Santa Clara County Earthquake Hazard

Several active faults present potential hazard to Santa Clara County. On the northwestern boundary, the San Andreas Fault runs through the hills separating the County from Santa Cruz County. In the central county, the Hayward/Rodgers Creek and Central Calaveras dominate the earthquake threat. The Greenville fault dominates in the northeastern portion of the county.

The last major earthquake with an epicenter within Santa Clara county was the 1984 Morgan Hill Earthquake (M 6.2), and the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake’s (M 7.1) epicenter was located just a few miles from the County, in Santa Cruz County. The Hayward fault has the greatest likelihood of rupturing in the next 30 years of all the faults in the Bay Area. Liquefaction may occur in the northern portion of the County along the Bay margins, while landslides are more likely in the eastern hills.

Santa Clara San Andreas San Andreas San Andreas Hayward South Central Calaveras Greenville
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Locate the area where you live and click to determine the most damaging earthquake scenario for your area.
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How were these scenarios determined?

Source: USGS, 2013.

Liquefaction Hazard Map

Source: USGS Open-File Reports 02-296 and 2008-1270
Northern Santa Clara County

The map predicts the approximate percentage of each designated area that will liquefy and show surface manifestations of liquefaction such as sand boils and ground cracking.

Learn How an Earthquake will Affect Santa Clara County

Housing losses
Transportation losses
Water/wastewater system disruptions

Resources for Local Governments

Hazard mitigation grants for local governments
On Solid Ground – How good land use planning can prepare the Bay Area for a strong disaster recovery, SPUR 2013

Resources for Residents

Local government recovery toolkit
Family Emergency Planning Guide

What Other Hazards Affect Santa Clara County?

Climate Change
Last updated: 01.27.2016