Throughout the state, there are more than 100 active faults that have produced earthquakes resulting in widespread damage and deaths. In Southern California alone, since 1933, there have been 23 significant quakes of magnitude 5.9 or greater. The San Andreas Fault, the major fault line running through California, is expected to be the source for a major earthquake. It was the source for the earthquake that leveled San Francisco in 1906.
Water infrastructure is vulnerable to earthquakes:
* In the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, man-made levees dating back to 1850 are identified as at risk when a major earthquake hits.
* The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) estimates a magnitude 7.8 temblor on the southern portion of the San Andreas Fault will cause major damage to infrastructure, including water lines and dams.
A panel of experts in Southern California also has identified the following risks as a result of a major earthquake:
* Likely major damage to the main aqueducts bringing water to Southern California from Northern California and the Colorado River. Repairs may be hampered due to damaged roads and large-scale fires.
* In the following days after a major quake, there may be no water available due to infrastructure breaks and loss of power. After that, repairs will bring supplies online slowly.
Water districts and agencies have prepared earthquake preparedness and emergency plans to address the emergency.
Also, groundwater basins will be used as emergency reservoirs to make up the water shortages when imported supplies are unavailable.
A coalition of environmental groups has called on California members of Congress to prioritize the San Luis (B.F. Sisk) Dam seismic remediation over federal funding for new California dams. San Luis Dam is in a very seismically active area. Independently reviewed risk assessments for Reclamation have shown that a large earthquake could lead to crest settlement and overtopping of the dam, which would result in large uncontrolled releases and likely dam failure.
The earthquakes hit just days after last year’s near-catastrophe at Oroville Dam, when the spillway cracked amid heavy rains and 188,000 people fled in fear of flooding. The timing of the two small tremors about 75 miles north of Sacramento was curious, and frightening.
At 8:29 a.m. on Nov. 30, part of the rock slab underneath the Pacific Ocean 7 miles north of Anchorage, Alaska, shifted, causing a magnitude 7 earthquake. As Anchorage was preparing for the day, the quake ripped apart roads, shattered windows and ruptured water and gas lines in and around the city.
A leading earthquake expert says San Diego should consider accelerating replacement of aging water pipes and completing a comprehensive inventory of local buildings, especially structures made of unreinforced brick. … She [Dr. Lucy Jones] said the water system is typically a city’s most vulnerable point in an earthquake because shifting ground cracks pipes, potentially depriving a recovering community of its crucial water supply.
A ballot measure that would give San Francisco the money to start rebuilding the Embarcadero seawall was approved by voters Tuesday by a comfortable margin. Proposition A, which needed a two-thirds vote to pass, had nearly 82 percent support, with 206,446 ballots tabulated.
The San Andreas fault begins its dangerous dance through California at the Salton Sea, at a spot that seismologists long have feared could be the epicenter of a massive earthquake. … A muddy spring mysteriously has begun to move at a faster pace through dry earth — first 60 feet over a few months, and then 60 feet in a single day, according to Imperial County officials.
In recent decades, San Franciscans have embraced the reborn Embarcadero waterfront as kind of front yard, and at noon on a weekday it crowds with tourists, skateboarders, entrepreneurs and other locals. But underneath wheels and feet, three and a half miles of seawall is cracking and crumbling, vulnerable to rising waters or a major earthquake.
Tom Heaton thought it was crazy when, back in the 1970s, he first heard about the concept of an earthquake early warning system. Japan’s high-speed rail system already was using the technology to slow down trains before shaking from a distant earthquake hit. But the more the young Caltech scientist did his calculations, the more he dreamed of bringing the system to California.
Automated alerts from the fledgling West Coast earthquake early warning system are ready to be used broadly by businesses, utilities, schools and other entities but not for mass public notification, officials said Wednesday.
More than a dozen years have passed since the U.S Army Corps of Engineers became concerned about water seeping through the auxiliary dam at Isabella Lake — not to mention the possibility of a massive earthquake leveling the earthen structure.
