Northern California Is Due For A Major Earthquake
A recently published geological study by researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey and San Francisco State University forecasts large earthquakes for 4 areas of the San Andreas fault in Northern California.
The study indicated that the Hayward and Calaveras (East San Francisco Bay Area), Rodgers Creek (north of San Francisco), and Green Valley (Fairfield and Napa) faults are loaded with enough tension to start a 6.8 or higher earthquake.
A major earthquake in these urban areas would directly affect over 15 million people living near these faults and could damage the dams, canals, and aqueducts that supply a major portion of the state’s water.
The warning comes after researchers measured fault creep, which is the slow and gradual release of strain on the uppermost part of the Earth’s crust. The more fault creep a fault has the more tension released. But where no fault creep occurs, the fault becomes locked and loaded with tension that will continue to build until it is released by a large earthquake.
Source: Seismological Society of America. “Some sections of the San Andreas Fault system in San Francisco Bay Area are locked, overdue.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 October 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/10/141013190612.htm>.