San Francisco Bay Region Geology and Geologic Hazards

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Marin County - 1906 Surface Fault Rupture Effect

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This photo shows a fence near Bolinas offset about ten feet during the 1906 earthquake.
One of the most spectacular effects of large earthquakes is surface fault rupture. In the San Francisco Bay region, only three earthquakes have produced documented surface rupture, the 1980 Livermore earthquake on the Greenville and Las Positas Faults, the 1868 earthquake on the Hayward Fault, and the 1906 earthquake on the San Andreas Fault. Surface fault rupture will offset any structure built on or across the fault, such as this fence near Bolinas in Marin County.


The 1906 earthquake was felt as far away as Oregon and central Nevada. Strong shaking was experienced as far north as Eureka and as far south as King City. The San Andreas Fault ruptured along a length of almost 300 miles, from San Juan Bautista to Shelter Cove (south of Eureka), with maximum surface offsets as much as 28 feet (for comparison, the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake ruptured a length of about 25 miles and nowhere broke through to the surface).

Learn more about the 1906 earthquake at the USGS 1906 earthquake Web site, through the Virtual Museum of the City of San Francisco External link - link policy applies, or at the Berkeley Seismological Laboratory External link - link policy applies.

Learn more about the San Andreas Fault at:


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Page Last Modified: 8/18/2006