Heavy rainfall associated with a strong El Nino caused over $150 million in landslide damage in the 10-county San Francisco Bay region during the winter and spring of 1998. Reports of landsliding began in early January 1998 and continued throughout the winter and spring. On February 9, President Clinton declared all 10 counties eligible for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) disaster assistance. In April and May of 1998, personnel from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) conducted a field reconnaissance in the area to provide a general overview of landslide damage resulting from the 1997-98 sequence of El Nino-related storms. Seven scientists from the USGS Landslide Hazards Program based in Reston, Virginia; Golden, Colorado; and Menlo Park, California; and five scientists from the USGS Geologic Mapping Program?s San Francisco Bay Mapping Team based in Menlo Park, California, cooperated in the landslide-damage assessments.
The assessments were done for 10 counties in the Bay area: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, San Mateo, Solano, and Sonoma.
USGS Maps in this series include: MF-2325-A (Napa County), MF-2325-B (Alameda County), MF-2325-C (Marin County), MF-2325-D (Santa Cruz County), MF-2325-E (Contra Costa County), MF-2325-F (Sonoma County), MF-2325-G (San Francisco City and County), MF-2325-H (San Mateo County), MF-2325-I (Solano County), MF-2325-J (Santa Clara County). In addition to USGS scientists providing data from the field evaluation, each of the counties, many consultants, and others cooperated fully in providing the landslide-damage information compiled here.