Regional gravity data in the northern San Francisco Bay region reflect a complex basin configuration beneath the Santa Rosa plain that likely contributed to the significant damage to the city of Santa Rosa caused by the 1969 M 5.6, 5.7 Santa Rosa earthquakes and the 1906 M 7.9 San Francisco earthquake. Inversion of these data indicates that the Santa Rosa plain is underlain by two sedimentary basins about 2 km deep separated by the Trenton Ridge, a shallow west-northwest-striking bedrock ridge west of Santa Rosa. The city of Santa Rosa is situated above the 2-km-wide protruding northeast corner of the southern basin where damage from both the 1969 and 1906 earthquakes was concentrated. Ground-motion simulations of the 1969 and 1906 earthquakes, two events with opposing azimuths, using the gravity-defined basin surface, show enhanced ground motions along the northeastern edge of this corner, suggesting that basin-edge effects contributed to the concentration of shaking damage in this area in the past and may also contribute to strong shaking during future earthquakes.
Additional publication details
Basin structure beneath the Santa Rosa Plain, Northern California: Implications for damage caused by the 1969 Santa Rosa and 1906 San Francisco earthquakes