The background seismicity model is included to account for M 5.0 - 6.5 earthquakes on faults and for random M 5.0 ? 7.0 earthquakes that do not occur on faults included in the model (as in earlier models of Frankel et al., 1996, 2002 and Petersen et al., 1996). We include four different classes of earthquake sources in the California background seismicity model: (1) gridded (smoothed) seismicity, (2) regional background zones, (3) special fault zone models, and (4) shear zones (also referred to as C zones). The gridded (smoothed) seismicity model, the regional background zone model, and the special fault zones use a declustered earthquake catalog for calculation of earthquake rates. Earthquake rates in shear zones are estimated from the geodetically determined rate of deformation across an area of high strain rate. We use a truncated exponential (Gutenberg-Richter, 1944) magnitude-frequency distribution to account for earthquakes in the background models.