San Diego-Los Angeles fault could cause 7.4-magnitude quake: Study

San Diego-Los Angeles fault could cause 7.4-magnitude quake: scientists warn

Scientists have identified a new fault system spanning from San Diego to Los Angeles that can cause an earthquake of up to 7.4-magnitude, according to a newly-published study.

A team of scientists from UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography re-characterized the Newport-Inglewood Fault and Rose Canyon Fault, saying the two faults represent a single system.

The massive fault system, which was previously considered as two separate faults, runs from San Diego Bay to Seal Beach, Orange County, and finally moves on the shore to the Los Angeles Basin.

Study lead author Valerie Sahakian warned, “This system is mostly offshore but never more than four miles from the San Diego, Orange County, and Los Angeles County coast. Even if you have a high 5- or low 6-magnitude earthquake, it can still have a major impact on those regions, which are some of the most densely populated in California.”

The maximum potential rupture of the whole fault system was estimated between magnitude 6.7 and magnitude 7.4.

The alarming study was detailed in the most recent edition of the American Geophysical Union’s Journal of Geophysical Research.