Figure 1. Tectonic setting of region of proposed study. Generalized location of major fault strands through the San Francisco Bay region are shown by dashed lines. Primary study area is outlined by bos. Hypothetical blind thrusts are schematically indicated by dashed thrust fault symbols - are purely schematic at present. Mt. Tamalpais and Bolinas Ridge are identified
Credit: Penn State, Kevin Furlong
Earthquakes are not unusual in the San Francisco Bay Area, but a team of Penn State geoscientists believes that the hazard may be greater than previously thought because of a hidden fault under Marin County.
"We think we have evidence that there is an additional earthquake hazard in the San Francisco area due to a blind thrust fault," says Dr. Kevin P. Furlong, professor of geosciences. "Blind thrust faults are notorious because they are hard to find until an earthquake occurs on them. A blind thrust fault caused the 1994 Northridge earthquake."
The San Francisco Bay Area has a variety of known faults running through it. The San Andreas fault runs on the west, while the Hayward fault is on the east and shifts into the Rodgers Creek fault northeast of the city. The San Gregorio fault, west of the San Andreas, meets that fault near the Golden Gate Bridge.
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