'Super Quake' Could Be on the Way

Next big earthquake in California may impact more people than originally thought

By Jean Elle
|  Friday, Jan 11, 2013  |  Updated 3:25 PM PDT
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
The next big earthquake in California may impact more people than scientists previously expected. NBC Bay Area's Jean Elle reports.

The next big earthquake in California may impact more people than scientists previously expected. NBC Bay Area's Jean Elle reports.

advertisement

The next big earthquake in California may impact more people than scientists previously expected.

Seismologists have thought the massive San Andreas Fault would slip in Northern or Southern California. Not all at once because of a buffer called a creeping zone.

The creeping zone near the middle of the fault did not appear capable of transmitting a quake through the entire state because stress didn't build up there. But seismologist Kate Hutton at Caltech says new evidence reveals the San Andreas could slip from top to bottom.

"There would be damage in both San Francisco and Southern California,” Hutton said. “They would not be able to help us and vice versa."

The new evidence is coming from researchers looking at he 1999 Taiwan quake and the 2011 earthquake in Japan. Caltech experts say the creeping zones there were active.

"Some of the places where the rupture was the strongest was the creeping zone," Hutton said.

Researchers just published the findings. Information seismologists in California will now consider.

 

Follow NBC BAY AREA for the latest news, weather, and events: iPad App | iPhone App | Android App | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | RSS | Text Alerts | Email Alerts

Get the latest headlines sent to your inbox!
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Leave Comments
Bay Area Proud
Bay Area Proud is NBC Bay... Read more
Follow Us
Sign up to receive news and updates that matter to you.
Send Us Your Story Tips
Check Out