San Andreas Fault Prepped For ‘Big One’

Being in Anaheim for the week while taking a geoscience class cannot help but make me aware of what lies below my feet. This article is from the Beverly Hills Courier. October 11, 2010

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – The 340-mile, southern section of the San Andreas fault could slip at anytime, producing a magnitude-8.1 quake, it was reported today.

A report in the August issue of Geology by researchers at UC Irvine and Arizona State University suggest the fault is long overdue for a major quake — running from Monterey County to the Salton Sea, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The last major rupture on the San Andreas was in 1857.

Until recently, experts believed that the section of the fault through the Carrizo Plain about 100 miles northwest of Los Angeles would remain dormant for at least another century. But the latest research contradicts that.

“The next earthquake could be sooner than later,” Lisa Grant Ludwig of UC Irvine, a study coauthor, said in August.

U.S. Geological Survey seismologist Lucy Jones, who was not involved in the study, said it was possible that the entire southern San Andreas fault could rupture.

Thomas Jordan, director of the Southern California Earthquake Center, calculated that would produce a magnitude-8.1 quake, a figure with which Jones agreed.

The northern section of the fault, north of Parkfield up to Hollister in San Benito County, tends to move at a constant creep. And because stress is relieved regularly, large quakes don’t occur there, The Times reported.

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