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California Environment Information Sources

Magazines and Journals

California Geology (formerly Mineral Information Service) (California Geological Survey) Includes news on California Geological Survey publications and projects, educational features, and articles on California geology, mines, minerals, and natural hazards. California Geology Magazine Index, 1948-1986 (Eng) 1987 (Cal Doc C 810 S59 # 92) (CGS Special Publication # 92) is a subject and author index to articles in the magazine. California Geology Magazine Index to Back Issues lists the table of contents of available issues from 1991 to 2001 when the magazine ceased publication.

Reviews and Assessments

Data Compilations

  • California Earthquake History and Catalogs (California Geological Survey) Links to lists and maps of significant earthquakes and catalogs of earthquakes dating from 1769 to the present day.
  • California Flood Summary Reports (US Geological Survey Kansas Water Science Center) Links to reports prepared by the US Geological Survey that list significant floods from 1970 forward.
  • California Nevada River Forecast Center (US National Weather Service) Includes precipitation data grouped by drainage area for periods covering the past 1, 2, 3, 6, 12, and 24 hours; river stage/flow for the past 5 hours, river flood outlook, and other related data.
  • Catalogue of Earthquakes in Northern California and Adjoining Areas, 1 January 1910 - 31 December 1972 (Bolt and Miller) 1975 (QE 535.2 U6 B64 Humboldt County Collection)
  • Flood Insurance Study (FIS) (US Federal Emergency Management Agency) Series of narrative reports of a community's flood hazards that give prior flooding information; identify flood sources, and present a graphic description of the flood sources. Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) are a byproduct of FISs.
  • Magnitude and Frequency of Floods in California (Waananen and Crippen) 1977 (Docs I 19.42/4: 77-21) (USGS Water Resources Investigations 77-21) Contains methods for estimating the magitude and frequency of floods for gaged and ungaged drainage areas in California, for any recurrence interval from 2 to 100 years. Data tables include basin characteristics and peak flood discharges for more than 700 streamflow stations. Data from this report has been incorporated into the National Streamflow Statistics Program.
  • Northern California Earthquake Data Center (University of California Berkeley Seismological Laboratory and U.S. Geological Survey) Archive and distribution center for seismological and geodetic data for northern California.
  • Quaternary Faults and Fold Database of the United States: California (US Geological Survey) Contains information on faults and associated folds in California that are believed to be sources of M>6 earthquakes during the Quaternary (the past 1,600,000 years). Maps of these geologic structures are linked to individual descriptions and references for each structure. Search using a map-based interface that breaks the state into 1 x 2 degree quadrangles.
  • Southern California Earthquake Data Center (California Institute of Technology and U.S. Geological Survey) Archive and distribution center for seismological and geodetic data for southern California.
  • Tsunamis Affecting the West Coast of the United States, 1806-1992 (Lander) 1994 (Ref GC 222 U6 L36 1994) (National Geophysical Data Center Key to Geophysical Records Documentation No. 29)Provides extensive descriptions of each tsunami event gathered from historical literature along with tabular data that summarizes quantitative data for each event. This publication builds on the section treating the west coast in United States Tsunamis, 1690-1988 and substantially increases the amount of data, number of events, and their evaluation.

Guides and Bibliographies

  • California Earthquake Information (US Geological Survey) Directory of links to California earthquake information. Categories include historic information, institutions, maps, notable earthquakes, recent earthquakes, and tectonic information.
  • California Integrated Seismic Network (California Geological Survey, Caltech Seismological Laboratory, Berkeley Seismological Laboratory, USGS Menlo Park, USGS Pasadena, and California Governor's Office of Emergency Services) Partnership among federal, state, and university agencies involved in California earthquake monitoring whose mission is to operate a reliable, modern, statewide system for earthquake monitoring, research, archiving, and distribution of information for the benefit of public safety, emergency response, and loss mitigation. This site includes links to earthquake information and maps; and to news about California earthquakes.
  • California Volcanoes and Volcanics (USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory) Contains links to background information, maps, and information on individual volcanoes and volcanic areas.
  • CDEC Resource Directory (California Department of Water Resources) Directory from California Data Exchange Center that links to state and federal sources of information and data on current river conditions, snowpack status, river stages and flows, reservoir data and reports, satellite images, statewide water conditions, precipitation and snow, river and tide forecasts, water supply , weather forecasts and station specific data.
  • An Explanatory Text to Accompany the Fault Activity Map of California (Jenning and Bryant) 2010 (California Geological Survey Geologic Data Map No. 6) (print copy available in CalDocs C810 G4d No 6 2010) Includes a list of the 544 named and numbered faults mapped on the Fault Activity Map of California along with their geologic age, literature references and 1:24,000 quadrangles produced by the California Geological Survey that show boundaries of officially zoned faults.
  • International Tsunami Information Center (Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission) Monitors the activities of the Tsunami Warning System in the Pacific Ocean; provides information about tsunamis and what to do in case of a tsunami; provides access to historical tsunami databases for the Pacific Ocean, a directory of tsunami experts, links to tsunami-related research efforts and a library of tsunami publications.

