Earthquakes and the Bay Area

Earthquakes and the Bay Area - Earthquakes and the Bay Area...

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Earthquakes and the Bay Area April 2, 2009 Geology 112 Sec. 2 Paula Jefferis
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The bay area, considered “Earthquake Country”, should be prepared for a major earthquake of a magnitude 6.7 or greater. Since the bay area is located amidst many active faults, the residents need to be prepared to experience a major earthquake. According to many geologists and seismologists, the question is not if an earthquake will occur in the bay area but when will it occur? Because of this, families should always have the necessary supplies on hand. I will be talking about the bay area’s earthquake hazards, measures to take before an earthquake, and what the future holds for the bay area. The bay area is located on and around the San Andreas Fault, the main fault in the bay area. There are also many other smaller faults such as the Hayward Fault and the Calaveras Fault. Since these are all active faults and are capable of magnitude 6.7 earthquakes or greater (U. S. Geological Survey, 2008) it would be smart for bay area residents to know what to do when a large earthquake does finally occur. The San Andreas Fault marks the border of the North American Plate and the Pacific Plate. These are the largest plates on earth. The San Andreas Fault is a transform fault, which means that the two plates are moving past one another in a sliding motion. The San Andreas Fault tends to move more abruptly than a convergent or divergent fault. It continually stores up energy until the fault ruptures and releases the energy all at once causing an earthquake. Other than shaking and destroying buildings, earthquakes cause more damage due to what happens after the actual tremor. In the 1906 San Francisco earthquake the fires that resulted from broken gas mains in the city caused almost 80% of the damage (Marshal, 2006). Since some roads were destroyed and others were congested, the 2
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firefighters couldn’t get to the fires to put them out. Also when the gas mains broke, the water lines did too. So even if the firefighters got to the fires to help put them out they
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This note was uploaded on 09/08/2010 for the course GEOL 112 at San Jose State.

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Earthquakes and the Bay Area - Earthquakes and the Bay Area...

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