Geology Experts On California Earthquakes

Construction_Engineering_43169The Los Angeles Times reports that the idea of predicting earthquakes remains controversial and much debated among California’s many seismologists.

But as technology improves and the understanding of how earthquakes distribute energy grows, experts are gingerly offering improved “forecasts,” some of which have been surprisingly prescient.

UC Davis physicist and geologist Rundle and his colleagues believe that the recent quakes, combined with larger seismic events including the 1989 Loma Prieta and 1994 Northridge temblors, could be precursors to a far larger rupture.

For example, Southern California was hit earlier this month by a 5.4 quake that struck in the mountains about 30 miles south of Palm Springs — several weeks after seismologists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and elsewhere warned that pressure was building in the San Jacinto fault zone, which is where the temblor occurred.  That forecast underscores new thinking by seismologists about how earthquakes occur.

Read more: latimes.com.

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