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U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 76–731

In-Situ Measurements of Seismic Velocities in the San Francisco Bay Region...Part II

By James F. Gibbs, Thomas E. Fumal, and Roger D. Borcherdt

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (61.6 MB)Introduction

Seismic wave velocities (compressional and shear) are important parameters for determining the seismic response characteristics of various geologic units when subjected to strong earthquake ground shaking.

Seismic velocities of various units often show a strong correlation with the amounts of damage following large earthquakes and have been used as a basis for certain types of seismic zonation studies.

Currently a program is in progress to measure seismic velocities in the San Francisco Bay region at an estimated 150 sites. At each site seismic travel times are measured in drill holes, normally at 2.5-m intervals to a depth of 30 m. Geologic logs are determined from drill hole cuttings, undisturbed samples, and penetrometer samples. The data provide a detailed comparison of geologic and seismic characteristics and provide parameters for estimating strong earthquake ground motions quantitatively at each of the site. A major emphasis of this program is to obtain a detailed comparison of geologic and seismic data on a regional scale for use in seismic zonation. The broad data base available in the San Francisco Bay region suggests using the area as a pilot area for the development of general techniques applicable to other areas.

  • This report is available only on the Web.

For additional information:
Contact Information, Earthquake Science Center, Menlo Park Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
345 Middlefield Road, MS 977
Menlo Park, California 94025

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Suggested citation:

Gibbs, J.F., Fumal, T.E., and Borcherdt, R.D., 1976, In-situ measurements of seismic velocities in the San Francisco Bay region...part II: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 76–731, 145 p., available at



Selection and Location of Sites

Drilling and Sampling Procedures

Recording Procedures

Reduction of Geologic Data

Reduction of Seismic Data

Summary of Results



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