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Latest San Andreas Fault Stories

2009-03-13 14:04:16

U.S. scientists say the New Madrid seismologic fault system in the Midwest and South may be in the process of shutting down. Purdue and Northwestern University researchers have been using global positioning system measurements to determine the earthquake risk to parts of Illinois, Indiana, Tennessee, Arkansas and Kentucky. The fault motion has been much less than expected, Purdue researchers said Friday. The last major earthquake in the New Madrid seismic zone was in 1812. Our findings...

2009-03-13 13:10:20

The New Madrid fault system does not behave as earthquake hazard models assume and may be in the process of shutting down, a new study shows.A team from Purdue and Northwestern universities analyzed the fault motion for eight years using global positioning system measurements and found that it is much less than expected given the 500- to 1,000-year repeat cycle for major earthquakes on that fault. The last large earthquakes in the New Madrid seismic zone were magnitude 7-7.5 events in 1811...

2009-01-27 13:09:18

New hazard maps for communities from San Jose to Palo Alto in Northern California delineate the probability of earthquake-induced liquefaction, based on three scenarios: a magnitude 7.8 on the San Andreas Fault comparable to the 1906 event, a magnitude 6.7 on the Hayward Fault comparable to the 1868 event, and a magnitude 6.9 on the Calavaras Calaveras Fault. The probability of liquefaction is highest at approximately 33 to 37 percent in some areas along major creeks for the San Andreas Fault...

2009-01-24 16:30:00

Southern California could be overdue for a major earthquake along the San Andreas Fault, researchers say. A study by scientists at the University of California at Irvine found there were five major temblors along a southern section of the San Andreas Fault in the past 700 years, the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday. The first one is estimated to have occurred in 1310, followed 83 years later by one in 1393, 192 years after that in 1585, the next 85 years later in 1640 and the last one 217...

2008-12-11 09:24:39

In the last few years there has been a growing number of documented cases in which large earthquakes set off unfelt tremors in earthquake faults hundreds, sometimes even thousands, of miles away.New research shows that the great Indian Ocean earthquake that struck off the Indonesian island of Sumatra on the day after Christmas in 2004 set off such tremors nearly 9,000 miles away in the San Andreas fault at Parkfield, Calif."We found that an earthquake that happened halfway around the world...

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2008-09-26 07:10:00

Scientists are turning to the public to help document earthquakes and identify areas of potential damage.  The new initiative, called the Quake-Catcher Network, was launched earlier this year, and aims to harness the computing power of roughly 300 global participants worldwide, including 50 in California.   Experts would equip volunteers' laptop computers and homes with special software and quake sensors.  Almost anyone with a laptop or a little extra space in his or her...

2008-09-13 06:00:16

By Julia Scott PORTOLA VALLEY -- When you live on the San Andreas fault line, as all Portola Valley residents do, earthquake science is taught in school and geologists lead expeditions through town. It was only a matter of time before residents built their own seismograph to measure tremors under their feet. It may not look like much, but the seismograph in question -- a deceptively simple collection of wire-suspended pendulums, magnets and coils -- will be able to sense earthquakes as...

2008-09-02 03:00:17

By Andrew Edwards A costly 44-mile pipeline project designed to help carry water from Northern to Southern California will probably break one day. That's not a surprise. The Inland Feeder Project, recently given a share of the spotlight when a technological beast called a tunnel- boring machine breached the surface in Devil Canyon near Cal State San Bernardino, is a major endeavor. But the project, still a work in progress, isn't invulnerable to the San Andreas Fault. No engineer nor...

2008-09-02 00:00:12

By Katherine Fischer Hiking up Valley View trail in Big Sur's National Park, I feel the usual breeze streaming across my face down from the Santa Lucia mountains. But this time, however, instead of California wild flowers, Redwood leaves and, yes, even pollen, this breeze brings only ash.The higher I climb, the harder I cough.This week, 2,095 fires are finally contained in California. The trees of the forest bear the scars of fires ignited by lightning back in June.While nature's fires...

2008-08-03 03:00:20

By Debbie Pfeiffer Trunnell Gary Arce is a firm believer that being forewarned is being forearmed, especially when it comes to earthquakes. So every year, the geology instructor takes students on tours of portions of the San Andreas Fault. It runs roughly 800 miles through California. "My main goal in leading tours is to educate people, dispel myths about earthquakes and encourage them to prepare," he said. Arce's next tour of a portion of the fault, from San Bernardino to Palmdale,...


Word of the Day
humgruffin
  • A terrible or repulsive person.
Regarding the etymology of 'humgruffin,' the OED says (rather unhelpfully) that it's a 'made-up word.' We might guess that 'hum' comes from 'humbug' or possibly 'hum' meaning 'a disagreeable smell,' while 'gruffin' could be a combination of 'gruff' and 'griffin.'