Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Seashells and Secant Piles

A recent trip to the Sunol Valley by SFPUC photographer Katherine DuTiel produced a photo that, by striking coincidence, looks remarkably like one taken on the Bay Division Pipeline Project on the Peninsula.

Look closely to see which is which!

Shown here is the receiving shaft of the Bay Division Pipeline micro tunnel section on the Peninsula. The project was forced to tunnel under a culturally and environmentally sensitive area at the end of this 9 mile pipeline. The secant wall in the shaft consists of a series of drilled piers filled with concrete. They are arranged concentrically to provide a continuous concrete wall that supports the shaft.

The Sunol Valley area was covered by the Pacific Ocean about 20 million years ago. Life along the old coast was similar to today, with abundant clams, mussels, sea worms and other invertebrate organisms living in the sand. The sandstone formation that represents the old ocean deposits is called the Temblor sandstone, and contains fossils from this old coastline. The photograph shown above is a fossil scallop collected by geologists at the Calaveras Dam Replacement Project.

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