“We will be able to reproduce earthquake motions with the most accuracy of any shake table in the world,” said Joel Conte, the UC San Diego structural engineer who is overseeing the project. “This will accelerate the discovery of the knowledge engineers need to build new bridges, power plants, dams, levees, telecommunication towers, wind turbines, retaining walls, tunnels, and to retrofit older structures. …”
Along the California coast and across the world, dozens of deep-sea ocean sensors are a first line of defense that warns officials when a devastating tsunami is coming. When an earthquake strikes, the sensors capture the movement of the ocean waters, giving authorities precious time to alert residents to move to higher ground.
After toiling away in the remote hills east of Interstate 680 on the Alameda-Santa Clara county line for seven years, hundreds of construction workers have finally finished the largest dam built in the Bay Area in 20 years. The 220-foot tall dam at Calaveras Reservoir — as high as the roadway on the Golden Gate Bridge soars above San Francisco Bay — replaces a dam of the same size, built in 1925.
California’s nascent earthquake early-warning system had another successful run Tuesday night when a 4.4 magnitude temblor hit the La Verne area. The quake was too small to cause much damage but was felt over a wide area.
Horror tales from recent earthquakes overseas are moving people in Seattle, Portland and along the Pacific Northwest coast to give a crap about where to crap after a major earthquake. It’s not something we typically discuss in polite company, but disaster planners say that when water and sewage service fails, finding a place to poop is a big deal.
Research suggests the magnitude 6.0 earthquake that rocked California wine country in 2014 may have been caused by an expansion of Earth’s crust because of seasonally receding groundwater under the Napa and Sonoma valleys.
On the ground once marked by devastation, a new city is rising. The 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake battered the gritty South of Market district, damaging the Embarcadero Freeway that walled off downtown San Francisco from the bay and left city leaders with a choice: Do they repair and retrofit it, or envision something bolder?
Scientists have long held out hope that major earthquakes might be predictable from their “foreshocks” — the smaller tremors that often occur right before a major quake. But a new study suggests that the foreshock theory is, well, shaky.
When a catastrophic earthquake hits California, buildings will topple and potentially hundreds could be killed. But what gets less attention is the wrenching aftermath of such a huge temblor, which could leave whole neighborhoods torched by fires uninhabitable and hundreds of thousands of people without a home.
Lassen Peak had been rumbling for days. Glowing hot rocks bounded down the slopes. Lava was welling up into a freshly created crater. Then, on this day 103 years ago, it exploded in a way California would never forget.
The town of Mammoth Lakes, in California’s eastern Sierra Nevada, is generally known for two things: epic skiing in winter, thanks to the very high elevation of its ski mountain; and volcanic activity, because the mountain is a simmering volcano. It’s normal to hike or ski around Mammoth and smell the sulfurous gases venting from gurgling magma deep under the mountain. That magma is also a rich source of geothermal power.
A swarm of small earthquakes hit a town near the U.S.-Mexico border Saturday and continued into Sunday. Dozens of quakes were reported in and around Ocotillo Wells in Imperial County, six of them larger than a magnitude 3, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
A magnitude 4.2 earthquake struck about 3 miles northwest of the Geysers geothermal field Wednesday evening and was followed by a series of aftershocks, the U.S. Geological Survey said. … The Geysers region, about 90 miles north of San Francisco, is one of the most seismically active regions in the United States.
Seismologist Lucy Jones said on Twitter that the temblor occurred in a “complex part” of the San Andreas fault under the San Bernardino Mountains and was not far from the epicenter of a 1986 quake that measured 5.9 magnitude.
The water is rising. Closures are lifting. And enthusiasm is building. After more than a decade of planning, construction and disappointing water levels, Lake Perris is on its way to being the recreational paradise it was before fears that its dam would collapse in an earthquake significantly curtailed activities.
Why was an earthquake in Virginia felt at more than twice the distance than a similar-sized earthquake in California? The answer is one that many people may not realize. Earthquakes east of the Rocky Mountains can cause noticeable ground shaking at much farther distances than comparably-sized earthquakes in the West.
