Whose fault? Blame the earthquake In this March 17, 2014, file photo, Egill Hauksson a Caltech Seismologist talks about an early morning earthquake during a news conference at Caltech in Pasadena, Calif. A new study says an earthquake fault running from San Diego to Los Angeles is capable of producing a magnitude-7.4 temblor that could affect some of the most densely populated areas in California. (AP Photo/Nick Ut, File/AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)
Whose fault? Blame the earthquake
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An earthquake fault runs from San Diego Bay to Los Angeles. It is in Southern California. The fault is capable of producing a magnitude-7.4 earthquake. That could affect some of the region's most densely populated areas. This is according to a study released March 7.
 
The study looked at the Newport-Inglewood and Rose Canyon systems. These previously were thought to be separate. The researchers concluded the systems actually form a continuous fault. It is underwater. It runs from San Diego Bay to Seal Beach in Orange County. On land, it runs through the Los Angeles basin.
 
The fault poses a significant hazard. It could impact coastal Southern California and Tijuana, Mexico, according to the study.
 
It could produce up to a magnitude-7.3 quake if the offshore segments rupture. It could be a magnitude-7.4 quake if the onshore segment also ruptures. The study was conducted by Scripps Institution of Oceanography. It is at the University of California San Diego.
 
Even a moderate quake on the fault could have a major impact on the region. That is according to Valerie Sahakian. She is the study's lead author.
 
"This system is mostly offshore but never more than four miles from the San Diego, Orange County, and Los Angeles County coast," Sahakian was quoted in a press release from the American Geophysical Union.
 
The fault's most recent major rupture occurred in 1933 in Long Beach. It produced a magnitude-6.4 earthquake. It killed 115 people.
 
The study looked at data from previous and new seismic surveys. These included sonar studies of the offshore fault. Researchers looked at four segments of the fault that were offset. These are known as stepovers. The researchers found the disconnections weren't wide enough to prevent the entire offshore section of the fault from rupturing.
 
Researchers also looked at the onshore segment of the fault. They concluded that there have been three to five ruptures in the past 11,000 years along the northern section. One quake occurred about 400 years ago at the southern end.
 
Researchers at the Nevada Seismological Laboratory assisted with the study. It was funded by Southern California Edison. The study was accepted for publication in the American Geophysical Union's Journal of Geophysical Research.

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why do so many people live in California, despite the earthquake risk?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (26)
  • marcush-hol
    3/16/2017 - 11:28 a.m.

    Most people probably live there for the warm weather. Most people don't like the cold especially if they live below Illinois. Just like you :P

  • annelieseh-hol
    3/16/2017 - 11:29 a.m.

    California is a deeply populated area because there are many people who enjoy many things in California including visiting beaches, and going to see the beautiful scenery. As mentioned, the University of California does a lot of research, and is a very popular college. San Diego and LA are also some of the most interesting cities in the world with a lot of places to explore.

  • briannas1-hol
    3/16/2017 - 11:32 a.m.

    California is like New York. It's known for 'Making dreams come true.' Many people move to California in hopes of becoming someone and to live out their dreams. Others go for the nice weather. Either way people go their because in their eyes there are more pros than cons.

  • matthewc1-hol
    3/16/2017 - 01:34 p.m.

    Becomes of the gold rush and very nice place to be

  • hannahd-hol
    3/16/2017 - 01:34 p.m.

    People continue to live in California even with the risks because of the warm weather and the beautiful scenery. People also tend to live there because it is a nice place for someone to retire too, there are plenty of fun activities for the elders to do.

  • maicynw-hol
    3/16/2017 - 01:34 p.m.

    California is warm and a nice place to live. People may not care and just want to live there, or maybe they have family there and don't want to leave.

  • alexiam-hol
    3/16/2017 - 01:35 p.m.

    Some people live there because is so pretty and warm there. There are lots of fun things to do.

  • jaden-hol
    3/16/2017 - 03:00 p.m.

    People in California risk living in California, despite the earthquake due to their homes and work being there. As well as many other opportunities.

  • maxw-hol
    3/16/2017 - 03:02 p.m.

    So many people live in California despite the earthquakes because you get notices on your phone warning you of one and they don't happen often.

  • bryand-hol
    3/16/2017 - 03:02 p.m.

    a lot of people live there because of the gold rusch back in the day

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