Research ArticleSeismology

Missing link between the Hayward and Rodgers Creek faults

Science Advances  19 Oct 2016:
Vol. 2, no. 10, e1601441
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1601441

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Abstract

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.

Keywords
  • Active faults
  • fault discontinuities
  • fault geometry
  • multifault earthquakes
  • magnetics
  • high-resolution seismic reflection imaging
  • gravity
  • integrative geophysics
  • fault kinematics
  • deformation modeling

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

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