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Making Waves

Digital Fish
Dancing in the Desert
Ticking down to the      "Big One"
Sixth Sense


Features May 2004: Volume 1, Number 2

Ticking Down to "The Big One"


The clock is ticking. A new study by a researcher at Scripps Institution of Oceanography has produced the clearest picture to date of the stress accumulating along the southern
portion of the San Andreas Fault. It is an area that hasn’t produced a major quake in at least 300 years.

Yuri Fialko of Scripps has developed a highly detailed depiction of the southern San Andreas’ slow but steady movements. It shows that if the accumulated strain is released in a single event, it could produce an earthquake, roughly the size of the 1906 San Francisco event.

“Exactly when the triggering will happen we cannot tell,” says Fialko. “It could be tomorrow or it could be 10 years or more from now.”

A giant earthquake on the southern San Andreas, a 100-mile segment that cuts through Palm Springs and a number of other cities in San Bernardino, Riverside and Imperial counties, would be felt throughout much of Southern California.

Contributors to Making Waves: Mario Aguilera, '89, Marnette Federis, '06, Beverly Gallagher, '98, Raymond Hardie and Inga Kiderra.


News Release

SIO's Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics

Yuri Fialko's Profile

"Exactly when the triggering will happen we cannot tell... It could be tomorrow or it could be 10 years or more from now."