Aug 21, 2010 Comments Off
Researchers are predicting a major rupture of the San Andreas Fault any day now. A major movement in the fault would devastate California and possibly create a tsunami capable of leveling coastal cities throughout the pacific rim.
Earthquakes strike along California’s San Andreas Fault more often than scientists previously thought, a new study suggests.
Researchers at the University of California, Irvine and Arizona State charted temblors that occurred there stretching back 700 years.
They found that large ruptures have occurred on the Carrizo Plain portion of the San Andreas Fault — about 100 miles northwest of Los Angeles — as often as every 45 to 144 years. But the last big quake was in 1857, more than 150 years ago.
The researchers said that while it’s possible the fault is experiencing a natural lull, they think it’s more likely a major quake could happen soon.
“If you’re waiting for somebody to tell you when we’re close to the next San Andreas earthquake, just look at the data,” said UCI seismologist and study leader Lisa Grant Ludwig.
The field data confirmed what Ludwig had long suspected: The widely accepted belief that a major earthquake happened on the fault every 250 to 400 years was inaccurate. Not all quakes were as strong as originally thought, either; but they all packed a wallop, ranging between magnitudes 6.5 and 7.9.
If you are a Gay or Lesbian living within the San Andres Fault region, especially Los Angles, prepare with food, water and a communication plan. A small tent and camping equipment are essential in earthquake zones.