General Introductions

  • About Tsunamis (California Geological Survey) Contains general information about tsunamis, sources of their generation in California, warning signs, and links to additional sources of information.
  • "A Burned-Out Case: a Fire History of Southern California" pp 404-423 IN Fire in America: a Cultural History of Wildland and Rural Fire (Pyne) 1982 (SD 421.3 P96 1982)
  • California Earthquake History (Toppozada and Branum) 2004 (Annals of Geophysics, Vol. 47, N. 2/3, April/June 2004) Presents an overview of the advancement in knowledge of California's earthquake history since ~ 1800, and especially during the last 30 years. Includes a table and maps of earthquakes greater than magnitude 6 since 1850.
  • California Fires (Fried) IN Forests and Forestry in the America's: an Encyclopedia (2008) Introductory article with suggestions for further reading.
  • "California Floods and Droughts" (Hunrichs) pp 197-206 IN National Water Summary 1988-89: Hydrologic Events and Floods and Droughts (Paulson) 1991 (print copy available in Docs I 19.13:2375) Brief introduction to major floods and droughts in California
  • "California's Coastal Cliffs and Bluffs" (Griggs and Patsch) pp 53-64 IN Formation, Evolution and Stability of Coastal Cliffs--Status and Trends (Hampton and Griggs) 2004 (print copy available in Docs I 19.16:1693) (US Geological Survey Professional Paper 1693) Brief summary of the geographic distribution, erosion rates, impacts on humans and human responses to coastal cliff erosion in California.
  • Earthquake County: How, Why and Where Earthquakes Strike in California (Iacopi) 1996 (QE 535 I2 1996) Popularly written and extensively illustrated book on why California has earthquakes and how to live with them. Topics covered include the fault systems of California and how they work; history of major earthquakes and best places to see evidence of faulting; how earthquakes are measured; earthquake forecasting; and what individuals can do to protect themselves and their homes through earthquake preparedness.
  • Earthquake History of California (US Geological Survey Earthquake Hazards Program) Brief accounts of the 15 largest earthquakes in California, with links to more detailed information on individual earthquakes.
  • Faults and Earthquakes in California (California Geological Survey) (CGS Note 31) Brief introduction to earthquakes and faults in California, preparation measures and what to do during an earthquake.
  • Fire Mountains of the West: the Cascade and Mono Lake Volcanoes (Harris) 2005 (QE 524 H18 2005) Book for the general reader that brings together the latest research on each of the Pacific Coast's major volcanoes. In California this includes the Mono Lake-Long Valley region, Lassen Peak, Mt. Shasta and Medicine Lake Volcano. Includes a bibliography of publications for each volcano.
  • Introduction to Fire in California (Carle) 2008 (SD 421.32. C2 C38 2008) (California Natural History Guides # 95) Basic introduction to all apects of fire in California including an overview of major wildfires in California's history; Native Americans and fire; fire ecology; effects of fire on wildlife, soil, water, and air; what to do before, during, and after fires; firefighting organizations and land management agencies; and current policies.
  • Living with Earthquakes in California: a Survivor's Guide (Yeats) 2001 (QE 535.2.U6 Y42 2001) Guide to understanding earthquake science and preparing for earthquakes. Examines the major faults that threaten California and Nevada; explores topics on earthquake forecasting, catastrophe insurance, risks of tsunamis and soil liquefaction; reviews the current level of earthquake preparedness and disaster response; and suggests actions that individuals take to protect their families and homes.
  • Living with the Changing California Coast (Griggs, Patsch and Savoy) 2005 (TC 224 C2 L58 1985) Introductory chapters discuss coastal processes and hazards, alternatives for combating or mitigating shoreline damage or erosion, and coastal land use planning and regulation. The majority of the book is a detailed regional characterization of the California coastline with maps delineating hazardous areas and existing erosion rates.
  • Putting Down Roots in Earthquake Country: Your Handbook for Living in Southern California(Southern California Earthquake Center) 2005 and Putting Down Roots in Earthquake Country: Your Handbook for the San Francisco Bay Area (US Geological Survey) 2005. These two handbooks provide information on threats posed by earthquakes and explains how one can prepare for, survive and recover from an earthquake.
  • San Andreas Fault System, California (Wallace) 1990 (print copy available in Docs I 19.16: 1515) (USGS Professional Paper 1515) Major review of geologic, geomorphic, geophysical, geodetic, and seismologic information about the San Andreas fault system, including earthquake history from 1769 to 1989.

