At the Salton Sea, a warning sign of the Big One?
Swarm of small quakes in the Salton Sea area has scientists wondering if faults there are transferring energy to the larger San Andreas, where a major temblor could occur.
Scientists are watching closely to see if small faults crossing under the Salton Sea are transferring energy to the larger, more dangerous San Andreas fault after a series of small quake swarms in the area.
The quakes appeared to be tapering off by Monday afternoon, according to the monitoring system run by the U.S. Geological Survey and Caltech. But in a 48-hour period starting Saturday morning, 42 quakes shook just south of Bombay Beach on the Salton Sea. The quakes ranged in magnitude from 0.5 to 3.3, with three larger than 3.0 hitting the area Saturday afternoon.
An interactive earthquake primer
Study finds troubling pattern of Southern California quakes
2008 saw notable increase in moderate Southern California earthquakes
Scientists are particularly interested in the area because an earthquake that starts in Bombay Beach and ripples northwest along the San Andreas fault could be the Big One that devastates Los Angeles, said Graham Kent, a research geophysicist at UC San Diego.
These quakes appear to be taking place at the hazy intersection of several recently mapped faults crossing beneath the Salton Sea and the the San Andreas fault.
The worry for scientists comes from a case in 1987, when a magnitude-6.2 earthquake on one of the crossing faults appeared to trigger a 6.6 quake 12 hours later on the Superstition Hills fault to the south. The San Andreas fault is north of these crossing faults and the geometry is similar, Kent said.
This swarm, he said, “is a flashing yellow light that tells you to be prepared and to spend some time trying to understand the significance.”
These last time a swarm of this type occurred in the area was 2001, so they are not especially unusual, said Kate Hutton, a seismologist at Caltech.
Hutton said scientists do not yet know if quakes this small can trigger anything dangerous on the San Andreas.
“Every time you have a swarm of earthquakes, it does raise the chances of having a larger quake, but it doesn’t raise it a huge number,” she said.
By Jia-Rui Chong
First ‘spring’ season of culinary event to begin first week in March By Kerry Slater 10 Venice restaurants will participate in...
Grant will provide a stipend for Leslie, who will be working with the Manzanar Committee Submitted by VJAMM In December,...
Venice Student Receives Education Award from The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Westside Coalition
Seven area students were presented Education Awards by The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Westside Coalition at the first-ever...
Vartan Abgaryan says Abbot Kinney Boulevard restaurant Yours Truly will not be reopening By Kerry Slater An acclaimed Abbot Kinney...
Belmont Village project to go before Westwood Design Review Board By Sam Catanzaro A 12-story, 153-foot-tall, senior housing project is...
Westside Food Scene October 22, 2020 By Kerry Slater New Indonesian Restaurant Opening in Venice A restauranteur has opened an...
LA County Board of Supervisors approves $75M to fund acquisition By Toi Creel To help fight the housing crisis and...
UCLA study reports significant increase in coughs and acute respiratory failure prior to first official cases of COVID-19 By Sam...
N95 respirators, which are widely worn by health care workers treating patients with COVID-19 and are designed to be used only once,...
Subscribe to our newsletter to receive the latest news and events in Venice and the surrounding areas! test
Over 40,000 vaccines allotted to LAUSD as teachers union calls for slower return By Sam Catanzaro Los Angeles school officials...Read more
Your immune system is the first line of defense when it comes to infections, germs, bacteria, allergies, asthma, and a...Read more