The U.S. Geological Survey over the last year has recorded dozens of weak and shallow earthquakes near Oroville Dam and its spillways. And nearly all the tremors — including a magnitude-0.8 quake recorded Wednesday — share the same designation: “Chemical explosion.”
Property values are soaring to stratospheric levels. The tech economy is booming, fueling fast-paced development and spending on home renovations that ranks among the nation’s highest. But at a time of unparalleled prosperity in the Bay Area, there is growing concern that the region is not using more of its largesse to prepare for its greatest natural threat: a major earthquake.
Eight hundred deaths, 18,000 people injured, more than $82 billion in property damage and business losses, and 400 fires that would claim more lives and permanently alter the urban landscape of the San Francisco Bay region.
As is often said, it’s not a matter of if, but of when, a large earthquake strikes the heart of one of California’s most densely populated regions. State officials and local agencies know the clock is ticking, and mile by mile, pipe by pipe, work crews are replacing or retrofitting water lines throughout much of the Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay areas. Upgrades have also been made in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta …
A landmark report by the U.S. Geological Survey estimates that at least 800 people could be killed and 18,000 more injured in a hypothetical magnitude 7 earthquake on the Hayward fault centered below Oakland. … More than 400,000 people could be displaced from their homes, and some East Bay residents may lose access to clean running water for as long as six months.
Sailors arriving in San Francisco in the 19th century used two giant redwood trees perched on a hill to help guide their ships into the bay. The redwoods were felled for their lumber at around the time of the gold rush, but San Francisco now has a new beacon: Salesforce Tower, the tallest office building in the West.
Earthquake activity in California’s Channel Islands shouldn’t be all that surprising. After all, earthquakes created the Channel Islands. In fact, mountains throughout California are generally creations of earthquakes, seismologist Lucy Jones said.
The Bay Area’s deeply unequal cities, home to mansions and shacks alike, are linked by one thing: thirst. Banding together, the region’s water agencies on Tuesday unveiled the latest upgrades to a vast network that connects six million people and provides mutual aid in a crisis, such as an earthquake or severe drought.
A number of cities big and small in Southern California are taking steps to identify seismically vulnerable buildings for the first time in a generation, acting in part on the devastating images of earthquake damage in Mexico and elsewhere around the world.
California’s seismic construction requirements are designed to protect the lives of those inside. But even with the most modern codes, building to the state’s minimum requirements would leave even new buildings severely damaged in a major earthquake — to the point of being a complete loss.
The Marin Municipal Water District will spend $400,000 to protect a key treatment plant in case of a big earthquake. The district’s San Geronimo Water Treatment Plant in Woodacre provides half of the water supply to the county, but two circular clarifiers were built prior to current seismic standards and stand vulnerable to a large temblor.
Mexico City got a substantial warning before the shaking from a distant earthquake arrived Friday — some 30 to 60 seconds broadcast over loudspeakers from an earthquake early warning system. It was another success for Mexico City’s earthquake warning system — one which California, Oregon and Washington state still lack, and one that is an ongoing target for elimination by President Trump.
Nearly three-quarters of San Francisco voters would support a bond measure of up to $500 million to improve the city’s disintegrating seawall, a piece of infrastructure that is largely unseen but that experts say is of vital importance in protecting the city against major earthquakes as well as sea level rise.
If an earthquake similar to the one in 1906 shook the San Francisco Bay Area, nearly 69,000 houses would likely be uninhabitable and more than 200,000 people could be displaced, according to a new report.
In a fast-growing Inland Empire churning out new housing tracts, the city of Redlands is a throwback to an older, more regal era. The college town is graced by historic mansions, old orange groves and a vintage downtown that stands in deep contrast to the region’s big-box shopping centers and drive-thru eateries.
California earthquakes are a geologic inevitability. The state straddles the North American and Pacific tectonic plates and is crisscrossed by the San Andreas and other active fault systems. The magnitude 7.9 earthquake that struck off Alaska’s Kodiak Island on Jan. 23, 2018 was just the latest reminder of major seismic activity along the Pacific Rim.
