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Western Geographic Science Center


San Francisco Shaking: Seismic Animation of the Bay Area, 1972-2002

This graphic portrays a poster that will be printed in the next few months
This graphic portrays a poster that will be printed in the next few months.

Two zoomed-in areas of the poster in figure 1
Two zoomed-in areas of figure 1 (above).
This project makes use of geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing technologies to create an animation that depicts seismic activity in the San Francisco Bay Area from 1972 to 2002. Seismic data were obtained from the Northern California Earthquake Data Center and integrated with the California Geological Survey's fault database. These datasets were, in turn, integrated with USGS datasets including digital elevation data, Landsat Enhanced Thematic Mapper (TM) Plus imagery, aerial photography, and other base datasets such as roads, hydrography, and administrative boundaries.

For the animation, a set of custom tools was created to manage and generate animation frames depicting the seismic events. ESRI's ArcScene is used to generate interactive seismic animations of the region at varying spatial and temporal scales.

Understanding the spatial relationship between faults, faulting, and local geography is critical when attempting to analyze seismic risk of the San Francisco bay area.

In addition, we are creating a map that depicts all earthquakes with magnitudes greater than 1.5 for this time period, along with active and inactive faults. These data are overlain on a Landsat TM image merged with digital elevation and bathymetric data. This combination of imagery and elevation allows the user to better identify landscape features such as urban extent. Combining these data allows users to evaluate the relationship between seismicity and points of interest.

Point of Contact: Ben Sleeter


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