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March 4, 2014 > Groundbreaking tour exposes the Hayward Fault

Groundbreaking tour exposes the Hayward Fault

By Gustavo Lomas

Residents of California can appreciate some of the greatest natural beauty our country: numerous beaches, the wonders of the redwoods, desert life, and farmlands that supply some of the best fruits and vegetables available. Such diversity spread across one state, along with decent seasonal weather, only further defines the adventurous spirit that the state and its inhabitants are known for. However, danger lies beneath this beauty. Like many things, California has its faults, including one very specific fault that resides beneath our very feet.

An earthquake, the violent shaking of the Earth's crust, is the result of the sudden release of tectonic stress along a fault line or, depending on the region, from volcanic activity. Damage or destruction of buildings, highways, and landscapes are often left in the aftermath, an experience all too familiar in the Bay Area.

The ÒFremont Earthquake WalkÓ on Saturday, March 8th will help shed light on earthquake activity right in our own backyard. Led by Joyce Blueford, a geologist and founder of a non-profit organization, Math/Science Nucleus, along with personnel from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and the City of Fremont, the walk will explore evidence of the Hayward FaultÕs activity. Blueford will guide guests through the Fremont Earthquake Exhibit located in Central ParkÕs Fremont Community Center and explain the causes and effects of faults that run throughout the Bay Area. ÒFremont is a well-studied area in terms of the fault lines,Ó said Blueford.

The one-mile walking tour will travel along Tule Ponds at Tyson Lagoon, the Fremont Earthquake Exhibit, and Stivers Lagoon. Running parallel to the San Andreas Fault, the 74 mile long Hayward Fault is capable of generating significant and destructive quakes. Situated along the western base of the hills on the east side of San Francisco, the fault runs through the cities of Richmond, El Cerrito, Berkley, Oakland, San Leandro, Hayward, Fremont, and San Jose, moving at 5 mm/year.

Participants of the tour will hear a bit of historical earthquake information. The earthquake of 1906 struck San Francisco and the Coast at 5:12 a.m. on Wednesday, April 18. Fires broke out in the City that lasted several days, resulting in the deaths of about 3,000 people; over 80 percent of San Francisco was destroyed. The Loma Prieta earthquake, also known as the ÒQuake of '89Ó and the ÒWorld Series Earthquake,Ó struck the Bay Area on October 17, 1989 at 5:04 p.m. Caused by a slip along the San Andreas Fault, the quake lasted 10 to 15 seconds and measured 6.9 on both the Moment Magnitude Scale and on the Richter Scale. That quake killed 63 people throughout Northern California, injured 3,757 and left 3,000 to 12,000 people homeless.

The last major quake on the Hayward Fault happened on October 21, 1868. ÒWe will have another big one sometime. The key is to learn earthquake safety tips and how to better prepare for it once it does happen,Ó Blueford says.

The tour begins at the Fremont Earthquake Exhibit at the Fremont Community Center (enter at Mission View Terrace) and is recommended for ages eight and up; children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult. There is a $15 fee for Fremont residents, $20 for non-residents. Register in advance at:

For more information, call (510) 790-6284 or (510) 790-5541.

Fremont Earthquake Walk
Saturday, Mar 8
9:30 a.m. Ð 11:00 a.m.
Fremont Earthquake Exhibit
Fremont Community Center
40204 Paseo Padre Pkwy., Fremont
(510) 790-6284
Tickets: $15 (resident), $20 (non-resident)

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