SF liquefaction map

Bay Area Liquefaction, Landslide, and Seismic Zones – Mapped

Lots of talk in the news these days about landfill, liquefaction, and general stability of property in and around San Francisco’s waterfront, and entire city for that matter (see “SF’s landmark tower for rich and famous is sinking and tilting“that hit newsstands and internets today [SF Gate/Chronicle]).

Big news, no doubt, but what about the rest of us?

I did a post waaaay back in 2010, preceded by the post I did even further back in 2008, both of which get hundreds, sometimes thousands of views daily, so I know for sure this is a topic of interest when buying/selling property in San Francisco. And since I get so many questions about whether the property you want to buy is, or is not, in liquefaction, let me be clear, I AM NOT A SEISMOLOGIST, GEOLOGIST, SCIENTIST, OR ANY TYPE OF OTHER EXPERT IN THE FIELD OF EARTHQUAKES, LIQUEFACTION, LANDSLIDES, LANDFILL, MUD FILL, BEDROCK, SETTLING, SLOPING, SLIPPING, SLIDING, OR ANY OTHER FIELD OF INTEREST THAT HAS LED YOU TO THIS SITE FOR KNOWLEDGE ABOUT LIQUEFACTION. I AM A REALTOR, AND EXPERT AT MARKETING PROPERTY FOR SALE, AND HELPING BUYERS BUY. WHAT I AM SHARING HERE IS MEANT TO BE A RESOURCE FOR YOU TO MAKE YOUR OWN EDUCATED DECISIONS. DO NOT RELY ON THE INFORMATION POSTED HERE FOR YOUR PROPERTY PURCHASE OR SALE.

That said, I want to share a new App/site with you: Temblor…all things Seismic. You have to check it out. It’s awesome, and will hook you in for hours.

Check out this screenshot of the entire Bay Area…including liquefaction zones, fault lines, and recent quakes.
bay area liquefaction zones

Now zoom in to San Francisco…
SF liquefaction map

As I sit in my home office, which, according to Temblor, is built in an area of “moderate Liquefaction Susceptibility”, and a “Seismic Hazard rank of HIGH” (I challenge you to move the pin and find an area in SF that is not “High”), it’s left me wondering…does this change anything for me, and my decision to own property where I do? No. It doesn’t. It’s better than a map telling me I live in an area of High Tornado Susceptibility, where I roll the dice on a pair of glass slippers showing up on my doorstep.

So, there you go. Plug in your address, your mom’s address, your brother’s address, your employer’s address and see how you all stack up. This is yet another amazing resource, thanks to the Internet, available to everyone and anyone with even a remote interest in Earthquake activity (I’m guessing that’s everyone in California, at least). And I’m pleased to be sharing it with you.

Full disclosure, yes, I chatted with the founders of this service, no, they are not paying me for this post. I have downloaded the app, and refer to it constantly.

Happy Monday.

Previous Earthquake related posts on theFrontSteps:

SF neighborhoods prone to liquefaction and earthquake induced landslides, bedrock vs. landfill take two [theFrontSteps]
Ask Us, A map of bedrock vs landfill [theFrontSteps]
Liquefaction Zones of San Francisco’s Marina District [theFrontSteps]


San Francisco “Soft Story” Retrofit Advisory – Some Details

I get a few questions from time to time about Earthquake retrofitting, liquefaction zones, when is the next quake going to be, and so on and so forth. The answer to all of those questions is the same, “I don’t have the answers, but there are other people who can help, and I’m happy to connect you.” In fact, I did a post a while back and it’s still the most visited post on this site, ever (actually, Sexiest Realtor Contest still holds that title), so if you’re on the hunt for more earthquake info, have a look: San Francisco Neighborhoods prone to Liquefaction and Earthquake Induced Landslides

San Francisco has introduced new law called the Mandatory Soft Story Retrofit Ordinance or Mandatory Wood Frame Retrofit Program, directly affecting wood-frame structures, containing five or more residential units, having two or more stories over a “soft” or “weak” story, and permitted for construction prior to January 1, 1978. In case you missed that:

  • Wood frame construction (Type V), and
  • Application of permit for original construction was prior to January 1, 1978, and
  • Five or more residential units, and
  • Two or more stories over a basement or underfloor area that has any portion extending above grade, and
  • A soft story condition that has not been seismically strengthened to the standards set forth in the ordinance.
  • So where can you get a list and find out if you, or the building you’re looking to buy is on it? According to the City and County of San Francisco website

    There is currently NO, and has never been an official list of “unsafe” properties. Until a licensed design professional has done a building assessment, there is no such information on any specific building.

    However, there is a list, the “City believes, to the best of our knowledge, to be within the scope of the Mandatory Seismic Retrofit Ordinance.”, and that list can be found here www.sfdbi.org/softstory, or more specifically on this updated spreadsheet of addresses located here: Soft Story Noticing Pool
    and there is this map to help you ballpark your building:
    Okay, so how does this apply to you, the buyer or seller of San Francisco real estate?

    Simply put, when you purchase a property that might fit this bill, or have a property you plan to sell (disclose, disclose, disclose) expect to receive the following notice as part of the San Francisco Association of Realtors cover your ass program, and keep in mind, there may be some serious expenses headed your way if your building falls under the above mentioned criteria: