For decades we’ve been hearing about the “big one” in California. We’re still waiting. Scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey say waiting is a good idea because when it gets here, the earthquake will be more massive than previously thought.
That’s massive as in 8.0 or great in magnitude. And the chances of that 8.0 has gone up from 4.7% to 7%.
All this comes from the third Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast or UCERF3 as it is known. The new report — experts say — incorporates new and improved data and is said to be more accurate. In 2008 UCERF2 said the quake would be 6.7.
That’s the size of the 1994 Northridge earthquake.
Ned Feld — who is the lead author of the study — said, “The new likelihoods are due to the inclusion of possible multi-fault ruptures, where earthquakes are no longer confined to separate, individual faults, but can occasionally rupture multiple faults simultaneously. This is a significant advancement in terms of representing a broader range of earthquakes throughout California’s complex fault system.”
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