Measurements of ground motion generated by nuclear explosions in Nevada have been completed for 99 locations in the San Francisco Bay region, California. The recordings show marked amplitude variations in the frequency band 0.25 to 3.0 Hz that are consistently related to the local geological conditions of the recording site. The average spectral amplifications observed for vertical and horizontal ground motions are, respectively: (1, 1) for granite, (1.5, 1.6) for the Franciscan Formation, (3.0, 2.7) for the Santa Clara Formation, (3.3, 4.4) for alluvium, and (3.7, 11.3) for bay mud. Spectral amplification curves define predominant ground frequencies in the band 0.25 to 3.0 E for bay mud sites and for some alluvial sites. Amplitude spectra computed from recordings of seismic background noise at 50 sites do not generally define predominant ground frequencies.
The intensities ascribed to various sites in the San Francisco Bay region for the California earthquake of April 18, 1906, are strongly dependent on distance from the zone of surface faulting and the geological character of the ground. Considering only those sites (approximately one square city block in size) for which there is good evidence for the degree of ascribed intensity, the intensities for 917 sites on Franciscan rocks generally decrease with the logarithm of distance as
For sites on other geological units, intensity increments, derived from this empirical relation, correlate strongly with the Average Horizontal Spectral Amplifications (AHSA) according to the empirical relation
Average intensity increments predicted for the various geological units are −0.3 for granite, 0.2 for the Franciscan Formation, 0.6 for the Great Valley sequence, 0.8 for the Santa Clara Formation, 1.3 for alluvium, and 2.4 for bay mud. The maximum intensity map predicted on the basis of these data delineates areas in the San Francisco Bay region of potentially high intensity for large earthquakes on either the San Andreas fault or the Hayward fault. The map provides a crude form of seismic zonation for the region and may be useful for certain general types of land-use zonation.