New data from state geologists show that an earthquake fault runs below Rodeo Drive and Beverly Hills’ shopping district, heightening the known seismic risk in an area famous for Cartier, Gucci, Prada and other luxury brands. The California Geological Survey’s final map has the Santa Monica fault zone cutting through the so-called Golden Triangle, running between Santa Monica and Wilshire boulevards.
This month’s tragic mudslides in Montecito, California are a reminder that natural hazards lurk on the doorsteps of many U.S. homes, even in affluent communities. Similar events occur every year around the world, often inflicting much higher casualties yet rarely making front-page headlines.
South Reno has been shaking, ever so gently, for six days now. If you live there — near Galena High School or where the Mount Rose Highway goes below the I-580 — you likely haven’t felt much, if anything. But earthquake detecting instruments in the area have picked up more than 230 small temblors since late last Thursday.
Scenic hill slopes can be inspiring – or deadly, as we are seeing after the disastrous debris flows that have ravaged the community of Montecito, California in the wake of heavy rains on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018. … As mountains rise, erosion tears them down. And Southern California’s mountains are rising fast, squeezed up by the action of the region’s active faults.
t was a sharp jolt but also a warning of something much more violent that could be coming. An estimated 9.8 million people felt a magnitude 4.4 earthquake that rumbled across the Bay Area early Thursday, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.
An earthquake centered in the Berkeley-Oakland area shook the Bay Area at 2:39 a.m. Thursday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The 4.4 shaker, near the Claremont Hotel in the East Bay Hills, was along the Hayward Fault about 8 miles deep, the USGS said.
When the Big One hits California – and seismologists say it’s not if, but when – there might not be blaring sirens or vibrating phones giving people a precious few seconds to prepare. … California’s earthquake warning system, long discussed and partially built, remains incomplete and in limbo.
The 7.1 magnitude earthquake that shattered buildings and left more than 200 dead in and around Mexico City is another powerful reminder of what could happen when — not if — another major temblor strikes the Bay Area.
Scientists say it’s possible for Southern California to be hit by a magnitude 8.2 earthquake. Such a quake would be far more destructive to the Los Angeles area because the San Andreas fault runs very close to and underneath densely populated areas. … The aqueducts that bring in 88% of Los Angeles’ water supply and cross the San Andreas fault all could be damaged or destroyed, [Lucy] Jones said.
San Diego’s Rose Canyon fault is capable of producing a magnitude 6.9 earthquake that could kill 2,000 people and inflict $40 billion in property damage, according to a preliminary study sponsored by the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute. … The shaking would break scores of water and sewer lines, possibly causing wastewater to spill into San Diego and Mission Bays.
One day, next to the traffic map and weather forecast on your smartphone, seismologist Thomas H. Jordan envisions an app that you can check to see when the chances of a major earthquake in California rise. Jordan, director of the Southern California Earthquake Center, is quick to make clear this is not an earthquake prediction.
For years, scientists have drawn up terrifying scenarios of widespread destruction and chaos that would come to Southern California when a catastrophic earthquake hits. … While epic flooding is different from a powerful temblor, both natural disasters fundamentally alter daily life for months or years.
Congress has been pushing back against cuts in seismic safety funding proposed in President Trump’s budget. First, a congressional panel voted last week to keep funding a West Coast earthquake early warning system that could have been shut down under the proposed budget.
Engineers will use UC San Diego’s shake table to subject a two-story structure to the forces produced by the 6.7 Northridge earthquake to look for ways to design tall wood buildings that can survive big temblors.
The historically restless Mammoth Lakes area has experienced more than 150 tiny and small earthquakes over the past week, including a magnitude 3.0 temblor that hit at 7:13 p.m. on Monday, says the USGS.
Elected officials from both parties have supported an earthquake early warning system for the West Coast that, after years of work, was scheduled to begin its first limited public operation next year. … One of the system’s biggest proponents is a Republican congressman who has an influential role in shaping the budget of the U.S. Geological Survey.
Experts can’t predict earthquakes, but they can warn you that they’re coming. For a dozen years, West Coast scientists working with the United States Geological Survey have been developing an earthquake early warning system — called ShakeAlert — that could provide anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes of warning not only about the shaking that’s imminent but also about its intensity.
