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1868 Hayward Fault Earthquake

Education and Outreach

The 1868 San Francisco earthquake occured on October 21, 1868 in the San Francisco Bay Area of Central California.

The earthquake was felt all over northern California and Nevada. The following description is taken from the paper by Dr. William Ellsworth in USGS Professional Paper 1515 - "The San Andreas Fault System, California".

Known as the "great San Francisco earthquake" until 1906, one of California's most destructive earthquakes occurred on October 21, 1868, resulting from slip on the Hayward Fault. Heavy damage occurred in communities situated along the fault and in San Fransico and San Jose. Sadly, many of the engineering lessons learned from this earthquake and openly discussed at the time, such as the hazards of building on "made ground" reclaimed from the San Francisco Bay or the admonition to "build no more cornices," were long forgotten by the time of the 1906 quake.

On-line Information

Earthquake Photographs