The Geology of Bear Territory
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Last Stop:
Observatory Hill
Next Stop:
Hearst Creek
line of stones
Related Links:
bluedot Cascade Range Tectonics
bluedot California Volcanoes and Volcanics
line of stones
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Davis Hall

volcanic rocks

The rocks of the wall near Davis Hall, home of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, are vesicular basalts. Note the porosity due to escaping volcanic gases at the time the basalt was extruded. These rocks are similar to basalts found elsewhere in the Berkeley Hills. The volcanism resulted from the subduction of the Farallon Plate under the North American Plate. You can see evidence of the volcanism at the Robert Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve, part of the East Bay Regional Park District. Remnants of the Farallon plate (called the Gorda, Juan de Fuca, and Explorer plates) are still actively subducting from northern California to British Columbia today.

Davis Hall itself is home to several laboratories for earthquake engineering research, including the Structures and Materials Laboratories and the Geotechnical Engineering Laboratory. Other earthquake engineering research facilities are located at the Richmond Field Station, including the Earthquake Simulator Laboratory.