It has stayed true to its mission to prepare the population for possible earthquakes. State geologists are announcing an existing fault line in Santa Rosa is capable of causing a 7.0 quake.
It is a scary discovery, but the Survey says it is its job to warn people about what may be to come. The Survey is celebrating its 150 years at the San Jose Tech Museum by highlighting advances made in mapping the land and earthquake faults.
The California Geological Survey owes its existence to the gold rush to help out mining efforts but soon after, it branched into making statewide geologic maps showing fault lines and earthquake activity.
Today, they are revealing new 2010 versions of maps. The last fault one came out in 1994. One of the most eye-opening discoveries on the new map is of fault lines that could connect and trigger an earthquake larger than a 7.0 in the North Bay.
Geologists say stress from an earthquake on the Hayward Fault could transfer further north. Dr. John Parrish, state geologist and head of the California Geological Survey, says this new knowledge needs to be updated into building codes.
"Hospitals need to take a close look at that to see that they are earthquake-resilient and earthquake-survivable," he says. "So, they may have to update their building standards a bit to make sure that they're going to be safe during and after an earthquake."
The new maps are intended to improve public safety standards and will be distributed to schools and government groups statewide to help identify and zone for earthquake hazards.
The exhibit at the San Jose Tech Museum will only be on display for one day.