Self Guided Filedtrip

Course Reflection: This class was very interesting because it exposed me to real life tragedies that happened all around the world and really showed me that the Earth works in many different ways. I was interested in the dynamics that cause earthquakes, tsunamies and other natural diasters to arise. 

Course Description: My most memorable experience was when we were assignment to visit fault lines in California and observe the impact that earthqueakes have made on that particular area. I was able to visit the Hayward fault lines and I was amazed with how the earthquakes had the capacity to split roads and make them uneven. Many of the buildings in that area also showed remnants of the earthquakes strength, but they were still standing strong. 

Artifact: Self Guided Fildtrip Reflection and Essay

Hayward Faultline 

According to the United Stated Geological Survey, the Hayward Fault made its presence known in the 1968 Hayward earthquake. This was formerly known as the "Great San Francisco earthquake," until the devastating earthquake of 1906 occurred on the San Andreas Fault. A.C. Lawson coined the name "Hayward Fault," when he wrote about it in his report to the new California Earthquake Commission in 1908.

            This deadly fault is known to be a killer. It stretches nearly 50 miles (70 km) through the East Bay and San Francisco Bay region and continues through "urbanized areas," where both residents and businesses reside and contribute to a large percentage of North America's economy. The Hayward fault is very old and is said to be "tens of millions of years old," but that it could have been formed from faults from millions of years earlier. This fault is categorized as a right- lateral strike slip fault, which by definitions means that if you stand right in front of the fault, movement shifts to the right. Because this fault is so old, records have indicated that it has moved as much as 107 miles (175 km) in right- lateral offset within the last 12 million years. This fault is still very active and continues to move year after year at approximately a half -inch (7mm). The Hayward fault eventually turns into the Central Calaveras Fault.  As it starts, there is a gentle dip, but continually gets steeper as you reach further north of the fault. This fault reaches as far as San Leandro, Berkeley and even Richmond.

            Fortunately, this fault is very accessible to the public and has many tourist sites, which are available for fieldtrips and tourism. The BART runs very closely to this fault, which makes it easier for those with out a car to visit.

            For my self-guided field trip, I asked three of my very good friends to accompany me. We were originally supposed to go to the San Leandro site. Instead, we decided to go with the Hayward site because they were more familiar with the area. Once we got there we parked parallel to a spot we did not realize was one of the points to hit, so we headed straight towards Mission Blvd. and C Street. This is where all the confusion began because the area did not look like what I was expecting it to be. When I initially thought f this fieldtrip, I thought that everything we were supposed to take notes on and pictures of were going to be very visible. This was not the case and I had to look very hard to find what I wanted. Some places, I took a guess and captured a picture of it anyways because I could not really decipher whether they damage was caused by tectonic movement, rain or if they were man made. The first and most obvious spot I visited was the abandoned City Hall. Surprisingly, it was in pretty good shape for being an abandoned building. The aesthetics around the building were vibrant flowers and bushes. When I did not see any offset curbs, or obvious fractures in the pavement, I decided to cross the street and look for it there. When I arrived there, I saw some evidence that I thought could have been what I was looking for so I took a picture of it. Looking at the sidewalk, I noticed that there was a separation between the asphalt and the sidewalk. As I looked closer, I realized that the two were on different levels and looked like they were at one point connected. Still confused and concerned that I might have been in the wrong location, I approached two locals to ask them if they knew exactly where the Hayward Fault was. Unfortunately, that did not help because none of them happened to speak English. At that point I was even more fearful, but I followed my instincts, which told me to keep going. We then made our way towards B Street and as we were walking we started to see more fractures on the sidewalks. The most interesting point I hit on B Street had to be the mural we found painted as the outer décor of a parking lot. Intrigued by the art piece, we later realized that there were thin fractures on it, but spread all throughout the mural. We made certain to capture a picture with it as well. We figured that since we took the time to travel all the way out there, we should take advantage of the entire tour so we continued on to A Street. We did not see anything obvious on the side of the street we were on, so we decided to cross the street and tour that side as we made our way back. Before we did that, we came across a Pete's Coffee shop and decided to make a quick pit stop. As my friends were making their orders, I decided to look for more people to ask if we were in the correct location. I noticed a couple approaching me as they were crossing the street so I asked them and they could not answer my question. They were actually redirecting me to a entirely new location, but after showing them the print out of my guide, they confirmed that I was indeed at the right location. So, in a sense it was a learning experience for us all. As we made our way to the other side of A Street we noticed a green building with some offset on it. The best way to describe it was the material used to make the outer walls were protruding outward and creating a slant. Just by looking it you could tell that it was definitely caused my some kind of forced movement. As we walked further down we saw an old brick building that had bricks that needed to be reinforced in multiple ways. The brick was very old and looked as though it were going to fall off. Therefore, they had to reinforce it with new cement. It was also reinforced with red bolts. I could not quite understand how those bolts help to reinforce it because they were only placed in a straight line, but it was something I was instructed to look out for so I captured a picture of it anyways. We then went back to the abandoned City Hall and found a few cracks on the building, but I found an interesting split in the cement in the back. That was the our very last stop, but as we made our way back to the car, we realized that we parked right in front of the Hayward Area Historical Society Downtown Museum. We looked around to see if there were any fractures, damages or offset curbs, but nothing was to be found. We concluded this fieldtrip by driving down to Rose Street and Prospect where I was able to take a picture of an obvious curb offset right before the sun went down.

            This was a great learning experience for me and allowed me to see the power that earthquakes can produce. Now that I look back at it, I have a much deeper appreciation for the fact that I really had to search hard to see what I was looking for. I am also very glad that my friends so willingly came with me. I was even gladder that they were able to learn about the fault as I was learning about it. It also felt really good to know that for everyone I approached to ask about the fault, they were able to learn that they work or live in that area. Hopefully, it will encourage them to do some research of their own.