1906 San Francisco Earthquake - Centennial


Great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake
100th Anniversary
(April 18, 1906 - April 18, 2006)


Centennial Activities
Earthquake Preparedness and Safety
Historical Accounts
Links to Historical Photographs and Art Collections
1906 Special Edition California Geology Articles


On April 18, 1906 San Francisco, California was near totally destroyed from a great earthquake and an ensuing devastating fire. There are many exhibits, tours, lectures, conferences, work shops, new publication releases, etc. planned for next year's centennial (April 18, 2006) of the great earthquake.

Centennial Activities

1906 Earthquake Centennial Alliance

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The 1906 Earthquake Centennial Alliance has been formed to help coordinate the activities between organizations throughout Northern California planning to commemorate the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. The Alliance brings together policy makers, scientists, engineers, historians, teachers, and emergency responders to explore the lessons learned from this earthquake and ways to minimize the impact of future earthquakes on the San Francisco Bay area. The Alliance plans to provide guides and brochures to the entire collection of centennial events as well as marketing and overall coordination of public relations for the wide range of planned activities.
The California Geological Survey (CGS) is a member of the Alliance and is providing its resources for the better understanding of earthquake hazards with the goal of reducing public risk.

April 18 - 22, 2006, 100th Anniversary Earthquake Conference Commemorating the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake, San Francisco, California, The Moscone Center

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The 100th Anniversary Earthquake Conference, convened jointly by the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services, the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, and the Seismological Society of America, will bring together leaders in the fields of seismology, engineering, and disaster management. These institutions will be focused on integrating disaster mitigation efforts to create strong communities in all earthquake vulnerable areas.
The California Geological Survey  is a sponsor of the conference.

UC Berkeley '06

Click on image to view"Although UC Berkeley was spared major damage, the 1906 earthquake did have a significant impact on the campus community. These effects were documented in an issue of the Chronicle of the University of California in 1998 which describes the refugee camps established on the campus and the dispatch of University cadets to help maintain order in San Francisco..."
"Given the many ties between the 1906 earthquake and fire and the University, many UC Berkeley units are beginning to coordinate plans for centennial activities. Ideas for centennial activities include new classes, public lecture series, symposia, displays on the progress of the SAFER program, exhibits of 1906 artifacts and photographs, film series, walking tours, and many others. Plans are underway for many of these events."

Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, Northern California Chapter - Quake '06

"Quake '06 is a 4-year campaign to reduce earthquake risk in Northern California, beginning April 18, 2002, the 96th anniversary of the 1906 earthquake, and ending on the 100th anniversary in 2006. The campaign is a partnership between the community of earthquake professionals in EERI's Northern California chapter and cities, agencies, and other groups at risk in Northern California."

San Francisco Maritime - Events at the National Historic Park - http://www.nps.gov/safr/local/earthquake_rack_card.pdf

Earthquake Preparedness and Safety

"Putting Down Roots in Earthquake Country - Click on image to viewYour Handbook for the San Francisco Bay Region" -  US Geological Survey, et.al.



"USGS Activities and Projects" - US Geological Survey

Historical Accounts

"The Great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake" - US Geological Survey, Earthquake Hazards Program.

"Modified Mercalli Intensity (MMI) Maps for the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake" - US Geological Survey

Click on image to view"The Great 1906 Earthquake And Fire" - The Virtual Museum of the City of San Francisco.

"The Great Shake: San Francisco, 1906" - Exploratorium, San Francisco.

"Municipal reports on the San Francisco Earthquake and Fire of April 1906" - America Hurrah. http://americahurrah.com/SanFrancisco/MunicipalReports/1906/Index.htm

"Source Study of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake" -  Seismological Society of America. http://pasadena.wr.usgs.gov/office/wald/1906/1906.html

Links to Historical Photographs and Artwork Collections

Photo Exhibit - San Francisco Earthquake, 1906 - The Virtual Museum of the City of San Francisco.