CA - Natural Hazards Maps

Includes maps on hazards from earthquakes, fire, flood, landslides, tsunamis and volcanoes.

Fire Threat

  • Guides and Indexes
    • Index to Landslide Maps in California (California Geological Survey) Lists by county landslide maps produced in several ongoing series--landslide hazard identification maps, watersheds maps, geology for planning maps, regional geologic maps and seismic hazard zone maps.
    • San Andreas Fault Maps (SanAndreasFault.org) Links to sites with fault maps of California.
  • Maps and Atlases
    • Assessment and Atlas of Shoreline Erosion Along the California Coast (California Department of Navigation and Ocean Development) 1977 (Cal Docs N 540 S36) Includes an atlas section of 129 maps at a scale of 1:40,000 which classifies California's shoreline into six shoreline conditions.
    • California Historical Earthquake Online Database (California Geological Survey) Shows historical earthquakes greater than magnitude 5.5. By selecting a linked earthquake you will see a more detailed map of the area and a table showing intensities of linked earthquakes. By clicking on a city on the more detailed map (or list beneath the map) you can see what that location reported for the earthquake as recorded in newspapers and other sources.  
    • California-Nevada Fault Maps (Us Geological Survey Earthquake Hazards Program) Maps earthquakes occuring in California during the last hour, last day, and last week. Clickable map allows one to zoom for more detail. Includes links to special maps for Long Valley, Los Angeles, Parkfield and San Francisco.
    • Earthquake Fault Zone Maps (formerly Special Studies Zone Maps) (California Geological Survey) (print maps for northwestern California are located in the Humboldt County Collection Map Case and Digital Images of Official Maps of Alquist-Priolo Earthquake Fault Zones of California (cd-rom available in Cal Docs C 810 A57) includes maps for the entire state on three cd-roms.) Series of maps at a scale of 1:24,000 showing regulatory zones around surface traces of active faults in California. Produced under the authority of the Alquist-Priolo Earthquake Fault Zoning Act, they are used in planning and controlling of construction in these zones. Fault-Rupture Hazard Zones in California (CDMG Special Publication #42) (print copy available in Cal Docs C 810 S59) contains a detailed description of the mapping program and an index to available maps.
    • Earthquakes in California and Nevada (Goter) 1994 (USGS Open-file Report #94-647) (map G 4361 C55 1994 G6) 1:1 million scale map showing earthquake epicenters from 1836 to 1994 on a Raven base map.
    • Epicenters of and Areas Damaged by M>5 California Earthquakes, 1800-1999 (California Geological Survey) 2000 (Map Sheet 49) (Print copy available in Cal Docs C 810 M32 #49)
    • Fault Activity Map of California (Jennings and Bryant) 2010 (California Geologic Data Map #6) (print copy available in Cal Docs C810 G4d #6 2010) The authoritative map of earthquake faults in California at a scale of 1:750,000. An Explanatory Text to Accompany the Fault Activity Map of California includes a list of the 544 named and numbered faults on the map along with their geologic age, literature references and 1:24,000 quadrangles produced by the California Geological Survey that show boundaries of officially zoned faults. Also available as an interactive map using a Google Maps interface. This map updates the:
      • Fault Map of California, with Locations of Volcanoes, Thermal Springs and Thermal Wells (Jennings) 1975 (California Geologic Data Map #1) (map G 4361 C55 1975 C1; also Cal Doc C 810 G4d #1) An Explanatory Text to Accompany the 1:750,000 Fault and Geologic Maps of California (Cal Doc C 810 B9 #201) gives background information and literature used in compilation of the1975 fault map.
      • Fault Activity Map of California and Adjacent Areas, with Locations and Ages of Recent Volcanic Eruptions (Jennings) 1994 (California Geologic Data Map #6) (Cal Docs C810 G4d #6 1994)

