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Missing link between the Hayward and Rodgers Creek faults

December 1, 2016

The next major earthquake to strike the ~7 million residents of the San Francisco Bay Area will most likely result from rupture of the Hayward or Rodgers Creek faults. Until now, the relationship between these two faults beneath San Pablo Bay has been a mystery. Detailed subsurface imaging provides definitive evidence of active faulting along the Hayward fault as it traverses San Pablo Bay and bends ~10° to the right toward the Rodgers Creek fault. Integrated geophysical interpretation and kinematic modeling show that the Hayward and Rodgers Creek faults are directly connected at the surface—a geometric relationship that has significant implications for earthquake dynamics and seismic hazard. A direct link enables simultaneous rupture of the Hayward and Rodgers Creek faults, a scenario that could result in a major earthquake (M = 7.4) that would cause extensive damage and loss of life with global economic impact.

Publication Year 2016
Title Missing link between the Hayward and Rodgers Creek faults
DOI 10.1126/sciadv.1601441
Authors Janet Watt, David A. Ponce, Thomas E. Parsons, Patrick E. Hart
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Science Advances
Index ID 70186381
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center