I used this picture in last year's quiz and have not been able to top it, so this will be the permanent Holiday Quiz photo.

Welcome to the second annual KQED QUEST Science Blogs Bay Area Geological Holiday Quiz, or KQSBBAGHQ II. As always (he said), this quiz consists of 20 questions centered on the Bay Area’s geology. Each has one correct answer, and some of them are based on posts in the Geology category during the last year.

Here’s the fine print: No prizes are awarded; answers will be added to this post on New Year’s Eve; until then please use the comments for questions, not answers. Are we agreed? Thanks, I thought so.

1. What fault continues south from where the Hayward fault ends: Calaveras, Morgan Hill, Rodgers Creek, San Andreas?

2. What do scientists now call “Pineapple Express” storms: airstreams, atmospheric rivers, haboobs, washaways?

3. Where is the golden sandstone of Stanford University from: Italy, Palo Alto, Rocklin, San Jose?

4. What rock underlies Point San Quentin: melange, rhyolite, sandstone, serpentinite?

5. What gave its name to Black Diamond Mines: coal, metallurgical sand, shellmound lime, smoky quartz?

6. What makes up the bubbles in our region’s hot springs: carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, methane, water vapor?

7. What mineral was mined at New Almaden before the Gold Rush: alabaster, bitumen, cinnabar, orpiment?

8. What resource was used by the native tribes near St. Helena: coal, obsidian, potsherds, steam?

9. What stones whose history involved outer space occur in Sonoma County soils?

10. What rock class is the Great Valley Sequence: igneous, metamorphic, plutonic, sedimentary?

11. What part of California releases the most seismic energy: Bay Area, Central, Northwest, Southern?

12. Where is the Bay Area’s most recent volcanism: Clear Lake, Loma Prieta, Mount Diablo, Sutter Buttes?

13. What gemstone is sometimes found at Rodeo Beach: aquamarine, carnelian, moonstone, peridot?

14. What city straddles the Rodgers Creek fault: Colma, Morgan Hill, Santa Rosa, Vacaville?

15. What is the Bluerock district of Antioch named for: blue clay, blue ground, blueschist, celestite?

16. How much damage did the Japanese tsunami of March 2011 cause California: none, $15 million, $100 million, $1 billion?

17. What resource originates in the Monterey Shale: aggregate, ball clay, petroleum, shale?

18. Which South Bay mountain is higher: Fremont Peak, Loma Prieta, Mount Hamilton, Pinnacles?

19. Which North Bay mountain is higher: Geyser Peak, Mount Konocti, Mount St. Helena, Mount Vaca?

20. What rock type underlies Twin Peaks: basalt, chert, granite, sandstone?

Added on December 31:

All right, keyboards down! Following are the answers. Most of them are found in posts I made during the year, and I’ve linked the answers to those posts. Another helpful post for some of the questions is the list of geologic maps I posted last year. And the US Geological Survey has an easy page for learning about Bay Area earthquake faults and watching their current activity.

1. Calaveras fault

2. Atmospheric rivers

3. San Jose

4. Melange

5. Coal

6. Carbon dioxide

7. Cinnabar

8. Obsidian

9. Tektites

10. Sedimentary

11. Northwest

12. Clear Lake

13. Carnelian

14. Santa Rosa

15. Blue clay

16. $100 million

17. Petroleum

18. Mount Hamilton

19. Mount St. Helena

20. Chert

Hope you enjoyed the quiz. Same time next year!

The 2012 Bay Area Geological Holiday Quiz – Answers Posted 15 February,2013Andrew Alden

  • Andrew Alden

    Answers are now posted to the Holiday Geology Quiz!


Andrew Alden

Andrew Alden earned his geology degree at the University of New Hampshire and moved back to the Bay Area to work at the U.S. Geological Survey for six years. He has written on geology for About.com since its founding in 1997. In 2007, he started the Oakland Geology blog, which won recognition as "Best of the East Bay" from the East Bay Express in 2010. In writing about geology in the Bay Area and surroundings, he hopes to share some of the useful and pleasurable insights that geologists give us—not just facts about the deep past, but an attitude that might be called the deep present.

Read his previous contributions to QUEST, a project dedicated to exploring the Science of Sustainability.

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