      The cd-rom Digital Database of Faults from the Fault Activity Map of California and Adjacent Areas (Jennings) 2000 (Cal Docs C 810 F37) contains the digital database of faults shown on the Fault Activity Map of California and Adjacent Areas. The GIS data are in Arc/Info export (.e00) and MapInfo formats.

    • Fire Hazard Severity Zones Maps (California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection) Series of state and county maps that show Fire Hazard Severity Zone Maps for State Responsibility Area lands and Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone Maps for Local Responsibility Area lands.
    • Fire Maps (California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection) Series of statewide maps showing CDF facilities, state responsibility areas, communities at risk from fires, fire history, fire threat, and fuels.
    • Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM): California (US Federal Emergency Management Agency. National Flood Insurance Program) Flood risk maps that show roads, lakes, railroads, streams, special flood hazard areas - SFHA (areas subject to inundation by a flood that has a 1% or greater chance of being equaled or exceeded during any given year), base elevations or depths, flood insurance risk zones, and regulatory floodways. Scales range from 1:6,000 to 1:24,000. Information presented is based on historic, meteorolgic, hydrologic, and hydraulic data, as well as open-space conditions, flood control works, and development that is gathered through FEMA engineering studies referred to as Flood Insurance Studies (FISs). The FEMA Mapping Information Platform is an interactive mapper that allows one to search, view and print flood hazard maps which are based upon FIRM maps. Historic FIRM maps are also available.
    • Geology and Geomorphic Features Related to Landsliding (California Division of Mines and Geology and California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection) 1982-1985 (print copies available in Cal Docs C 810 O63 various numbers and Humboldt County Collection map files) Using USGS 1:24,000 quadrangles as a base this series provides detailed mapping of the geology and geomorphic features affecting landslide potential, soil erosion, and streambank erosion in sensitive watersheds mainly in Mendocino, Humboldt, and Del Norte Counties of California. An index map is available. These maps are also available in digital format.
      • North Coast Watersheds Mapping (Cal Docs C 810 W39/CD) ) Set of all 60 quadrangles on cd-rom.
      • CGS/CDF Watersheds Mapping PDF versions available for downloading. Includes a description and index to these maps. Contain two map layers--"Geologic Features Map" and "Geomorphic Features Map".

      Additional geological, landslide and landslide potential mapping organized by watershed has also been completed and is available on cd-rom or by download at CGS/CDF Watersheds Mapping. Includes both pdf and gis files.