In 2015, Steven Horowitz was watching one of the summer’s big blockbuster action flicks, San Andreas. In the movie, the San Andreas fault shifts, triggering a magnitude 9.6 earthquake in San Francisco. Disaster ensues — and for the rest of the movie we watch as all of the West Coast’s greatest landmarks are destroyed one by one in an epic, computer-generated spectacle.
New research released this week found that a fault under the heart of San Diego can produce stronger and more frequent earthquakes than previously thought. It’s the second study in recent months pointing to heightened quake risks in the San Diego area.
President Trump’s budget would eliminate federal funding for an earthquake early warning system being developed for California and the rest of the West Coast which, if enacted, probably would kill the long-planned effort. The budget proposal for the year ending in September 2018 also seeks to eliminate U.S. funding for critical tsunami-monitoring stations in oceans and reduce funds for a next-generation weather forecasting system.
New earthquake sensing stations are being installed in the ground, software is being improved, and operators are being hired to make sure the system is properly staffed, Caltech seismologist Egill Hauksson said at a joint meeting of the Japan Geoscience Union and American Geophysical Union.
The Santa Monica City Council on Tuesday passed the nation’s most extensive seismic retrofitting effort, which will require safety improvements to as many as 2,000 buildings suspected to be vulnerable in an earthquake.
The Newport-Inglewood fault has long been considered one of Southern California’s top seismic danger zones because it runs under some of the region’s most densely populated areas, from the Westside of Los Angeles to the Orange County coast.
After all, California was soaked with ridiculous amounts of rain this winter and then over the past week, dry, warm weather, with temps in the 80s recorded in some places, has baked the state. Could these extreme conditions trigger seismic activity?
The discovery of missing links between earthquake faults shows how a magnitude 7.4 earthquake could rupture in the same temblor underneath Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties, a new study finds.
The Scripps Institution of Oceanography has re-characterized the Newport-Inglewood and Rose Canyon faults, saying that they represent a single system that could produce a magnitude 7.3 quake if their offshore segments ruptured. Scientists also say that the quake could hit 7.4 if the southern section of the system, which cuts through parts of San Diego, also broke.
Southern California could be overdue for a major earthquake along the Grapevine north of Los Angeles, according to a sobering new study by the U.S. Geological Survey. The research found earthquakes happen there on average every 100 years.
In its annual national earthquake outlook, the U.S. Geological Survey reported Wednesday that a large portion of Oklahoma and parts of central California have the highest risk for a damaging quake this year: between 5 and 12 percent. The outlook is published in the journal Seismological Research Letters.
Water Education for Latino Leaders is convening a statewide educational water conference in Sacramento for California local elected officials.
Local elected officials can make a difference for all Californians by taking the necessary steps to understand the dynamic of California water to assure adequate clean water for our communities, protect our natural resources and our local economies. WELL’s hope is to facilitate understanding towards comprehensive long-term water policies that will sustain California’s economy and quality of life.
The Water Education Foundation is an organizing partner.
Reflecting problems at other aging reservoirs, a $200 million project to drain and repair one of the Bay Area’s largest dams to reduce the risk of it collapsing in a major earthquake will double in cost and be delayed by at least two more years.
A powerful magnitude 6.5 earthquake rocked the Northern California coast Thursday morning. … Seismologist Lucy Jones said the earthquake early Thursday was on the Pacific-Gorda plate on the end of the San Andreas Fault.
Update: The following information has been posted by the Redwood Coast Tsunami Work Group: An update on this morning’s earthquake: • Magnitude revised to 6.5 • 98 miles WNW of Petrolia, 100 miles W of Ferndale, 105 miles WSW of Eureka
While most spend their Thanksgiving holiday visiting family and friends around a table of delicious food, Humboldt State geology department chair Mark Hemphill-Haley took off early for a 10-day reconnaissance mission examining New Zealand’s magnitude 7.8 earthquake that struck Nov. 13.
A 7.8 earthquake along the infamous San Andreas fault hit Southern California at 3:10 a.m. Monday. … Fortunately, this is only a drill to ensure that emergency response agencies will be ready when – not if, according to experts – the Big One hits.
