Cemetery Creek canyon / Moraga Canyon

The valley of Glen Echo Creek, “Mountain View Valley,” is much larger than the current creek has the power to excavate. This is especially apparent at its head end, above Mountain View Cemetery where the creek is also known as Cemetery Creek. In this view, the valley is a steep-sided, tree-filled dogleg, almost a gorge, with homes perched high above a landfilled floor and Moraga Avenue running through it. I think of it as Cemetery Creek Canyon, although the locals know it as Moraga Canyon. The Google map below gives a feeling of how odd the canyon is, almost a box canyon with no sizeable watershed to feed it.

I wonder if, like Dimond Canyon, there is an explanation that involves a beheaded watershed from movement on the Hayward fault. The rock at the valley head, above the narrowest spot at Maxwellton Road, is Franciscan mélange, which is not an especially rigid rock. A bit of compression across the fault might squeeze it up, like clay in the hand. I don’t have a way to test this hypothesis, with rock exposures so scarce there, but the idea tickles me every time I look here.

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