Russ Graymer, USGS geologist and expert on Northern California geology, is currently working on creating a map/database which outlines all the active faults in Northern California. He told us about great places in the Bay Area to learn about seismology and observe fault lines.
Here are Russ' tips:
• Old City Hall in Hayward (located on Mission Blvd. between C and D streets) Old City Hall in Hayward opened in 1931, but because of the fault damage from the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, the building is permanently closed due to its unsafe environment. Passersbys can find evidence of fault creep in offset sidewalk curbs, offset walls of building, and even parking lot lines that are no longer straight.
• Lawrence Hall of Science at the University of Berkeley:
Located on Centennial Drive in Berkeley hills east of the main UC Berkeley campus, just above the UC Botanical Gardens.
Phone: 510-642-5132. The Lawrence Hall of Science has an ongoing exhibit at the Outdoor Science Park called Forces that Shape the Bay. Here, visitors can experience earthquake simulators and explore geologic forces among many other daily facilitated activities.
• Point Reyes Earthquake Trail:
Visitor Information by phone: (415) 464-5100
Point Reyes Earthquake Trail is easily accessible from the Bear Valley Visitor Center at Point Reyes National Seashore. The paved, half-mile loop explores the San Andres fault zone. Highlights include a (reconstructed) fence that split and moved about 18 feet during the 1906 quake.
345 Middlefield Rd. (near Willow)
Menlo Park, CA 94025
Phone: 650-853-8300. USGS has a free and public Visitor Center full of interactive displays, old seismograph/drum recorders; including one that is hooked up to the floor so kids can jump and create an earthquake. Plus, the USGS Store, Library, and website are all great resources to access geologic information.