Apr 18, 2016

A recent story in the LA Times by Ron Lin underscores the newly identified threat that earthquakes pose to the San Francisco Bay waterfront. Under certain circumstances, the sea wall that currently protects the Embarcadero and its surrounding infrastructure could be dramatically compromised during a strong enough seismic event. The results could be capastrophic to a key driver of San Francisco's economy. And the fix to the vulnerability would be expensive at $3 billion.

Lin's work elaborates on a story recently published in the SF Chronicle covering the same topic. The article informed the public about the imminent threat and the new concerns about the costly fix.

In the LA Times article, Ron Lin quotes SFEI's Robin Grossinger, co-lead of the Resilient Landscapes Program, to help illustrate the past decisions that resulted in today's potential hazard:

 

 

 

"It was essential for maritime navigation and created a lot of land in a city that's pretty hilly," said Robin Grossinger, a senior scientist at the San Francisco Estuary Institute. "The bad news is ... we moved the city out toward the bay and we put the city in a more challenging place to protect.

"We made these decisions a hundred years ago, and now we have this unexpectedly expensive result," Grossinger said.

Lin also utilizes SFEI's online maps to capture a dynamic view of the past SF Bay shoreline. He framed the dataset called EcoAtlas Version 1.50b4 1998

which includes a view of the SF Bay historical shoreline, as well as the entire bayshore in general.

 

By: 
Rong-Gong Lin II
Associated Staff: 
Programs and Focus Areas: 
Resilient Landscapes Program
Historical Ecology
Center for Resilient Landscapes