signs of seasonal drought in the growing season appear in leaf assemblage analyses in the early late Miocene (circa 10–11 Ma) . . .

— Lyle et al., “Pacific Ocean and Cenozoic evolution of climate

Featured image: 12019 at Pixabay. Public domain.


Guest Video: The Salton Sea

A study at the end of June made headlines about earthquake hazard on the San Andreas Fault. The research looked at the area covered by the Salton Sea:

According to news reports, geologists found:

. . . a nearly 15.5-mile-long, sheared zone with two, nearly parallel master faults and hundreds of smaller, rung-like cross faults. . . The discovery . . . reveals the southern tip of the San Andreas Fault changes fairly gradually into the ladder-like Brawley Seismic zone. The structure trends northwest, extending from the well-known main trace of the San Andreas Fault along the Salton Sea’s northeastern shore, to the newly identified East Shoreline Fault Zone on the San Andreas’ opposite edge.

. . .

Future earthquakes in that zone or near the San Andreas Fault could potentially trigger a cascade of earthquakes leading to the overdue major quake scientists expect along the southern San Andreas fault zone . . .

So, perhaps it’s good that the “Riviera” scheme never worked out.

While seismologists scramble over the area to learn more about earthquake hazards, the USGS is monitoring the local volcano situation–which includes five vents discovered in 2013–through the California Volcano Observatory.

Again, not a good place for a resort!

Featured image: 12019, at Pixabay. Public domain.