Aerial view of the San Andreas fault slicing through the Carrizo Plain in the Temblor Range east of the city of San Luis Obispo. (Photograph by Robert E. Wallace, USGS.) Image Source: USGS.
With all the recent earthquakes and erupting volcanoes, worries over the San Andreas fault have increased. Alarmist talk on message boards predicts a big quake in California in July. Today, The Weather Channel reported on a study published in Nature Geoscience (here), which states that a California Megaquake is imminent:
One of the main private sites devoted to the fault is here; the 24-Hour Aftershock Forecast for California, which gives the expectations (not clear predictions) for possible earthquakes over the next 24 hours, is here.Like a steaming kettle with the top on, pressure is building beneath the surface of California that could unleash a monster earthquake at any time. That's according to a new study from the Scripps Institute of Oceanography.
Geologists say Southern California is long overdue for a huge earthquake that could unleash widespread damage.
It all comes down to the Salton Sea, which lies to the east of San Diego. The Salton Sea lies directly on the San Andreas Fault and covers more than 350 square miles.
A big earthquake has hit the lake bed about every 180 years. But when officials started damming the Colorado River to reduce floods downstream (including in the Salton Sea), the moderate earthquakes stopped for the Salton.
Sounds like a good thing, right? Not necessarily. Seismologists think the damming stopped moderate stress-relieving earthquakes on the Salton. Now, they fear the pressure is building and the area could be as many as 100 years overdue for a mega-quake quake, measuring 7.5 or larger.
This sobering news comes just as a new poll is released that details Californians fears about earthquakes and other natural disasters.
Recent speculation on a 2011 California quake is here; there is commentary on nuclear plants' positions on California seismic faults here. A site predicting earthquakes over the long term worldwide is here (it actually predicts middling earthquakes in July 2011 in Chile, China, Colombia, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand and Central Asia - including Afghanistan and Pakistan). But the fact remains that accurate quake prediction is impossible. The only solutions: (A) leave the area beforehand, or (B) prepare. A comment dismissing the California Megaquake prediction is here.
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