One of the dominant features of campus geology is
the Hayward Fault, which crosses the eastern side of campus. It is a major branch of the larger San Andreas Fault System, which runs much of the length of California. The last major rupture along the Hayward Fault occurred in 1868 and broke the southern portion. The northern portion, which crosses the Berkeley campus, has not experienced a major earthquake since at least the 1700s. Experts estimate that the Hayward-Rogers Creek fault system as a whole is a prime candidate for an earthquake of about magnitude 7 in the not-too-distant future. For this reason, the fault constitutes a significant hazard to the 6-7 million people who now live or work in the Bay Area. Consequently, large networks of instrumentation have been set up throughout the region to facilitate comprehensive seismological studies. Regional planners and emergency response teams are using earthquake scenarios to help prepare for future events, and many cities, counties, and companies are working to retrofit facilities in anticipation of the next "Big One".
The fault's presence on campus is manifest in the "rugged eastern
"Big C" fame (n.b. the unofficial third verse!), in the ongoing effort to retrofit campus buildings, and in the smaller earthquakes that occur fairly frequently in the area.
We will now proceed to some sites of interest that lie on or
very near the fault trace to further illustrate the varied
effects of gradual plate motion on man-made structures, campus
planning, and the land itself.