      • Noyo River (cd-rom available in CalDocs C810 N69cd)
      • Freshwater Creek (cd-rom available in G 4363 H8 F35 2002 Hum Co Coll)
      • Elk River (cd-rom available in GB 991 C2 M37 2005 Hum Co Coll)
      • Gualala River
      • Redwood Creek (cd-rom available in CalDocs C810 R44cd)
      • Mattole River (cd-rom available in CalDocs C810 M28cd)
      • Albion River
      • Big River
      • Jackson Demostration State Forest
    • Interactive Fault Parameter Map of California (California Geological Survey) 2002. Click on a fault or area of interest for fault characteristics.
    • Major Earthquakes and Fault Zones of California (Masse and Dewey) 1996 (map G 4361 C55 1996 M3)
    • Major Faults of California (with Geology) (US Geological Survey) Base map modified after the 1997 Geologic Map of California by Jennings.
    • Map Showing Areas of Estimated Relative Amounts of Landslides in California (Radbruch and Crowther) 1973 (USGS Miscellaneous Geologic Investigations Map I-747) (Docs I 19.91: 747) 1:1 million scale map showing the estimated relative proportion of area covered by landslides within delineated bedrock and surficial units.
    • Maps of Known Active Fault Near-Source Zones in California and Adjacent Portions of Nevada to be Used with the 1997 Uniform Building Code (California Division of Mines and Geology) 1998 (atlas G 1526 C55 M3 1998) Maps identify the locations of known active fault near-source zones in California that are used in the implementation of the UBC.
    • Monthly and Yearly Seismicity Maps (Berkeley Seismological Lab) Includes monthly and annual seismicity maps for a number of regions within Northern California from 1998 to the present.
    • Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Map of California (California Geological Survey) Series of maps for every 1 degree by 2 degree quadrangle in California showing contours of probabilistic ground shaking (Peak Ground Acceleration [PGA], 10% probability of being exceeded in 50 years, assuming a uniform soft rock site condition).
    • Quaternary Faults and Fold Database of the United States: California (US Geological Survey) Contains information on faults and associated folds in California that are believed to be sources of M>6 earthquakes during the Quaternary (the past 1,600,000 years). Maps of these geologic structures are linked to individual descriptions and references for each structure. Search using a map-based interface that divides the state into 1 x 2 degree quadrangles.
    • River Stage Maps from National Weather Service/California Nevada River Forecast Center (California Department of Water Resources - California Data Exchange Center) Contains regional maps showing river stages and discharge levels at selected gaging sites during three time intervals: current hour, 1 hour ago, and 2 hours ago.
    • Seismic Hazard Maps: California-Nevada (US Geological Survey. Earthquake Hazards Program) Series of statewide seismic hazard maps that show probabilities of exceedance for peak ground accelerations and spectral acceleration.
    • Seismic Hazard Zone Maps (California Division of Mines and Geology) Series of maps at a scale of 1:24,000 covering urban areas of California that chart areas prone to liquifaction (failure of water saturated soil) and earthquake-induced landslides . Prepared under the authority of the Seismic Hazards Act of 1990, they are used by cities and counties to regulate development. The Seismic Hazard Mapping Program Home Page includes information about the program, an interactive mapper, accompanying evaluation reports and downloadable gis files.
    • Seismic Shaking Hazard Maps of California (Petersen, et al) 1999 (print copy available in Cal Doc C810 M32 #48) (Map Sheet #48) Includes seven maps on a single sheet: Historic earthquakes (1800-1994) with magnitudes 5 or greater -- Spectral acceleration for 0.3-second period (high frequency) -- Areas damaged by historic earthquakes (1800-1998) -- Spectral acceleration for 1.0-second period (low frequency) -- Slip rates of major active faults -- Preliminary surface geologic materials--Peak ground acceleration 10% probability of being exceeded in a 50 year period.
    • Seismicity of California, 1808-1987 (Goter) 1988 (map G 4361 C55 1987 G4) State map at a scale of 1:1,000,000 that shows epicenters by magnitudes and age.
    • ShakeMaps (California Integrated Seismic Network)  Maps depicting the intensity of ground shaking for earthquakes of M3.5 and higher.
    • Simplified Fault Activity Map of California (Jennings and Saucedo) 2002 (print copy available in Cal Docs C810 M32 #54 (Map Sheet #54) Lists significant earthquakes and fault ruptures from 1812 to 1999 on a 1:2,500,000 scale map.
    • Southern California Earthquake Data Center Includes maps of recent earthquakes, significant historical earthquakes, seismicity, and faults.
    • Tsunami Inundation Maps (California Geological Survey) Series of 1:24,000 scale topographic maps showing extent of potential tsunami inundation, organized by county. Also available with a Google Maps interface.
    • Volcanoes and Volcanic Areas Map of California (US Geological Survey
    • WaterWatch--Current Water Resources Conditions (US Geological Survey) Series of maps that graphically show current and historical streamflow conditions at time different intervals. Mouse-over any of the 200+ recording sites to get detailed site information.