Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Other Half of Point Lobos

Landscape painter Francis McComas called Point Lobos "the greatest meeting of land and water in the world" a century ago, a claim frequently stolen but rarely disputed. Point Lobos is also half of a whole, with a mirror image 100 miles north. Point Reyes, a scenic formation north of San Francisco, is believed by geologists to have been attached to Point Lobos a few million years ago, broken off and moved north by the Palo Colorado-San Gregorio Fault Zone. The eastern shoreline of Point Reyes fits like a puzzle with the jagged, western shoreline of Point Lobos, both in geological analysis and aerial photos. They have identical layers of rocks and sediments, a unique pattern found nowhere else, according to H. Gary Greene, a renowned researcher with the U.S. Geological Survey, Moss Landing Marine Lab and Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. The geology shows the two points were formed together by volcanoes, glaciers, floods and ocean floor lifts.

(Photo: Point Reyes courtesy of Patrick Smith)

No comments: