From the Commander of Kadosh (January 2018)

posted Jan 8, 2018, 2:06 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite

In a past article I mentioned “How Jose Scottish Rite got here”. Now I write “How California and the Whole Bay Area got here”.  My thanks go to that wonderful Geological Guidebook of the San Francisco Bay Counties, Bulletin 154, 1951, 400 pages It is a magnificent research document. It goes something like this—“In the beginning the earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the waters, and so forth”. That’s it folks—there was only the surface water on top. Then slowly came the volcanic and earth building processes to be repeated over and over again,. With each successive geologic epoch new up-thrusting of mountains, hills, coastlines, plains, rivers and lakes would be created only to submerge and then be recreated differently as has happened in the past 2 billion years of the earth’s 4 billion year history. The early part of the latest Pliocene epoch has been estimated as about 10 to 12 million years ago.

   Recent events which are recorded here have occurred only within the last one-half of one percent of the earth’s history and the development of the S. F. Bay Area itself may not have taken any more than the last one half of one-hundredth of that small fraction of time. During most of that that history there was no S.F. Bay Area.

   Repeated events of temporary mountain building in the waters led to many geologic changes of plate tectonic movements, volcanos, earthquakes; and crustal compressions began to form both the great National Rocky Mountain range and our Sierra Mountain range. While this was all taking place our Coastal Mountain range and hills temporarily emerged from the ocean waters, then sank and reemerged in different locations, finally settling into what became our primary and secondary Cost Ranges. California’s central part would become the great Sacramento and San Joaquin inland valley with its flood plains and rivers bordered by the high Sierra Mountain range to the east.

   In this period the costal ocean level was about 300 feet lower than now and only made scattered inroads into the coast mountains, hills and valleys. The Great Central Valley was originally below sea level but was filled by yearly winter rains and snow runoff plus summer storms from the high Sierras. Over a period of time the Great Valley floor became slowly filled with alluvial sediment which kept the valley floor water level rising but only at about a constant six feet in depth due to evaporation. At one time there was a an outlet in the south to the ocean near the Paso Robles–San Luis Obispo area but it eventually became clogged due to ground uplifting in that area.

   In the north, the costal mountains and valleys also faulted and then eroded as the level of the ocean waters and inland sea became higher.  Small streams and rivers including the Yolo, Sacramento, American, and the San Joaquin among others began to force their way through to the Stockton, Modesto, Rio Vista, and Antioch Delta areas. Further river cuts through the rocks in the Martinez and Rodeo area left no remaining obstacle on the river’s journey to the sea  through the Sausalito, San Francisco and the Golden Gate areas.

   During this period this new flowing river filled the Suisun Bay, the San Pablo Bay and the San Francisco Central Bay. It should be noted that the larger San Francisco southern bay was just a flat plain playing field. It would take more time for the waters to cover this area to its now average depth of six feet. then even more millennia to fill our bay and populate its shores with the native people, towns, cities, populations, industries, transportation, and the mode of civilization which we now enjoy.  And His face shined upon the waters!

Dell Bleiler, Commander of Kadosh

 

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