LOS ANGELES, Aug. 20 (UPI) — California’s San Andreas fault has produced more earthquakes than previously thought and is overdue for a major one, a study says.
Scientists spent years studying the geology of the Carrizo Plain area of the San Andreas about 100 miles northwest of Los Angeles to produce the long-awaited report, the Los Angeles Times said Friday.
The last massive earthquake on that section of the fault was in 1857, but researchers from the University of California, Irvine and Arizona State University found that earthquakes have occurred as often as every 45 to 144 years, the newspaper said.
That would make the region overdue for a large catastrophic quake, the study suggests.
Many Southern California seismologists say the report supports their view that the San Andreas has been in a quiet period and that a major rupture is possible.
“What we know is for the last 700 years, earthquakes on the southern San Andreas fault have been much more frequent than everyone thought,” UCI researcher Sinan Akciz said.
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