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Richmond: USGS goes retro

A new fault line map from the United States Geological Survey was actually drawn up in 1982, when you could go to the drive-in movies in Richmond.

A "new" fault line map from the United States Geological Survey was actually drawn up in 1982, when you could go to the drive-in movies in Richmond.


So the United States Geological Survey is making its maps of earthquake fault lines in California available for download online to the public for the first time.

The maps, officially titled the “Alquist-Priolo Earthquake Fault Zone Maps,” show highlighted fault lines highlighted on a grayscale, topographical depiction of the terrain, but that doesn’t mean any new cartography was done.

We went to the site, downloaded a PDF of the map for the Richmond area and began examining. We were pleased to see the retro aspects of our selected map.

The map from our area is from 1982 and clearly shows a drive-in movie theater at the Hilltop Drive exit and no Richmond Parkway, where our beloved West County Times building has stood watch for more than 20 years.

While our particular map may not offer insight into all the newer infrastructure in the area, it does show just how close the fault lines are to all of us and just how much you need to be prepared. Training is available if you want it.

And kudos to the USGS for not commissioning a new map.

Chris Treadway