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California Earthquake History and Catalogs

Small Picture of California Epicenters Map, Map Sheet 49Interested in the California Geological Survey's current historical earthquake epicenter map? Click here

How Earthquakes are Measured (Note 32) pdf

Historic Earthquake Online Database

This webmap displays the felt effects for selected historical California earthquakes. By selecting an earthquake you can see a map of the area and intensity of shaking from that earthquake. Then by clicking on a city on the intensity map you can see what that location reported after the earthquake. These “felt reports” are usually from newspapers during the 1850 to 1930 time period. The felt reports were compiled and published in 1981* and 1982** with updates added through the years. Not all earthquakes have intensity maps and felt reports online since the conversion from printed report to web page is an on-going process. Most of the San Francisco Bay area events between 1838 and 1906 are finished.

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Online California Earthquake lists:

Magnitude 6.5 and greater (or destructive) California Earthquakes

Magnitude 6.5 and greater (or destructive) California Earthquakes Sorted by Month


Downloadable California Earthquake Catalogs:

Updated Magnitude 4 and greater Earthquakes, Compiled from various sources (1769-2000)
Also download/read this file: information about the catalog
Read this if you plan to use this file.

Original Magnitude 4 and greater Earthquakes, Compiled from various sources (1769-1994)
(This is the catalog used in the 1996 PSHA map)
Read this if you plan to use this file.

Magnitude 5.5 and greater Earthquakes, list from Map Sheet 49 (1800-2000)
Read this if you plan to use this file.

Fault Source Points
Read this if you plan to use this file.


Information on California Geological Survey's Map Sheet 49 (Epicenters of and Areas Damaged by M > 5 California Earthquakes, 1800-1999) can be found here.

Map of California showing Epicenters for Earthquakes of Magnitude 5.5 or greater that occurred between 1800 and 1999. 

A Picture of the damaged Santa Rosa City Hall after the 1906 Eathquake. Shaking damage at Santa Rosa City Hall from the April 1906 San Francisco earthquake (Magnitude 7.9).  Photo from Stienbrugge Collection, National Information Service for Earthquake Enginnering, Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center, University of California, Berkeley.