San Rafael Creek

Last updated
San Rafael Creek
stream
San Rafael Creek 2.jpg
Name origin:Spanish
Country United States
State California
Region Marin County
Source
 - location San Rafael, California
 - coordinates 37°58′30″N122°32′18″W / 37.97500°N 122.53833°W / 37.97500; -122.53833   [1]
Mouth San Rafael Bay
 - location 1.5 mi (2 km) north of San Quentin State Prison
 - elevation 0 ft (0 m) [1]
 - coordinates 37°58′2″N122°29′11″W / 37.96722°N 122.48639°W / 37.96722; -122.48639 Coordinates: 37°58′2″N122°29′11″W / 37.96722°N 122.48639°W / 37.96722; -122.48639   [1]
Length 3 mi (5 km)

San Rafael Creek is a watercourse in Marin County, California, United States that discharges to San Rafael Bay, a small embayment of the San Francisco Bay. [2] The mouth of San Rafael Creek is a channelized estuary through an industrial area. San Rafael Creek has a designation under Federal Law Section 303(d) as impaired by diazinon, the principal pollutant causing impairment designations for streams discharging to San Pablo Bay, which is the northern arm of San Francisco Bay. [3] In September 2007, the organization Save The Bay designated San Rafael Creek as one of the top ten "worst trash hot spot" waterways flowing into the San Francisco Bay. [4] The channel portion of San Rafael Creek below the Grand Street Bridge is dredged on a regular maintenance schedule to keep the shallow draft channel navigable. [5] Dredge spoils are disposed of at a site near Alcatraz Island.

Marin County, California County in California, United States

Marin County is a county located in the San Francisco Bay Area of the U.S. state of California. As of the 2010 census, the population was 252,409. Its county seat is San Rafael. Marin County is included in the San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco.

San Rafael Bay

San Rafael Bay is an embayment of San Pablo Bay, located in Marin County and the northern San Francisco Bay Area, California.

San Francisco Bay bay on the California coast of the United States

San Francisco Bay is a shallow estuary in the US state of California. It is surrounded by a contiguous region known as the San Francisco Bay Area, and is dominated by the large cities of San Jose, San Francisco and Oakland.

San Rafael Creek in June 2014 San Rafael Creek 3.jpg
San Rafael Creek in June 2014

Most of the soils in the lower watershed are clays and bay mud, resulting in a low transmissivity of groundwater. Typical vertical soil profiles in the lower watershed are four to five feet of imported fill over 60 to 65 feet (18–20 meters) of bay mud set on a basement of Franciscan Sandstone bedrock. [6] At the mouth of San Rafael Creek, situated on the south bank, is Pickleweed Park, where shorebirds can be seen, particularly in the winter migration season. [7]

Clay A finely-grained natural rock or soil material that combines one or more clay minerals

Clay is a finely-grained natural rock or soil material that combines one or more clay minerals with possible traces of quartz (SiO2), metal oxides (Al2O3, MgO etc.) and organic matter. Geologic clay deposits are mostly composed of phyllosilicate minerals containing variable amounts of water trapped in the mineral structure. Clays are plastic due to particle size and geometry as well as water content, and become hard, brittle and non–plastic upon drying or firing. Depending on the soil's content in which it is found, clay can appear in various colours from white to dull grey or brown to deep orange-red.

Bay mud soil type

Bay mud consists of thick deposits of soft, unconsolidated silty clay, which is saturated with water; these soil layers are situated at the bottom of certain estuaries, which are normally in temperate regions that have experienced cyclical glacial cycles. Example locations are Cape Cod Bay, Chongming Dongtan Reserve in Shanghai, China, Banc d'Arguinpreserve in Mauritania, The Bristol Channel in the United Kingdom, Mandø Island in the Wadden Sea in Denmark, Florida Bay, San Francisco Bay, Bay of Fundy, Casco Bay, Penobscot Bay, and Morro Bay. Bay mud manifests low shear strength, high compressibility and low permeability, making it hazardous to build upon in seismically active regions like the San Francisco Bay Area.

Groundwater water located beneath the ground surface

Groundwater is the water present beneath Earth's surface in soil pore spaces and in the fractures of rock formations. A unit of rock or an unconsolidated deposit is called an aquifer when it can yield a usable quantity of water. The depth at which soil pore spaces or fractures and voids in rock become completely saturated with water is called the water table. Groundwater is recharged from and eventually flows to the surface naturally; natural discharge often occurs at springs and seeps, and can form oases or wetlands. Groundwater is also often withdrawn for agricultural, municipal, and industrial use by constructing and operating extraction wells. The study of the distribution and movement of groundwater is hydrogeology, also called groundwater hydrology.

See also

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