"Hearst Creek" - or more accurately, the channel of Strawberry Creek that once flowed near what is now Hearst Street - is a beheaded channel. This "abandoned" streambed was cut off from its main water source east in the hills about 60,000 years ago due to movement along the Hayward Fault. Now it flows only seasonally when there is abundant rainwater.
Anthropogenic (human-initiated) modifications to the landscape have also altered the course of the creek. Today, the upper stretches of Hearst Creek are confined to a storm drain conduit beneath Hearst Street.
Looking up Hearst it is clear that there is not a
for this drainage system. Compare
map showing the topography of 1897 with
from 2000, taken at the intersection of Hearst and Euclid near the North Gate of campus.