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Field Trip to the Hayward Fault Zone

A guide to visiting an active plate margin in the Bay Area's backyard.
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Morning Chronicle article

Everyone knows that the San Francisco Bay Region is famous for earthquakes. Yet even before the Great 1906 Earthquake, Californians have been documenting and studying these powerful Earth movements. At right is the front page from an 1868 edition of the Morning Chronicle, describing the aftermath of a large quake that rocked the Bay Area.

The Hayward Fault Zone, which was responsible for this and many of the other tremblers, runs right through the hills, roads, and buildings of the East Bay and beyond.

But have you ever actually SEEN evidence of an active fault? Have you ever put your feet on opposite sides of a fault, knowing that you are straddling two gigantic, mobile plates of the Earth? Well here's your chance to learn about the dynamic geology of your backyard by making first- hand observations of the Hayward Fault Zone.

Cracked Curb
See for yourself how man-made structures, such as the roadside curb pictured at left, are being torn apart by our restless earth.

Geology is a hands-on, field-based science; in order to understand and interpret earthquakes and faults, we must observe, measure, and sample the sites which are directly impacted by the Earth's motion. This FIELD TRIP GUIDE TO THE HAYWARD FAULT ZONE provides directions, maps, photographs and diagrams to help you understand the mechanisms of your region's fault system by taking a trip to the town of Hayward, California.

There are two versions of this Field Trip Guide available for downloading:

Download the field trip guide as a 1.2 MB PDF file or as a 10.2 MB (high-resolution) PDF file.

Click here for information on viewing PDF file formats.

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The URL of this page is http://sfgeo.wr.usgs.gov/hayward-ft.html
Updated: 19 March 2002

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