Harry R. Schwartz

Software engineer, nominal scientist, gentleman of the internet. Member, ←Hotline Webring→.

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A Streetcar to Subduction

Published 29 Oct 2014. Tags: science, geology, nerd-tourism.

A Streetcar to Subduction

I just finished reading John McPhee’s Annals of the Former World. It’s a lovely geological romp across the country (and across about twenty years—McPhee is a dedicated researcher), detailing the history of the continent along I-80.

Near the tail end, in the section on assembling California1, McPhee offhandedly mentions another book:

Not just any city is the topic of a serious tourist guidebook called A Streetcar to Subduction, a copy of which Moores and I have with us. Written by the geomorphologist Clyde Wahrhaftig, of Berkeley, it is a shining little book of geological field trips on public transportation.

This sounds amazing. I wanna go on a geological tour of SF! That sounds way more fun than all that tech startup nonsense.

And apparently I’m not the only one—Amazon lists A Streetcar to Subduction as the “#1 Best Seller in Plate Tectonics.” I wasn’t aware that that category existed, but I was delighted to find it.

  1. On pg. 574, for the dedicated.