USGS Virtual Tour of Hayward Fault in California

USGS Hayward Fault in Google EarthThe USGS has put together a Google Earth presentation allowing you to easily take a virtual helicopter ride along the Hayward Fault. The Hayward Fault is a geological formation, less well known than the San Andreas Fault, located in the range parallelling the southeast side of San Francisco Bay, California. The USGS team was looking for a way “to provide data to the public in a way that’s interesting” said Luke Blair, geographical information manager for the USGS earthquake hazard team. “We’re very excited about this.” The Hayward Fault Google Earth file contains the path of the Hayward Fault with annotations highlighting the critical areas of the fault. It also has photos showing pictures of streets and buildings that are effected already by the average one-fifth of an inch creep north each year. Pictures of curbs that don’t match, cracks in streets, etc. Once you open the GE file, click on the “Hayward Fault Virtual Helicopter Tour” placemark (open the folders), and then select “View->Play Tour” or hit F10 to fly along the fault. Click on the camera icons to see the photos.
The fault line goes through many dense residential areas, and right through the middle of a football stadium (shown occupied in the aerial photo shown in Google Earth). I’m not sure I would be happy about this presentation from a real estate point of view if I owned property there. But, its certainly of benefit to those looking to buy. The geologists were quoted in the news stories (see below) that the fault is “cocked and ready”, but it may take 70 or more years before the next major quake in this fault.
Read more from this article at the Enterprise Record. This story was also picked up by the San Francisco Chronicle. Via OgleEarth. This is a well done Google Earth presentation, and I highly recommend it.

About Frank Taylor

Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was first released. He has worked with 3D computer graphics and VR for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank completed a 5.5 year circumnavigation of the earth by sailboat in June 2015 which you can read about at Tahina Expedition, and is a licensed pilot, backpacker, diver, and photographer.


  1. I love this, such a great tour! Thank for the awesome post!

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