Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Geologic maps of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, California

January 1, 1994

The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, the arm of the San Francisco Bay estuary that reaches into the Central Valley of California, differs from typical coastal-plain deltas in three important respects.  First, rather than meeting the ocean individually and directly, all major waterways of this delta discharge via a single constricted outlet into a chain of estuarine bays and straits.  Second, in the most common vertical sequence of deposits, peat and mud deposited in tidal marshes and swamps (tidal wetlands) directly overlie alluvium or eolian sand, a sequence recording a landward spread of tidal environments rather than the seaward migration of fluvial environments that is typical of coastal-plain deltas (Cosby, 1941, p. 43; Thompson, 1957, p. 12; Shlemon and Begg, 1975, p. 259; Atwater and Belknap, 1980).  Finally, intensive human use has led to a peculiar set of conflicts involving rights to water and responsibilities for flood-control levees (Kockelman and other, 1982).

Citation Information

Publication Year 1982
Title Geologic maps of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, California
DOI 10.3133/mf1401
Authors Brian F. Atwater
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Miscellaneous Field Studies Map
Series Number 1401
Index ID mf1401
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization

Related Content