Southern California’s faults are involved in a tectonal struggle between North America and Pacific Tectonic Plates

No, it is not a disaster movie created by movie producers, but could become a real life event.

The seven major faults located off the coast of Southern California  could produce a destructive earthquake and tsunami of gargantuan proportions, a new study published in the Journal of Geophysical.

The sea bed  was displaced by the vertical fault zones, raising the risk of a 7.9 to 8.0 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami waves, resulting in a massive damage to the cities of Los Angeles and San Diego, the study suggests.

The Legg Geophysical in Huntington Beach, California, geologist, Mark Legg said “We’re dealing with continental collision,” by way of referring to the offshore danger. “That’s fundamental. That’s why we have this mess of a complicated logjam.”

The logjam is created by the Earth crust blocks which are involved in a tectonic struggle between the North America and Pacific tectonic plate. As the Pacific plate slips away from California, the blocks move and squeeze together.

In order to determine the number of faults which have slipped over a time  period and if it resulted in the sea floor crumpling upwards, researchers pooled sea floor and digital seismic data.

The data confirmed the upward and sideward activities of the seabed in the Santa Cruz and Catalina Ridge Fault. The Ferrelo Fault zone regions exhibited manifestation of thrust faulting, which is characterized by an upward movement on 1 side of the fault. Data points that the blocks of crust compresses and slides horizontally in a process called transpression.

The San Andreas, Ferrelo and Santa Cruz-Catalina Ridge Faults plate movements is building up seismic stress.

The University of California geologist, Christopher Sorlien of  Santa Barbara and the study co-author said, “Such large faults could even have the potential of a magnitude 8 quake.”




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