Many fault zones trend through developed urban areas where their geomorphic expression is unclear, making it difficult to study fault zone details and assess seismic hazard. One example is the Holocene‐active Rose Canyon fault zone, a strike‐slip fault with potential to produce a M6.9 earthquake, which traverses the city of San Diego, California (USA). Several strands trend through densely populated areas, including downtown. Much of the developed environment in San Diego predates aerial imagery, making assessment of the natural landscape difficult. To comply with regulations on development in a seismically active area, geotechnical firms have conducted many private, small‐scale fault studies in downtown San Diego since the 1980s. However, each report is site specific with minimal integration between neighboring sites, and there exists no resource where all data can be viewed simultaneously on a regional scale. Here, geotechnical data were mined from 268 individual reports and synthesized into an interactive geodatabase to elucidate fault geometry through downtown San Diego. In the geodatabase, fault segments were assigned a hazard classification, and their strike and dip characterized. Results show an active zone of discontinuous fault segments trending north-south in eastern downtown, including active faults outside the mapped regulatory Earthquake Fault Zone. Analysis of fault geometry shows high variability along strike that may be associated with a stepover into San Diego Bay. This type of geodatabase offers a method for compiling and analyzing a high volume of small-scale fault investigations for a more comprehensive understanding of fault zones located in developed regions.

Gold Open Access: This paper is published under the terms of the CC-BY-NC license.
This content is PDF only. Please click on the PDF icon to access.