Published: Sat, March 11, 2017
Markets | By Erika Turner

California Earthquakes: San Diego-Los Angeles Fault Could Cause 7.4-Magnitude Temblor

California Earthquakes: San Diego-Los Angeles Fault Could Cause 7.4-Magnitude Temblor

The fault system most famously hosted a 6.4-magnitude quake in Long Beach, Calif. that killed 115 people in 1933. A stepover is a section in between faults where they don't directly meet.

The study led by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California focused on the Rose Canyon and Newport-Inglewood faults.

Southern California is capable of a magnitude 7.3 quake, a new analysis of the region's coast fault systems revealed. The U.S. Geological Survey quake forecast maps show the risk of human-activity-induced earthquakes in Oklahoma is now as high as natural occurring earthquakes in California.

The researchers found that the maximum potential for a rupture of the entire fault can produce between magnitude 6.7 and magnitude 7.3 to 7.4 earthquakes.

Even a high magnitude-5 to a low magnitude-6 quake "can still have a major impact on those regions, which are some of the most densely populated in California", she said.

"This system is mostly offshore but never more than four miles from the San Diego, Orange County, and Los Angeles County coast", Sahakian said.

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Stepovers wider than three kilometers (1.86 miles) are usually considered to inhibit large earthquakes, containing the ruptures to small segments instead of along entire faults. Some researchers also have suspected that the systems were connected in some way offshore.

In the meantime, areas north of Los Angeles may be long overdue for a whopper of a quake along a portion of the San Andreas fault, according to a second study, this from the U.S. Geological Survey.

A newfound connection between two fault lines could result in a seismic event for areas throughout the Southern California region, according to a recent study.

. And the USGS says there's a 16 percent chance an quake with at least a magnitude 7.5 will occur in the area within the next 30 years.

The northern end of the fault system had three to five ruptures over the last 11,000 years while the southern end appears to have had a tremor that occurred about 400 years ago and another one that happened 5,000 years before that. "For us, the big one is at Rose Canyon".

A fault system in southern California has been mapped in detail, to reveal that it is more extensive and interconnected than realised, and capable of causing larger earthquakes. Most scientists believe that stepovers at least 3 km wide are likely to prevent through-going ruptures.

As a response, what planners envision is a deployment of civilian and military personnel and equipment that would eclipse the response to any natural disaster that has occurred so far in the US.

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