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Art Exhibit - "W.A. Coulter: A Master's Brush With The Sea," The exhibit will feature works of San Francisco’s most esteemed maritime artist, W. A. Coulter. Coulter was an artist and journalist best known for his authentic portrayals of sailing ships and everyday dock life in the San Francisco Bay area during the time before and after the great 1906 earthquake and fire. The exhibit "W.A. Coulter: A Master's Brush With The Sea", will open on April 18, 2006 at the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park Visitor Center at Hyde and Jefferson streets, near Fishermen's Wharf. Foremost among Coulter works on display at the exhibit will be the oil painting displayed to the left titled San Francisco Fire, 1906. The artist’s vivid portrayal of the fire that burned for three days destroying thousands of buildings was sketched during repeated trips on the Sausalito Ferry during the evacuation of the city. Coulter later completed the painting on a 5- by 10-foot window shade he salvaged during the fire. Poster prints of Coulter’s San Francisco Fire, 1906, will be sold at the exhibit.
Although Coulter paintings continue to turn up in homes and institutions around the world, the whereabouts of about two-thirds of his works are unknown. Many were undoubtedly destroyed in San Francisco’s great earthquake and fire. The San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park is spearheading a quest to locate Coulter works that have disappeared over the years. Please contact the park at 415- 556-1613, or the Paul & Linda Kahn Foundation at 415-346-0643 if you have any information regarding Coulter’s artwork.
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"San Francisco Earthquake and Fire Stereographs, 1906" - The Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley.

"Photographs of Damage From the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake" - M.L. Whittington, Saint Louis University. http://www.eas.slu.edu/Earthquake_Center/1906EQ/

Click on image to view"The U.S. Geological Survey Report on the San Francisco Earthquake of April 18, 1906 - Photographs from Report" - US Geological Survey.







1906 Special Edition California Geology Articles

The original full versions of the articles published in the 1906 Special Edition from the California Geology and Mineral Information Service magazines have been reproduced digitally and available for download below.

NOTE: All files listed below are PDF documents that require Adobe Acrobat 4.0 or higher to view.
March 1970 - The Santa Rosa Earthquakes of October, 1969 (4.3MB)
March 1974 - I Was There (1 MB)
April 1974 - Geology of the Marin Headlands (1 MB)
December 1975 - Oroville Earthquake (1 MB)
September 1976 - Earthquake Trail Revisited (1 MB)
March 1977 - Crustal Movement in the Northern Sierra Nevada (1 MB)
August 1978 -  Seismicity of the Foothills Fault System (1 MB)
December 1981 - The 1906 San Francisco Earthquake ( 1MB)
July 1984 - Morgan Hill Earthquake of April 1984 (1 MB)
August 1984 - Morgan Hill Earthquake (1 MB)
April 1987A - Vacaville - Winters Earthquakes...1892 (3.4 MB)
April 1987B - 1892 Vacaville - Winters Earthquake and 1983 Coalinga Earthquake (1 MB)
April 1989 - 1865 Earthquake in San Francisco (1 MB)
April 1990 - Coastal Landslides Caused By The October 17, 1989 Earthquake (1.8 MB)
January 1990A - Loma Prieta Earthquake, October 17, 1989 (1 MB)
January 1990B - Effects of Loma Prieta Earthquake, October 17, 1989 (1 MB)
October 1990 - Liquefaction at Soda Lake (1.9 MB)
(March/April 1992A) - The Honeydew Earthquake (1.8 MB)
(March/April 1992B) - Sources of North Coast Seismicity (3.5 MB)
(March/April 1992C) - The Cape Mendocino Earthquakes (1 MB)
January/February 1992 - California Has Its Faults (1 MB)
March/April 1995 - The September 1, 1994 Mendocino Fault Earthquake (2.8 MB)
March/April 1998 - Anatomy of an Earthquake (1 MB)
July/August 2000 - Looking for Faults in All the Right Places (1 MB)