The Long Beach quake, the deadliest in Southern California history, focused attention like never before on the seismic dangers the region faces. But a new study suggests that the quake may have been caused by another factor: Deep drilling in an oil field in Huntington Beach.
The Dr. Lucy Jones Center for Science and Society will officially form in January, but Jones is already working with the Southern California Association of Governments and the Structural Engineers Association of Southern California to help governments and businesses prepare for a major earthquake so they can get back on their feet quickly once the damage is done.
The swarm of temblors in late September beneath the Salton Sea put Los Angeles on heightened alert and caused public officials to remind Angelenos about stockpiling water, shutting off gas valves, and remembering to “drop and cover.”
Scientists in California have found that earthquakes can occur much deeper below the Earth’s surface than originally believed, a discovery that alters their understanding of seismic behavior and potential risks.
Southern Californians learn to live with the risk of earthquakes. But over the last week, anxieties were particularly heightened, and the natural denial that is part of living in earthquake country was harder to pull off.
It’s been about eight years since the Salton Sea was the epicenter of a swarm of earthquakes, but the abundance of temblors doesn’t necessarily indicate a larger one to come, a renowned seismologist says.
Researchers at the Berkeley Seismological Laboratory and the campus department of earth and planetary sciences gained new insight into the movement of tectonic plates as a result of the multi-year study published Friday in the journal Science.
UC San Diego has found evidence that large earthquakes can quickly produce powerful and potentially dangerous aftershocks on nearby faults, an insight that could aid experts planning for how to deal with seismic hazards in California.
In the Bay Area, more than $22 billion in infrastructure upgrades since Loma Prieta have built a metropolitan area that is far safer and far more resilient than before. Major water pipes are now designed to bend, not break.
Facing threats of earthquakes, wildfires and floods, almost 200 Southern California cities depend too much on big government to protect them, which will lead to slower recovery time when “the big one” hits, according to experts on disaster preparedness.
U.S. Bureau of Land Management senior geologist Gregg Wilkerson was happy to respond Wednesday to a new study showing the Bakersfield area slowly sinking and other areas in California slowly rising as a result of seismic strain from the San Andreas Fault.
Cutting beneath the lower Mississippi River, the New Madrid fault is a T-shaped geological hazard that is primed for a fierce tremor. A magnitude 7.7 earthquake where the fault crosses the Missouri-Tennessee border would be devastating, snapping water distribution pipes and toppling power lines in seven states, as far as 200 miles from the epicenter.
For the first time, scientists have produced a computer image showing huge sections of California rising and sinking around the San Andreas fault. …The breakthrough accomplished by [Sam] Howell and his team involved writing a computer code that filtered out how the land was rising or falling from non-seismic factors.
Findings published in the journal Nature Geoscience indicate a “small-amplitude, but spatially considerable, coherent pattern of uplift and subsidence straddling the fault system in southern California.”
The Pacific Northwest kicks off a massive earthquake and tsunami drill Tuesday as part of a multiday event to rehearse scenarios on how the region would deal with a dual natural disaster that could kill thousands, cut off coastal communities, and collapse phone and internet service.
On Tuesday, as many as 20,000 people across Washington, Oregon, California and Idaho, mainly federal employees, will begin a four-day exercise called “Cascadia Rising” — a trial run at responding to a massive magnitude 9.0 quake on the Cascadia Subduction Zone off the northwest coast near here, and the tsunami that would inevitably accompany it.
Southern California’s section of the San Andreas fault is “locked, loaded and ready to roll,” a leading earthquake scientist said Wednesday at the National Earthquake Conference in Long Beach. … Other areas of focus have included strengthening Los Angeles’ vulnerable aqueduct systems and its telecommunications networks.
Scientists say the Sierra’s eastern front is long overdue for a large earthquake along the California-Nevada line, where a magnitude-7 event expected on average every 30 years hasn’t occurred in six decades.
