Use of the hydraulic fracturing technique for determining in situ stress is reviewed, and stress measurements in wells near the towns of Livermore, San Ardo, and Menlo Park, California are described in detail. In the Livermore well, four measurements at depths between 110 and 155 m indicate that the least principal compressive stress is horizontal and increases from 1.62 to 2.66 MPa. The apparent direction of maximum compression is N 70?? E (??40??). At the San Ardo site the least principal stress is that due to the overburden weight. At depths of 240.2 and 270.7 m the minimum and maximum horizontal stresses are estimated to be 11.4 and 22.5 MPa, and 12.0 (??1.1) and 15.8 (??3.3) MPa, respectively. From an impression of the fracture at 240.2 m, the direction of maximum compression appears to be about N 15?? E. The rock in the Menlo Park well is too highly fractured to yield a reliable measurement of the horizontal stresses. The data indicate, however, that the least principal stress is vertical (due to the overburden weight) to a depth of 250 m. ?? 1977 Birkha??user Verlag.