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Quaternary geology and liquefaction susceptibility, Napa, California 1:100,000 quadrangle: A digital database

January 10, 1999

Earthquake-induced ground failures such as liquefaction have historically brought loss of life and damage to property and infrastructure. Observations of the effects of historical large-magnitude earthquakes show that the distribution of liquefaction phenomena is not random. Liquefaction is restricted to areas underlain by loose, cohesionless sands and silts that are saturated with water.

These areas can be delineated on the basis of thorough geologic, geomorphic, and hydrologic mapping and map analysis (Tinsley and Holzer, 1990; Youd and Perkins, 1987). Once potential liquefaction zones are delineated, appropriate public and private agencies can prepare for and mitigate seismic hazard in these zones.

In this study, we create a liquefaction susceptibility map of the Napa 1:100,000 quadrangle using Quaternary geologic mapping, analysis of historical liquefaction information, groundwater data, and data from other studies. The study is atterned after state-of-the-art studies by Youd (1973) Dupre and Tinsley (1980) and Dupre (1990) in the Monterey-Santa Cruz area, Tinsley and others (1985) in the Los Angeles area, and Youd and Perkins (1987) in San Mateo County, California.

The study area comprises the northern San Francisco Metropolitan Area, including the cities of Santa Rosa, Vallejo, Napa, Novato, Martinez, and Fairfield (Figure 1). Holocene estuarine deposits, Holocene stream deposits, eolian sands, and artificial fill are widely present in the region (Helley and Lajoie, 1979) and are the geologic materials of greatest concern. Six major faults capable of producing large earthquakes cross the study area, including the San Andreas, Rodgers Creek, Hayward, West Napa, Concord, and Green Valley faults (Figure 1).

Citation Information

Publication Year 1998
Title Quaternary geology and liquefaction susceptibility, Napa, California 1:100,000 quadrangle: A digital database
DOI 10.3133/ofr98460
Authors Janet M. Sowers, Jay S. Noller, William R. Lettis
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Open-File Report
Series Number 98-460
Index ID ofr98460
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization U.S. Geological Survey