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Two Fault Lines In Southern California Are Actually One Big One

Two Fault Lines In Southern California Are Actually One Big One

At that time, the population of the entire state of California was less than 100,000 people.

Scientists have identified a new fault system spanning from San Diego to Los Angeles that can cause an natural disaster of up to 7.4-magnitude, according to a newly-published study.

The connections - or stepovers - between the main parts of the faults are less than 2Km wide.

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.

A study which focused on the Newport-Inglewood and Rose Canyon fault system was instigated by Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego.

These areas are now tagged as potential hazards despite the fault being on offshore because of its significant distance of no more than four miles from San Diego, Orange County, and Los Angeles County coast.

When conducting research, the team processed seismic surveys from the past and added in high-resolution bathymetric data, gathered offshore by Scripps researchers between 2006 and 2009, in addition to seismic surveys conducted aboard former Scripps research vessels.




The San Andreas faultline gets most of the attention, but a recent study showed coastal California may be in danger from a system of faults that scientists have thought until now were disparate faults. She is now a postdoctoral fellow with the U.S. Geological Survey.

The analysis revealed that eruption of the offshore segment of the system can produce an estimated 7.3-magnitude natural disaster.

'We are fortunate that seismic activity in California has been relatively low over the past century, ' said Tom Jordan, Director of the Southern California Earthquake Center and a co-author of the study.

Even though we witnessed the San Andreas fault trigger a devastating natural disaster in Los Angeles via Hollywood magic in 2015, the last major quake in that region actually occurred in 1857.

The fault, officially known as the Newport-Inglewood/Rose Canyon fault zone, caused a 6.4-magnitude quake in Long Beach, Calif. that killed 115 people in 1933.

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.

Southern California could be overdue for a major quake along the Grapevine north of Los Angeles, according to a sobering new study by the U.S. Geological Survey.

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