In a significant step for the largest reservoir project in the Bay Area in 20 years, workers have finished building the spillway — a massive concrete channel as wide as eight lanes of freeway and a quarter mile long — at Calaveras Dam near the Alameda-Santa Clara county line.
The Rancho California Water District is looking into the feasibility of building a new dam at Vail Lake to augment the existing structure, a 68-year-old mass of concrete that has been deemed “deficient” by a state agency.
The renowned U.S. Geological Survey seismologist Lucy Jones has studied our earthquakes, and gone on television time and again to give us information and comfort. Now the “Earthquake Lady” is retiring – but still kind of wishing, in the nicest possible way, for a chance to experience a Big One.
Now [Lucy] Jones hopes to leverage her earthquake credentials to tackle even more ambitious projects. She’s retiring from the USGS this month to help officials develop science-based policies related to climate change, tsunamis and other kinds of natural disasters.
San Francisco is having a fire sale on spare parts for the city’s 100-year-old emergency water supply system — the network of high-pressure pipes and hydrants designed to help firefighting efforts should city water mains fail in a major earthquake.
More than five years after Oklahoma first saw a startling spike in earthquakes linked to the disposal of huge volumes of wastewater created by hydraulic fracturing for oil, the state continues to shake at an unprecedented rate and the number of strong quakes is increasing.
UC Santa Cruz researcher Thomas Goebel suggests that, in fact, we do have induced earthquakes here. His latest paper, in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, is a detailed study of an earthquake swarm that occurred beneath the Tejon Oil Field south of Bakersfield on September 22, 2005.
In the last 150 years, Washington state has experienced 15 major earthquakes, and scientists say it’s just a matter of time before the next one strikes. To get ready, President Barack Obama’s new budget plan includes $8 million to help bring an early earthquake warning system online.
A 2005 spate of quakes in California’s Central Valley almost certainly was triggered by oilfield injection underground, a study published Thursday said in the first such link in California between oil and gas operations and earthquakes.
With officials still struggling to find money to create an earthquake early warning system for the West Coast, a private foundation, Intel Corp. and an arm of Amazon.com Inc. said they will pitch in money or other support, officials said at a White House summit Tuesday.
Seismologists say a full rupture of a 650-mile-long offshore fault running from Northern California to British Columbia and an ensuing tsunami could come in our lifetimes, and emergency management officials are busy preparing for the worst.
State regulators ordered a few years ago that the vast lake near Morgan Hill in Santa Clara County — which holds more water than the other nine reservoirs in the county combined — could not be filled any more than 68 percent full because geologic tests found that in a major earthquake, its 240-foot high earthen dam could slump, releasing a wall of water that could generate a trail of death and destruction all the way to San Jose.
The quakes — ranging from the hardly perceptible magnitude 0.8 to a more robust 3.6 — have been occurring every few minutes to every few hours, rattling residents in the surrounding communities, particularly San Ramon.
U.S. Geological Survey seismologist Paul Earle and computer scientist Michelle Guy are taking social media to a new level, using Twitter to help detect earthquakes in real time as they are felt across the globe.
A group of U.S. drilling states, seismologists, academics and industry experts issued guidance Monday in a frank new report on handling human-induced earthquakes caused by hydraulic fracturing or the disposal of fracking wastewater.
More than half a dozen water mains ruptured in the East Bay on Monday, mostly in and around the areas affected by a magnitude 4.0 earthquake Monday morning, according to the East Bay Municipal Water District.
An earthquake along the California coast could pose a greater tsunami threat to the Ventura area than previously understood, according to a new study published Tuesday by UC Riverside and U.S. Geological Survey scientists.
The U.S. Geological Survey has awarded $4 million to help push ShakeAlert, an earthquake early warning system, closer to becoming a functioning $38.2 million network on the West Coast. … The USGS last week announced it awarded about $4 million to four universities: Caltech, UC Berkeley, University of Washington and University of Oregon.
[Binod] Tiwari, a civil engineer at the Fullerton university, has come to Nepal to help lead the Geotechnical Extreme Events Reconnaissance team, which assesses the damage after mega-earthquakes … Tiwari and the team, which is supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation, are examining every bit of infrastructure they come across — bridges, roads, houses and hydropower projects.
A giant earthquake will strike California this summer. Skyscrapers will topple, the Hoover Dam will crumble and a massive tsunami will wash across the Golden Gate Bridge. Or at least, that’s the scenario that will play out on the big screen in San Andreas.
In the film, opening this Friday, a previously unknown fault near the Hoover Dam in Nevada ruptures and jiggles the San Andreas. … U.S. Geological Survey seismologist Susan Hough accompanied The Associated Press to an advance screening of the film.
Despite concerns from some residents, scientists say two recent earthquakes centered in the Baldwin Hills area — including one Sunday morning — do not appear to be connected to drilling operations at nearby oil fields.
East Bay Municipal Utility District crews were repairing a minor break to a 12-inch steel water main at North Main Street and Geary Road in Walnut Creek on Sunday night. The break was reported at 4:15 p.m., but repair crews could not immediately determine if the shaking caused the underground break to the 52-year-old water main, said EBMUD spokeswoman Tracie Morales-Noisy.
Many studies have linked the rise in small quakes to the injection of wastewater into disposal wells, but the Geological Survey’s report takes the first comprehensive look at where the man-made quakes are occurring.
New research released Wednesday suggests that the shaking from “the Big One,” the long-predicted major earthquake on the San Andreas fault, could trigger additional large temblors on nearby faults, intensifying the overall seismic impact.
Sen. Bob Hertzberg proposed a Water Seismic Safety (SB664) bill on Tuesday requiring local water agencies to evaluate their earthquake risks and suggest ways to keep the water flowing in the event of a disaster.
A massive earthquake in the central Aleutian Islands in Alaska could send waves as high as 28 feet crashing into Rodeo Cove near Sausalito, according to data presented Tuesday at Marin’s first-ever tsunami preparedness symposium.
Mayor Eric Garcetti’s call to strengthen Los Angeles’ water system — one pillar of his ambitious plan to ready the city for a major earthquake — would cost as much as $15 billion and require decades of work, Department of Water and Power engineers estimate.
A new California earthquake forecast by the U.S. Geological Survey and partners revises scientific estimates for the chances of having large earthquakes over the next several decades. The Third Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast, or UCERF3, improves upon previous models by incorporating the latest data on the state’s complex system of active geological faults, as well as new methods for translating these data into earthquake likelihoods.
Reactivated faults that have produced thousands of Oklahoma earthquakes are capable of causing larger seismic events, according to U.S. Geological Survey research published today [March 6] in Geophysical Research Letters. … Several recent studies have linked Oklahoma earthquakes with the injection of wastewater from enhanced oil and gas exploration.
The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission has opened a new 3.5 mile-long tunnel in Sunol Valley, a few miles east of Fremont, that will transport 265 million gallons of water a day, on average, to customers of the Hetch Hetchy water system.
The fault that caused that Napa quake is forecast to move an additional 2 to 6 inches in the next three years in a hard-hit residential area, a top federal scientist said at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco on Tuesday.
Los Angeles gets 88% of its water from three major aqueducts, flowing from the Colorado River, Owens Valley and the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. … Officials have long warned that a massive temblor on the San Andreas could destroy key sections of the aqueducts, cutting off the water supply for more than 22 million people in Southern California.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Monday proposed the most ambitious seismic safety regulations in California history — rules that would require owners to retrofit thousands of buildings most at risk of collapse during a major earthquake. … Garcetti is also proposing sweeping plans to protect aqueducts that supply L.A. with water and ensure firefighters won’t be left helpless by ruptured pipes as fires burn through neighborhoods.
Studies by the U.S. Geological Survey and university researchers suggest that the increased number of temblors coincides with the injection of wastewater deep underground, which is part of the process in hydraulic fracturing.
On a map of the whole state, the great earthquake faults of California look like a pretty simple set of lines that join and divide in a loose tangle: the San Andreas Fault Zone. … A new paper in the journal Tectonics (open access) has begun to lay bare the intricate buried structure south of Hollister where two major faults come together, the San Andreas and Calaveras faults.