Tags: california | los angeles | earthquake | San Andreas fault | aftershocks

Major Quake in Calif. Could Set Off Nepal-Like Aftershocks: Experts

By    |   Tuesday, 28 Apr 2015 01:39 PM

In the hours following the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that shook Nepal on Saturday, more than a dozen of additional quakes with magnitudes of 4.5 or higher were detected — an occurrence which scientists fear would be repeated if the "big one" ever struck California, according to a new study.

The study conducted by James Dolan, an earth sciences professor at the University of Southern California, examined geological evidence and slip rate data for ancient earthquakes on the Garlock fault, the second-longest fault in California, and found that seismic activity has been controlled, in part, by "super-cycle" changes, which are periods of quiet followed by hyperactivity, according to The Los Angeles Times.

Dolan says the research suggests that "stresses related to the original San Andreas fault earthquake are redistributed on other faults throughout Southern California."

Although California experiences as many as 1,000 earthquakes annually and has not faced a quake greater than magnitude 7.7 since 1857, the odds of a large-scale event occurring along the San Andreas fault have increased in the last decade.

According to the Third Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast, released in March, the estimate for the likelihood that California will experience a magnitude 8 or larger earthquake in the next 30 years has increased from the 4.7 percent estimate in 2008 to about 7 percent in the latest forecast.

"The new likelihoods are due to the inclusion of possible multi-fault ruptures, where earthquakes are no longer confined to separate, individual faults, but can occasionally rupture multiple faults simultaneously. This is a significant advancement in terms of representing a broader range of earthquakes throughout California’s complex fault system," said lead author and United States Geological Survey (USGS) scientist Ned Field in a press release.

"What's happening, particularly for these more remote aftershocks, is they are striking on the neighboring faults and these neighboring faults could rupture in subsequent large earthquakes," Ross Stein, a USGS scientist, tells NPR.

The increasing odds of "the big one" is a major concern and a priority for state and local officials, particularly in light of USGS estimates that a massive quake along the fault — which runs under downtown Los Angeles — could result in the deaths of as many as 18,000 people in the worst-case scenario, The Times reports.

"If you ask me what keeps me awake at night, it's the strong likelihood of a large earthquake," California’s insurance commissioner Dave Jones told the Financial Times.

The estimated cost to Los Angeles should a large earthquake strike would be $210 billion, which is why the city's mayor heavily focused on preparedness efforts in his April State of the City address.

© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
US
In the hours following the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that shook Nepal on Saturday, more than a dozen of additional quakes with magnitudes of 4.5 or higher were detected - an occurrence which scientists fear would be repeated if the "big one" ever struck California, a study reports.
california, los angeles, earthquake, San Andreas fault, aftershocks
439
2015-39-28
Tuesday, 28 Apr 2015 01:39 PM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved