San Andreas Fault Due for a Big One

Carbon dating and sophisticated imaging technology has allowed scientists to detect earthquakes along the San Andreas fault dating back to the 15th century. They now have a far more complete record of the fault than ever before.

In an article on the Los Angeles Times website, Rong-Gong Lin II says the new data also shows that big quakes on the fault happen every 88 years, on average, and not every 250 to 450 years as previously believed.

“Thomas Jordan, director of the Southern California Earthquake Center, said the fault is “locked and loaded.” And Lisa Grant Ludwig, a UC Irvine earthquake expert and co-author of the study (published online in the journal Geology), said Southern California could see an earthquake sooner than later. “It was thought that we weren’t at risk of having another large one any time soon,” she said. “Well, now, it might be ready to rupture.”

To read the Los Angeles Times article, click here:,0,946323.story?track=rss