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Published August 1999 | Published
Journal Article Open

Estimates of the ground accelerations at Point Reyes Station during the 1906 San Francisco earthquake


We have developed an analytical solution for the rocking and overturning response of a two-dimensional, symmetric rigid block subject to a full sine wave of horizontal ground acceleration. We use this solution to provide lower-bound estimates of the peak ground acceleration at Point Reyes Station, California, during the 1906 San Francisco earthquake that toppled the San Francisco-bound train. Our results, for a 3% damping ratio, indicate that for a single cycle of a sine wave the minimum toppling accelerations at 1, 1.5, and 2 Hz are 0.35g, 0.5g, and 1.05g, respectively. For more realistic accelerograms the toppling accelerations are about 1.1g (complex synthetic) and 0.76g (Lucerne record of the 1992 Landers earthquake).

Additional Information

© 1999 Seismological Society of America. Manuscript received 7 December 1998. We would like to express our thanks to Mr. Kyle K. Wyatt, Curator of History, at the Nevada State Railroad Museum for providing us with valuable information about the overturned train. We would like to thank John Anderson for generating the synthetic data. We are also grateful to Yuehua Zeng for his valuable comments.

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