USGS - science for a changing world

Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center

Coastal Processes

Overview and Framework Geology

Map of the San Francisco Bay Coastal System, including major tributaries; click to visit the source.
The San Francisco Bay Coastal System, including major tributaries.

These scientific papers provide the context for understanding sand and mud in San Francisco Bay.

Sediment transport in the San Francisco Bay Coastal System: an overview, Barnard, P.L., Schoellhamer, D.H., Jaffe, B.E., McKee, L.J., Marine Geology, 2013,

  • Overview of 100 years of sediment transport research in San Francisco Bay region
  • Summary of current understanding of physical processes in estuarine-coastal system
  • Identify key research questions to be addressed in the Special Issue volume

Bedrock geology of the San Francisco Bay area: a local sediment source for bay and coastal systems, Elder, W.P., Marine Geology, 2013,

  • Franciscan oceanic bedrock dominantly underlies San Francisco Bay watersheds
  • Transform tectonism led to volcanism, small basin development and displacement
  • Fine-grained sedimentary rocks provide most modern sediment in local watersheds

Sub-tidal benthic habitats of central San Francisco Bay and offshore Golden Gate area - a review, Greene, H.G., Endris, C., Vallier, T., Golden, N., Cross, J., Ryan, H., Dieter, B., Niven, E., Marine Geology, 2013,

  • We characterize potential marine benthic habitats in the San Francisco Bay area
  • Based on geology we identify potential rockfish and forage fish habitats
  • Quantification of habitat types is given
  • We distinguish between continental shelf and estuarine habitat types
  • Anthropogenic disturbances play a major role in habitat modifications.


Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
Path: coastal_processes/sfbsm/overview.html
Page Contact Information: Patrick Barnard
Page Last Modified: 21 March 2014 (lzt)