Research examining San Diego’s Rose Canyon Fault has shown that there is a heightened risk of powerful quakes than experts had believed.
The fault line which runs through the Californian city is believed to release tremors which can measure up to 6.8 on the Richter Scale every 700 years or so.
Previous research suggested that it would release similar tremors every 1,000 to 1,500 years.
Seismologist Tom Rockwell warned: “A powerful quake in the mid-to-upper 6s could cause liquefaction around San Diego and Mission bays and locally in Mission Valley, and cause the land to be offset across the fault, which would damage buildin
In March, researchers discovered that the Rose Canyon fault is actually connected to the Newport-Inglewood fault in Los Angeles and Orange counties which could trigger powerful, simultaneous earthquakes across the majority of California.
Valerie Sahakian, the study’s lead author, said earlier this year: “These two fault zones are actually one continuous fault zone.”
t had been suggested that the fault lines were three miles apart, but the gap is no more than 1.2 miles, which suggests they are intricately linked.
Ms Sahakian said: “That kind of characterizes it as one continuous fault zone, as opposed to two different, distinct fault systems.”
The implications could be severe.
Ms Sahakian told the New York Times: “The size of an earthquake is directly related to the length of the fault that’s rupturing – the longer the fault, the larger the earthquake.”