San Francisco is located on the West Coast of the United States in the north part of the San Francisco Peninsula and includes significant stretches of the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay within its boundaries. Several islands—Alcatraz, Treasure Island and the adjacent Yerba Buena Island, and a small portion of Alameda Island, Red Rock Island, and Angel Island are part of the city. Also included are the uninhabited Farallon Islands, 27 miles (43 km) offshore in the Pacific Ocean. The mainland within the city limits roughly forms a "seven-by-seven-mile square," a common local colloquialism referring to the city's shape, though its total area, including water, is nearly 232 square miles (600 km2).
San Francisco is famous for its hills. There are more than 50 hills within city limits. Some neighborhoods are named after the hill on which they are situated, including Nob Hill, Pacific Heights, and Russian Hill. Near the geographic center of the city, southwest of the downtown area, are a series of less densely populated hills. Twin Peaks, a pair of hills resting at one of the city's highest points, forms a popular overlook spot. San Francisco's tallest hill, Mount Davidson, is 925 feet (282 m) high and is capped with a 103-foot (31 m) tall cross built in 1934. Dominating this area is Sutro Tower, a large red and white radio and television transmission tower.
The nearby San Andreas and Hayward Faults are responsible for much earthquake activity, although neither physically passes through the city itself. The San Andreas Fault caused the earthquakes in 1906 and 1989. Minor earthquakes occur on a regular basis. The threat of major earthquakes plays a large role in the city's infrastructure development. The city has repeatedly upgraded its building codes, requiring retrofits for older buildings and higher engineering standards for new construction. However, there are still thousands of smaller buildings that remain vulnerable to quake damage.
San Francisco's shoreline has grown beyond its natural limits. Entire neighborhoods such as the Marina and Hunters Point, as well as large sections of the Embarcadero, sit on areas of landfill. Treasure Island was constructed from material dredged from the bay as well as material resulting from tunneling through Yerba Buena Island during the construction of the Bay Bridge. Such land tends to be unstable during earthquakes; the resultant liquefaction causes extensive damage to property built upon it, as was evidenced in the Marina district during the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.
Read more about this topic: San Francisco
Other articles related to "geography":
... Historical Geography is the study of the human, physical, fictional, theoretical, and "real" geographies of the past ... Historical geography studies a wide variety of issues and topics ... Subfields include Time geography ...
... In the history of geography, geographers have often recorded and described features of the Earth that might now be considered the remit of human, rather than physical, geographers ... It was not until the 18th and 19th centuries, however, that geography was recognised as a formal academic discipline ... in 1830, although the United Kingdom did not get its first full Chair of geography until 1917 ...
... According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 0.7 square miles (1.7 km²), all of it land. ...
... According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 0.5 square miles (1.3 km²), all of it land. ...
... This article describes the geography of French Polynesia ... storms in January Environment - current issues NA Geography - note Includes five archipelagoes Makatea in French Polynesia is one of the three great phosphate rock islands in the Pacific Ocean - the others ...
Famous quotes containing the word geography:
“Ktaadn, near which we were to pass the next day, is said to mean Highest Land. So much geography is there in their names.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)
“The totality of our so-called knowledge or beliefs, from the most casual matters of geography and history to the profoundest laws of atomic physics or even of pure mathematics and logic, is a man-made fabric which impinges on experience only along the edges. Or, to change the figure, total science is like a field of force whose boundary conditions are experience.”
—Willard Van Orman Quine (b. 1908)
“The California fever is not likely to take us off.... There is neither romance nor glory in digging for gold after the manner of the pictures in the geography of diamond washing in Brazil.”
—Rutherford Birchard Hayes (18221893)